Vanished by Theo Baxter

Publishing date: 20th August, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Score: 9/10

WARNING: This book may be a trigger for some people as it deals with themes of physical and mental abuse and mental health.

Vanished is a rather brilliant book. Maggie Connor lives in a small town in New York State. She lives with her elderly parents, Joseph and Helena, and with her 8-year-old daughter, Isabel. Joseph is abusive to his wife and daughter and Maggie struggles to hide this from her daughter. Someone is threatening Isabel and Maggie must stop this from happening.

This book is unusual in the way the lead character, Maggie, narrates the story. Some of the time things are not quite what they first appear to be and her confusion and sense of fear is tangible through the well-written text. The characters are very lifelike and realistic and we fully understand why they react the way they do throughout this story.

It really is the cliché of an edge-of-your-seat page-turner in the way that I hated when I had to stop reading and take a break. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. There is a great deal of action and reaction in Vanished and it holds the reader’s attention throughout, from the very first page.

I will be reading more from Theo Baxter as soon as I am able as his style is gripping, with a good pace and flowing narrative. It is set in America, but is not full of American slang, making it very accessible to British or other non-US English speaking readers. I highly recomment this book.