The Vanishing Point by Val McDermidMy rating: Mystery / Thriller
The Vanishing Point started out really well, with an intriguing premise: a young boy snatched at a US airport, in an obviously non-random attack which takes advantage of his guardian's tendency to set off metal detectors. Much of the book is then taken up with backstory, as Stephanie tries to explain herself, the boy, and their circumstances leading up to that point. And I really enjoyed Stephanie's narrative, even though she took an implausibly roundabout route to the point for a woman desperate to aid the authorities in finding the not-quite-son she's about to adopt.
FBI agent Vivian is on the case, and I was drawn in by her story, too: stuck on the airport beat and desperate for some real action. Then there's British cop Nick, who also happens to be Stephanie's partner, and an amateur musician, who's drafted in to help with matters across the pond. Add to this the boy's colourful celebrity parents, their friends, family, and agents, and we have a solid cast of characters caught up in a great story.
It was all going so well, and then... the end. Oh. It finished so abruptly, as if someone had snatched the keyboard away without giving McDermid chance to wrap up half of the plot lines. It's difficult to express my disappointment with the ending without spoilers, but suffice it to say that Stephanie's actions don't quite ring true for me, we don't get to see Nick's response, and we never do return to poor Vivian, stuck at the airport. A real shame, as it was so close to being a five star read.