Archive for the ‘Vanishing Ladies’ Category

Vanishing Ladies by Ed McBain is interesting in that the story is told as a police officer giving testimony in court.VanishingLadies Philip Colby and his girlfriend Anne are going on vacation together to a lakeside getaway that Anne used to go to as a young girl. Driving a car borrowed from one of Colby’s fellow police officers, they are stopped in a small town by a motorcycle cop. As Colby is looking for the car registration in the glove compartment, the motorcycle cop notices a gun. As it’s a friend’s car, Colby doesn’t have the registration for the gun or car. Colby and Anne are dragged to the local magistrate until it can all be ironed out.

As it is late when they are finally released, they attempt to drive to their destination but end up at a desolate motel for the night. He checks in himself because Anne is asleep in the car. The owner, a sleazy looking man, says Anne can sign the register in the morning. As it’s the 1960s, they book two rooms–adjoining. Colby goes to take a shower and upon returning wants to say goodnight to Anne who is not in the room. He also finds a strange woman in his room.

When Anne doesn’t return, Colby goes to the motel office and the owner denies ever seeing a woman in the car, insisting Colby checked in alone. Colby insists on searching every room and, although he doesn’t find Anne, he does find blood in the room adjoining his on the opposite side.

Colby refuses to let things alone, despite warnings from everyone he comes in contact with.

That was a long winded description of the premise of the book. Vanishing Ladies has a lot of suspense and action. It has great characters and a great plot. The court room testimony angle is unique and quite effective. (You can always expect something different from Ed McBain.)

Vanishing Ladies is a fast read and a worthwhile one.


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