A Kind of Vanishing is a complex crime story, a novel that moves slowly towards an ending that both surprises and disturbs in equal measure.
It is summer 1968 and two girls are playing together in a ruined village. The two girls do not like one another, and one of the most startling aspects of this book is the author's ability to get right into the mind of a nine year old girl. The reasoning and the justification made by Eleanor during the opening pages are both convincing and sometimes, a little chilling.
Eleanor is the girl who is left behind when Alice disappears, and this incident will link the two families together for many years. As time passes by, the reader journeys along with each family, discovering their flaws and trying to deal with their complexities, as well as being taunted by the crime that is the centre of the story.
This is a dark, often quite slow, but nevertheless, hauntingly chilling read. An expose of minds, relationships, families and passion.
My thanks to Emma, who sent my copy on behalf of the publisher.
Lesley Thomson studied at the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Her first novel, Seven Miles from Sydney ("Compelling" Times on Sunday; "Bold and imaginative" Time Out; "Such an interesting novel" Guardian) is a crime thriller set in Australia. She also co-wrote actress Sue Johnston's autobiography Hold on to the Messy Times. Lesley’s second novel A Kind of Vanishing was published in 2007 to critical acclaim, and won the People’s Book Prize for Fiction in 2010.