The Vanishing by David J. Delaney
Detective Dean Cornell is investigating the murder of a young woman when he and his partner stumble across a second brutal murder.
Hunting for the killer through the streets of Sydney he discovers another young girl has vanished, leaving a distraught father holding onto whatever hope he can.
Dean and the detectives of Sydney homicide desperately try to unfold the mystery of the dead and the missing.
Can they find the killer before another life is lost?
*I received a review copy from the author.
I read David J. Delaney’s The Vanishing, and I had nightmares. But that is a good thing.
I could not put this fast-paced crime thriller down. It’s one of those books where you don’t even realize you’re turning the page (or swiping your phone), and before you know it, it’s over. And though the ending was satisfying, I really wished it would just keep going.
In this story, Cornell investigates the murder of two young women, and during that process he finds that another young woman has vanished.
His gut tells them they’re all linked, but he has to connect the dots. Only a few odd pieces of information come to light at first, and it involves surgical drugs, STDs, and computers. Luckily for Cornell, he’s got a smart, loyal team, just as passionate as him to find the bad guys, who easily accept whatever challenge falls their way.
Delaney expertly captures the essence of each of his characters, who range from detective to murderer to journalist to alcoholic to teenage girl. And he does a great job of portraying life for people living in the city versus the suburbs.
The story is told from multiple points of view, and though it takes a while to understand all the characters’ connections, there is an ominous feel from the very beginning.
The characters are compelling, and the heroes are sympathetic. And even though it’s inevitable that something big and bad is going to happen, Delaney delivers it with a twist and keeps the reader guessing.
It’s a great beginning to a series, and does a good job of establishing Detective Dean Cornell, a passionate Sydney cop with strong gut instincts. As the protagonist, Cornell is immediately likeable and easy to picture.
The Vanishing is certainly an entertaining read, but it also highlights some relevant current issues, such as dealing with people online. Savvy computer users and interacting with people online plays a crucial role in the story. And Delaney threads the details throughout the story in such an interesting way, that feels very natural. Without giving away (hopefully) spoilers, just know that there are a few twists and surprises.
Delaney is a wonderful writer. The villians are so evil they’re fun to hate, the good guys are flawed but are working hard to be better, and everyone has a strong sense of purpose and are not afraid to express their opinions.
I don’t think I can say enough good things about Delaney’s writing. So much happens in this book and Delaney really brings his writing to life. Even once I finished the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for hours.
If you’re looking for an intense, suspenseful detective story, then I definitely recommend picking up The Vanishing. It’s got everything you’d want: high stakes, action, smart characters, and a great sense of urgency throughout. I’m glad this is book one of a series, and I can’t wait to read book two and see what Detective Dean Cornell is up to.
Length: 262 pages