Best selling and award winning author Val McDermid has been practicing her craft for many years now. And you know what they say - practice makes perfect.
McDermid's latest book is The Vanishing Point.
British resident Stephanie Harker lands in an American airport with five year old Jimmy in tow. Stephanie sets off the alarm and is tagged for a more thorough search. While locked in the clear inspection box, she witness Jimmy being led away by away by a stranger. And she can't get anyone's attention.....and by the time she does, Jimmy is gone.
And that's the first few pages. What a heck of a good opener - I was hooked.
As Stephanie tells her story to the FBI agent in charge, we learn who Jimmy really is - the son of reality TV star Scarlett who recently passed away. Was it a stranger who took him? A stalker from Scarlett's past? A kidnapping? Someone from Stephanie's life? A former staff member?
I loved the form of narrative McDermid chose to use. We relive the past with Stephanie and the events leading up to her being in this airport. Alternate chapters cut to the present and the search for Jimmy. McDermid kept me on my toes, dropping another piece of the puzzle and story in as the story went back and forth. The possibilities of whodunit are many, as are the plot lines.
The twist at the ending was really, really good. My only complaint would be that it felt rushed after the slow building of so many threads. Some of the story lines are left unresolved - such as the one involving domestic violence.
This latest book was a bit of a departure from what I usually expect from McDermid. But I quite enjoyed it. Read an excerpt of The Vanishing Point.
You can find McDermid on Facebook and on Twitter.