For a split second, Stephanie couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The man was leading a compliant Jimmy away from the security area towards the concourse.
‘Jimmy,’ she shouted. ‘Jimmy, come back here.’ Her voice rose in pitch but it was deadened by the Perspex enclosure. Neither the man nor the child broke step.
Stephanie banged on the side of the box. ‘My kid,’ she shouted. ‘Someone’s taken my kid.’
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…
Stephanie Harker is travelling through the security gates at O’Hare airport, on her way to an idyllic holiday. Five-year-old Jimmy goes through the metal detector ahead of her. But then, in panic and disbelief, Stephanie watches as a uniformed agent leads her boy away – and she’s stuck the other side of Security, hysterical with worry.
The authorities, unaware of Jimmy’s existence, just see a woman behaving erratically; Stephanie is brutally wrestled to the ground and blasted with a taser gun to restrain her. And by the time she can tell them what has happened, Jimmy is long gone.
But as Stephanie tells her story to the FBI, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems with this seeminglynormal family. What is Jimmy’s background? Why would someone want to abduct him? And, with time running out, how can Stephanie get him back?
The Vanishing Point is released 13 September 2012 (Little, Brown Book Group)
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Inaugral chair Val McDermid will return to the role a decade on, to take the hot seat as programming chair for the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The first details of the programme have been released – click here to find out which big names are already confirmed for next year!