The Vanishing Point

  • by Val McDermid
  • Narrated by Antonia Beamish
  • 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Five-year-old Jimmy Higgins is brazenly snatched from the middle of a busy airport; but this is no ordinary kidnapping. Jimmy's mother is Scarlett, a reality TV star who, dying of cancer, entrusted the boy to her friend Stephanie Harker. Now Stephanie, reaching into the past to discover the motive behind the abduction, soon encounters a shocking tale of murder and conspiracy, and is faced by the most difficult choice of her life.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very disappointing

I am a huge fan of Val McDermid and have every audiobook of hers I can get. I am normally totally gripped and resent having to stop listening. This book however is the total opposite. It is incredibly long winded, moving very slowly indeed. Very difficult to get really engaged into it as a result. The plot rather than feeling gripping, just feels quite childish most of the time, as if little real thinking has gone into it, and as for the climax, well it is just ludicrous. A real disappointment and just completely unexpected from this author - feels to me like it was written by someone different.
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- M


What would have made The Vanishing Point better?

The plot is superficially strong (drawing heavily on an actual news story) but a number of loose ends or dead ends makes one wonder if the author lost interest in it or had to rush it out before she did a proper professional job. Two major questions among many: is the FBI agent intended as no more than a plot vehicle? If so, why are we made privy to her innermost thoughts? Were we not intended to sympathise/identify to some degree? If so, why is she just dropped mid-way through? The other question is harder to frame without giving away the ending, but perhaps I can say that I was amazed when the book ended abruptly, not so much because of the action, as the effrontery of the author in cutting and running without any kind of explanation, follow-up or resolution.

Has The Vanishing Point put you off other books in this genre?

Absolutley not, but I probably won't bother with this author again.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

She was OK.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Vanishing Point?

I would have wanted major changes to way in which the main protagonist's story is unfolded. She is in the custody of an FBI agent who ought to be trying to get her cut to the chase, not prose on about the back story. After all, there's a child out there somewhere. The noises off are insuficient to suggest that there is any sense of urgency. This whole section feels really odd. I would also have urged the author to do some major work on the ending.

Any additional comments?

I've read some of the professional reviews which are uniformly ecstatic at the brilliance of this author and this book. It's made me wonder how many of the reviewers had actually read it or, even more cynically, whether any of them would dare to write a negative review of a book by this national treasure.

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- Mary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-09-2012
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks