The Night They Vanished by Vanessa Savage

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Entertaining and fast paced thriller

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The Night They Vanished is an entertaining combination of family secrets and lies and past tragedy that finally catch up to the family involved.

As the story sets out we meet Hanna.  It soon becomes obvious that Hanna is estranged from her family and still has dark secrets that cause her concern.  But, it also becomes apparent that she has moved on, once the wild child of the family she now has a job and a home and has settled down and she reluctantly agrees to a blind date with a friend of a friend. What could possibly go wrong.  Well, to be fair, in very short order Hanna and her blind date Adam are thrown full tilt into a dangerous situation.   Adam has a strange and rather macabre hobby.  He runs a website which promotes dark tourism.  Basically, this is a site that promotes interest in places where crimes have been committed.  Unfortunately, it appears that the latest addition to the site talks of three murders that have just been committed and the address is Hanna’s family home.  As you may imagine this is the catalyst for multiple visits to the police, searches to the old family home and the uncovering of past secrets that have now come back to haunt them.

What this does really well is cast suspicion on multiple characters.  It keeps its secrets close just releasing little snippets here and there, it follows a really short period of time that keeps the pages turning quickly and it has dual timelines that take us back to a time just a few months earlier to give us a glimpse into Hanna’s family lives and slowly reveal events that bring us to the current situation.

There are a number of characters.  Hanna, primarily and her younger half sister Sasha.  Both characters had their share of difficulties and these led to characteristics that came across well.  Hanna is guarded and prickly, also something of a loner although she does have a very close, long term friendship that has lasted throughout the bad times.  Sasha on the other hand, and primarily as a result of the way that Hanna went off the rails, is ruled with a deal of strictness on the part of her father.  She is desperately lonely, bullied at school and her sheltered existence gives her a naivete that leaves her vulnerable to those who would prey on her need for friends.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, I thought the eventual reveal was a little bit obvious but it didn’t really stop me from enjoying this.  I would say that the actual ‘baddie’ felt a little thinly drawn and the whole idea of the dark tourism site also felt a little underused, this was a really unique idea that felt it could have played more of a role.

As it was though, this might not necessarily reinvent the wheel in respect of thrillers but regardless I found this to be an entertaining and enjoyable read.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3.5 of 5 stars.

3 Responses to “The Night They Vanished by Vanessa Savage”

  1. Tammy

    This sounds pretty solid. I definitely need to read more thrillers 😁

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Given my renewed interest in crime fiction and thrillers, this book certainly hits the target 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Gosh, the description of this gives me chills. I have a copy I want to check out so bad.

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