FICTION

The Disappearing

Dutton.Jul. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781524741938. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524741952. THRILLER
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Lane Fielding is a woman with a complicated history. At age 13, she went missing from her family's historic plantation in Waddell, FL. The estate bordered a boys' reform school, where her father reigned as tyrant/director. She was found that same night but was thereafter known locally as "the girl who was taken." What unspeakable things were done to her by this juvenile delinquent, who was never named, was irresistible fodder for small-town gossip. Now years later, Lane has returned home with two daughters, a failed marriage, and an uncertain future. Her timing couldn't be worse; allegations have surfaced against her now aged father by former inmates of the school. They tell stories of cruelty, violence, and even murder. When Lane's oldest daughter disappears, just days after a college student vanishes, it seems the past is repeating itself in a most terrifying manner.
VERDICT There is much to digest in this richly atmospheric tale told through the alternating perspectives of four main characters. Roy (Bent Road; Until She Comes Home) is a skilled and deft wordsmith, but the tortuous plot fails to form a cohesive story. An optional purchase. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/18.]

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