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VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller


by Marcia Muller

Pub Date: July 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-89296-805-2

Not even marriage can slow down Sharon McCone, in her 24th case.

Two months after her father dies from pancreatic cancer, Jennifer Aldin begins obsessing about a subject he always refused to discuss: the disappearance of his wife Laurel 22 years ago, when Jen was only ten and her sister Terry barely six. Why, Jen wants to know, would a supposedly contented wife and mother abandon her family? Did she commit suicide? Was she murdered? Why, barely days after she left, did her husband burn every one of her paintings, products of what she called her “mental health days,” when she’d go off alone to sketch? Tracking a case that’s been cold for 22 years isn’t easy, but McCone’s persistence debunks the myth of a happy family and the supposedly selfless caregiving Laurel offered her dying cousin Josie. Finding the last two people to see Laurel alive, a dog-walker and a biker, offers more contradictions, but any hope of delving into them gets put on the back burner when Jen disappears. Like mother, like daughter? Perhaps. The resolution upends several marriages and gives pause to the newly wed McCone.

Like The Dangerous Hour (2004), one of Muller’s better efforts, with a strong storyline. Let’s hope the bride will soon get over the habit of calling her bridegroom, Hy Ripinski, by his last name.