Newsletter - Bumsted Picks - Wendy

Friday Nov 29 2013
by Wendy

I had quite a difficult time deciding on my choice this year. Many of my favourite authors, including Louise Penny, Gail Bowen and C.C. Benison had books out this year. Although strictly speaking, as I am writing this, Ten Lords A’Leaping has not been released, official release date is December 3rd. My book of the year is Val McDermid’s The Vanishing Point. I was an avid and regular reader of McDermid’s two earlier series, the Lindsay Graham and the Kate Branigan but I had never really been hooked by the Tony Hill series. I came back to reading McDermid with her 2011 stand-alone A Trick of the Dark which I thought was excellent. The Vanishing Point is also a stand-alone, and starts with the disappearance of a child at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As I never read, and hate, books which involve children this was a departure for me, and I should add that nothing bad happens to the child. The main character is Stephanie Hawker, who is the child’s guardian, and the novel describes her efforts to retrieve the child, who disappears at the airport during the security check-in.  The hazard of being separated from your child during airport security is only one of the ways this novel puts a modern spin on the well-worn “damsel in distress” formula of much crime fiction. Needless to say, McDermid’s take on the formula is also appreciably darker than Helen MacInnis would have contemplated. In any event, this book is a page-turning seat-squirming accomplishment.

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