“Watch Her Vanish” by Ellery Kane

My sister-in-law, who taught high school for far too long, typified Country music as “People making poor life choices and then whining about the results.” A certain level of Police Procedural novel goes about the same way. The detective mystery takes a back seat to the soap opera. Personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to read this sort of novel, where everything is dark and depressing, nobody likes anybody, they all act like socially awkward teenagers and the only path a couple can find to love is by forming an instant hate for each other first. However, people do read them, and if someone does a good job of it, who am I to complain.

“Watch Her Vanish” starts out that way, and it’s unfortunate, because once the story gets going, it moves along rapidly, people start acting like normal adults, and there’s a really good serial killer mystery in there, with a logical, nicely convoluted plotline and lots of suspense.

The writing is for the most part professional and well-edited. Dark symbolism smoothly envelops the setting with fog, rain, darkness, deserted buildings, remote country roads and evil. Everything you could wish for in a good read.

Unfortunately, this author slips every once in a while into the over-used errors of weaker genres: creating suspense by blatantly not telling us something; overusing cliff-hangers; manipulating characters to keep conflict going. The sort of flaw that reminds us that there is an author controlling our emotions.

Otherwise a good story, especially for people who like a lot of human interaction in their murder mysteries.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



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