Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Song about a girl up to a point" Song title

Val McDermid has written a number of psychological novels with characters so memorable that they could be studied as examples of writers should consider in writing literary novels.

"The Vanishing Point," opens with the kidnapping of a child at the busy O'Hare Airport in Chicago.

In a dreaded scene that parents traveling with young children can relate to, the adult accompanying five-year-old Jimmy Higgins, Stephanie Harker, has a number of pins in her leg from an accident and knows she'll set off alarms with airport security.

She informs Jimmy that he'll have to go through a different line but then sees him go off with a security agent. When Stephanie shouts about her child and makes a commotion, she's looked on suspiciously and no one listens.

An officious TSA agent continues to confront her but she finally gets the attention of an FBI agent who looks at footage and sees the boy walking away with a man dressed up in a TSA uniform.

We learn the back story of Stephanie being a ghost writer and working with a TV reality star named Scarlett and how Stephanie came to have Jimmy.

The author creates suspense with a story and characters who are so real, it is easy for the reader to place themselves in the character's position. I felt for Stephanie and breathlessly followed her path as she explains to the FBI and tries to find what happened to the child.

The unique quality of McDermid's books is that she creates a superior thriller with excellent dialogue and memorable characters.

The conclusion to the story brings everything together nicely and is something that readers will want to discuss while reliving the excitement they had with this book.

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