Lesley Thomson

A Kind of Vanishing

£7.99 Buy now Recommend

Winner   —People's Book Prize for Fiction2010

'Lesley Thomson is a class above, and A Kind of Vanishing is a novel to treasure.'—Ian Rankin

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A spellbinding mystery of obsession and guilt by Lesley Thomson, this is also the poignant story of what happens to those left behind when a child vanishes without trace.

It is the summer of 1968, the day Senator Robert Kennedy is shot. Two nine-year-old girls are playing hide-and-seek in the ruins of a deserted village. Alice has discovered a secret about Eleanor Ramsay’s mother, and is taunting the other girl. When it is Eleanor’s turn to hide, Alice disappears.

Years later, an extraordinary turn of events opens up shocking truths for the Ramsay family and all who knew the missing girl.

Promoting Crime Fiction

8 May 2014

Warmly recommended.

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Book After Book

12 May 2010

Lesley Thomson’s engaging writing style skilfully explores the obsession and the sense of guilt, hope and despair, trust and mistrust that will fill the lives of all the people who once knew the girl who disappeared. A masterful exploration of human feelings that is paired with an equally masterful description of the settings that form the background to this gripping story. Full of unexpected twists, this is a crime story that will leave you wondering until the end whether a crime has, in fact, been committed at all.

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Abbey's Bookshop, Sydney

There is a touch of Susan Hill or Ruth Rendell (Barbara Vine) in her gothic mode here. Very well written.

Morning Star

This is a completely gripping book, both as a psycho-social study and as a psychological thriller.

Mystery Women

A beautifully written story, the characters and characterisation are thoughtful and believable. A book to read curled up in an armchair, not on a sun lounger by the pool. I recommend it.


The characterisation is particularly excellent… A sensitively written story, evocatively described, this is also an unusual thriller in that it easily bears a second reading.


Complex, disturbing and surprising...the sort of book where you simply have to completely rethink what you thought was going to happen - before sleeping with the lights on.

The Parkinson

Skilfully lays the foundations in the earlier chapters for what is to come. Each layer of the plot is carefully interwoven with the thoughts, wishes and desires of the main characters. Years pass culminating in the explosion of a shocking truth. If you enjoy a good thriller with more twists and turns than a cork screw, I recommend it.

Anne Cater

This is a dark, hauntingly chilling read. An expose of minds, relationships, families and passion.

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Scott Pack, Me and My Big Mouth

A thoughtful, well-observed story about families and relationships and what happens to both when a tragedy occurs. It reminded me of Kate Atkinson. Thomson is particularly good at capturing the minutiae of childhood as well as the secrets, the lies, the make believe, the jealousies and spitefulness, the confusion and wonder of being nine years old.

She Magazine Book of the Month

This emotionally charged thriller grips from the first paragraph, and a nail-biting level of suspense is maintained throughout. A great novel.


Thomson skilfully evokes the era and the slow-moving quality of childhood summers, suggesting the menace lurking just beyond the vision of her young protagonists. A study of memory and guilt with several twists.


This gripping and well written thriller was first published in 2007 and now makes a welcome reappearance from Myriad Editions. I reviewed it on its first publication – and on its second reading am no less impressed by it. More if anything. The strength of the writing and the author’s brilliant evocation of how a child's mind works combine to terrifying effect. Lesley Thomson has a masterly control of detail, piling one upon another until the location, characters and their family lives are startlingly vivid. A novel one cannot forget – and I never have. Next please!

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