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Vanishing Point

Stephanie Harker is travelling through the security gates at O’Hare airport, on her way to an idyllic holiday. Five-year-old Jimmy goes through the metal detector ahead of her. But then, in panic and disbelief, Stephanie watches as a uniformed officer leads her son away – and she’s stuck the other side of Security, hysterical with worry.

The authorities, unaware of Jimmy’s existence, just see a woman behaving erratically; Stephanie is brutally wrestled to the ground and blasted with a taser gun to restrain her. And by the time she can tell them what happened, Jimmy is long gone.

But as Stephanie tells her story to the FBI, it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems with this seemingly normal family. What is Jimmy’s background? Why would someone want to abduct him? And, with time running out, how can Stephanie get him back?

A breathtakingly rich and gripping psychological thriller, The Vanishing Point is Val McDermid’s most accomplished standalone novel to date, a work of haunting brilliance.


‘Fans of Val McDermid will be intrigued by this latest thriller, which breaks away from her phenomenally successful series to introduce new central characters, and takes the reader into the details of a growing respect and intimacy between two strong women of profoundly different lifestyles and backgrounds.’ David Bradbury, The Daily Mail,  27.09.12

‘This stand-alone novel opens brilliantly’ David Stephenson,, 23.09.12

‘McDermid keeps tension high with red herrings and plot twists. The sheer brio of her writing produces that increasingly rare thing, a genuine page-turner that doesn’t insult its readers’ intelligence.’ Shirley Whiteside, The Independent, 23.09.12

‘As you might expect from McDermid, there are plenty of well-executed twists and turns, a few red herrings thrown in for good measure, and a satisfyingly tense climax.’ Doug Johnston, Scotland on Sunday, 15.09.12

‘…masterfully handled, and McDermid’s ability to wrong-foot the reader remains second to none: highly recommended.’ Laura Wilson, The Guardian, 14.09.12

‘ In this intelligent and hypnotically readable thriller, what really interests McDermid, and us, is the meaning of fame and how people deal with being famous. The relationship between Scarlett and Stephanie is one of the best things she has done….entertaining and thought provoking book.’ Andrew Taylor, The Spectator, 20.10.12

 ‘one of McDermid’s best stand-alones…..Just when you think you know what’s coming, it doesn’t.’
Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail, 26.10.12

‘..the underlying theme of this book is identity, with all the clever plotting and surprise twists that McDermid’s readers love.’

‘Challenging as well as entertaining, this novel will resonate long after that last page is turned. An excellent read from one of our best writers.’ Victoria Brownworth, Lambda, 23.01.13

‘…a gripping tale of a mother who suffers every parent’s worse nightmare.’ Time in; February 2013 Choice

‘British author Val McDermid leaves her usual subjects of twisted serial killers and tortured detectives and steps into a family drama. Of course, this being McDermid, the drama comes wrapped in a thriller involving celebrities and murders.’ the star online, 15.03.13

 an efficiently crafted psychological thriller with an ending that knocks you sideways.‘ Brandon Robshaw, Paperback review, The Independent, 23.03.13

“The deft plotting and palpable air of menace in this book makes for an unforgettable read and once you start, it will be impossible to put down.” – Yattar Yattar Magazine, 01.11.13