Monday, July 10, 2006

Vanishing Point - Marcia Muller



Vanishing Point
Marcia Muller
Mysterious Press

Mystery

Sharon McCone isn’t going to let a little thing like getting married slow down her work at her investigative agency. Arriving home from their spontaneous wedding in Reno, Sharon and Hy are greeted by friends, a party, and a very cold case involving the disappearance of a wife and mother.

Jennifer Aldin was ten years old on the night her mother, Laurel Greenwood, read her a chapter from their current book, kissed her goodnight, and vanished. What followed were days of confusion and fear for Jennifer and her younger sister, but by the third day, their father decreed that they must continue their lives. Twenty-two years later, following her father’s death, Jennifer is completely obsessed with what happened to her mother. Obsessed to the point that it’s affecting her job, friendships, and health.

After talking with Jennifer and seeing her condition first-hand, Sharon agrees to take the case. It’s not long before she begins to uncover some unpleasant facts about Laurel Greenwood. It seems that the devoted wife and mother than Jennifer remembers might have had a far darker side.

The author does a masterful job of showing the juxtaposition between the marriage of Jennifer’s parents, Jennifer’s marriage, and Sharon’s hasty marriage to Hy. The case raises questions about the reality of marriage; what it looks like to outsiders, versus what it is to the two people living it. She also points up the sad truth that what we remember as children may be only what we wish to remember. For all that, the pace never flags, and the pages seem to turn themselves. This is only the latest in this long-running series. Here’s hoping for many more installments in the future.

Rating: 8 ½
July 2006
ISBN# 0-89296-805-2 (hardcover)

Rating Scale = 1-10

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