Vanishing Girls by Katia Lief

Vanishing Girls 

Katia Lief

Harper, 2012, 337 Pages

ISBN No. 978-0062095046

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid

Although having faced many tragedies in her life, Karin Schaeffer, former police officer, thinks her life is finally smoothing out.  Her husband Mac MacLeary is operating his business as a private investigator.  Karin is helping him out as well as trying to take some classes to further her education.

Mac has come down with the flu and Karin orders him to bed.  When Mac receives a text from his friend Detective Billy Staples, he immediately gets dressed ready to go meet Billy.  Karin insists that Mac return to bed and tell Billy he just can’t meet him.  Mac argues with Karin and finally admits to her that Billy is having flashbacks at crime scenes and loses control. Billy is terrified.  Mac had promised Billy not to reveal the problem to anyone but Mac is just too sick to go out to meet Billy.  Karin insists that she will go and meet Billy and the crime scene that awaits her is a real shock.

A serial killer is on the loose in the city and he is killing young women.  When Karin arrives at Billy’s crime scene she finds that, there is not just one victim but two.  A woman who has been strangled and finished off with a knife between her breasts.  The second victim is a very young girl who has been struck by a car.  The child was not even wearing shoes and it is a mystery as to why and how she came to be in the neighborhood.

Karin is concerned about Billy and wants to help him with the investigation as well as make some suggestions that might improve his mental health.  It is not long before Karin has a lot more to worry about than Mac with the flu, Billy’s mental health, and the small girl in the hospital.  The serial killer has struck very close to Karin’s family.

This is a very complicated story with a lot of twists and turns but eventually the truth comes out and a story is revealed that shocks the entire city.  This book can be read as a stand-alone but once you read Vanishing Girls you may want to read the other Karin Schaeffer novels and learn more about Karin and the trials she has had to face.  The titles are Next Time You See Me and You Are Next.  As for me, I am anxiously awaiting the next Katie Lief story.

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