THE VANISHING POINT
This relatively straightforward tale of a child abduction case may seem like a departure for McDermid, who is best known for her grisly book and television series Wire in the Blood and twisty psychological suspense novels like A Darker Domain. But her prodigious writing talent and intricate plotting make her latest an up-all-night nailbiter — until the surprisingly abrupt, and not wholly satisfying, end.
Stephanie Harker was the ghostwriter for reality television star Scarlett Higgins, eventually becoming her closest friend. When Scarlett is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she makes Stephanie the guardian of her 5-year-old son, Jimmy. But when Jimmy is kidnapped, Stephanie has to figure out who’s responsible: the boy’s late father’s family, various members of Scarlett’s family, Stephanie’s stalker ex — or someone else? (ATLANTIC MONTHLY, Sep., 448 pp., $25.00)