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The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid
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The Vanishing Point

by Val McDermid

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I was panicking a bit - had /- 50 pages to go and things were NOwhere near closed up.
And she took me up & down the roller coaster for sure... guessing until the end.
Not positive I *liked* it (thus the 3 stars instead of more), but McDermid sure is good.
One beef: I hate build-up suspense lines at the ends of chapters. That's just me. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
Anticipating a difficult transition after landing in the States from England, Stephanie was not prepared for it to be as difficult as it was. She has metal plates in her leg and is accustomed to being fondled by TSA agents however to watch her travelling companion, five-year old Jimmy, be kidnapped - while she held her down by the very authorities who should have been helping her - thinking she was trying to get a bomb into the airport by the way she set off the alarms.
By the time she is able to get her story finally believed, the FBI is involved and a too late Amber alert is transmitted Jimmy is gone. The little boy is the son of a famous TV reality star in Britain. It was too much of a coincidence that it was this child that was lifted. Scotland Yard and the Feebies put their heads together to discover who might be the party responsible.
Told in a sequence of flash backs old to the FBI we find out the Stephanie is a ghost writer for the rich and famous, and is looking after her child after her latest biographer, Scarlett Higgins, died of cancer. We are led into the convoluted life style of the rags to riches story of Scarlett and all the flotsam and jetsam, including her awful family members, which had been part of her life story.
McDermid exhibits the art of writing in both British and American euphuisms with a flourish and shows a nice turn of demonstrating red-herrings and the usual twist in the end. The lead up as the police track down the kidnapper and plan the raid on the house is mesmerizing and you will find this book quite the page turner
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Anticipating a difficult transition after landing in the States from England, Stephanie was not prepared for it to be as difficult as it was. She has metal plates in her leg and is accustomed to being fondled by TSA agents however to watch her travelling companion, five-year old Jimmy, be kidnapped - while she held her down by the very authorities who should have been helping her - thinking she was trying to get a bomb into the airport by the way she set off the alarms.
By the time she is able to get her story finally believed, the FBI is involved and a too late Amber alert is transmitted Jimmy is gone. The little boy is the son of a famous TV reality star in Britain. It was too much of a coincidence that it was this child that was lifted. Scotland Yard and the Feebies put their heads together to discover who might be the party responsible.
Told in a sequence of flash backs old to the FBI we find out the Stephanie is a ghost writer for the rich and famous, and is looking after her child after her latest biographer, Scarlett Higgins, died of cancer. We are led into the convoluted life style of the rags to riches story of Scarlett and all the flotsam and jetsam, including her awful family members, which had been part of her life story.
McDermid exhibits the art of writing in both British and American euphuisms with a flourish and shows a nice turn of demonstrating red-herrings and the usual twist in the end. The lead up as the police track down the kidnapper and plan the raid on the house is mesmerizing and you will find this book quite the page turner
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
This is an entertainment, pure and simple, a page turner written with skill, telling a good story that many people will enjoy reading. But there are two buts; firstly the back story is too close to that of a reality TV star with whom I had little or no sympathy (apart from when she was dying) and, secondly, the denouement lacks plausibility. There are some good twists before reaching the unsatisfactory ending but I think it lets the book down. Also, unlike McDermid's better books this did not make me think at all. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
Very engaging book with an ending that was truly surprising to me, as used to twists as I am. The protaganoist is a ghost - a ghost writer who is very good at drawing out celebrities so that she can create a book that represents the persona they want to provide to the world. At the beginning of the book, she's getting patted down at O'Hare on route from the UK to California with a young child. She watches in horror as a man in a TSA uniform talks to the boy and leads him away. She can't convince the TSA officers that she's not a terrorist, she's in a panic that her boy has been kidnapped. Not the best advertisement for the TSA, but a great opening.

We learn how she came to be the boy's guardian, after writing a ghosted autobiography of a shrewd woman from Leeds who made her name portraying an idiot on a reality TV show. As Stephanie gets to know her subject, they become friends, and she realizes both how tough the woman is and how much her celebrity, which has brought her wealth, has also imprisoned her. Stephanie has a prison warder of her own, a possessive and abusive boyfriend who resents their friendship. Working out how these relationships led to a kidnapping in Chicago and whether the boy will be found is quite an engrossing story that has some interesting things to say about what happens to people who strive for celebrity and become public property.
  bfister | Aug 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
If you come to fame not knowing who you are, it will define you.

OPRAH WINFREY
Dedication
For the ones who got away while I was writing this book - Davina McDermid, Sue Carroll and Reginald Hill. Without all of you, in your very different ways, I would never have made it this far. Your absence is a constant presence.
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Stephanie Harker was just about old enough to remember when air travel had been exciting.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802120520, Hardcover)

One of the finest crime writers we have, Val McDermid’s heart-stopping thrillers have won her international renown and a devoted following of readers worldwide. In The Vanishing Point, she kicks off a terrifying thriller with a nightmare scenario: a parent who loses her child in a bustling international airport.

Young Jimmy Higgins is snatched from an airport security checkpoint while his guardian watches helplessly from the glass inspection box. But this is no ordinary abduction, as Jimmy is no ordinary child. His mother was Scarlett, a reality TV star who, dying of cancer and alienated from her unreliable family, entrusted the boy to the person she believed best able to give him a happy, stable life: her ghost writer, Stephanie Harker. Assisting the FBI in their attempt to recover the missing boy, Stephanie reaches into the past to uncover the motive for the abduction. Has Jimmy been taken by his own relatives? Is Stephanie’s obsessive ex-lover trying to teach her a lesson? Has one of Scarlett’s stalkers come back to haunt them all?

A powerful, grippingly-plotted thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the end, The Vanishing Point showcases McDermid at the height of her talent.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

When a dying reality television star's child is snatched at an international airport, ghost writer and guardian Stephanie Harker assists the FBI's search while investigating the family's past to discover a motive for the abduction.

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