Monday 16 December 2013

A Kind of Vanishing by Lesley Thomson

Winner of the People's Book Prize and described by bestselling crime novelist, Ian Rankin as 'a novel to treasure', A Kind Of Vanishing is reissued to coincide with the paperback publication of Lesley Thomson's new novel, The Detective's Daughter.   Published on 23 January 2014 by Myriad Editions.

A spellbinding mystery of obsession and guilt, this is also the poignant story of what happens to those left behind when a child vanishes without trace.
It is the summer of 1968, the day Senator Robert Kennedy is shot. Two nine-year-old girls are playing hide and seek in the ruins of a deserted village. Alice has discovered a secret about Eleanor Ramsay's mother, and is taunting the other girl. When it is Eleanor's turn to hide, Alice disappears.
Years later, an extraordinary turn of events opens up shocking truths for the Ramsay family and all who knew the missing girl.

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.
She has worked as a journalist, photographer, ghost-writer and is currently an associate tutor on Greg Mosse’s Creative Writing MA at West Dean College near Chichester and guest lectures at Northbrook College and the University of Sussex.
Originally a Londoner, she now lives in Lewes, East Sussex with her partner. She is working on her latest novel in between long walks over the South Downs.
Visit Lesley Thomson's website.    Twitter @lesleyjmThomson

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