April 19th, 2021 by Jane Turner
This review of Vanished by James Delargy comes courtesy of a Blog Tour organised by Random Things. I received a free copy of the hardcover. Vanished is published by Simon & Schuster on 15 April 2021.
The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, are desperate to move their young family far away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life in Perth.
The abandoned town of Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert, seems like the perfect getaway: no one has lived there for decades. It will be peaceful. Quiet. Secure.
But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. Lights flicker at night. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if their presence is breathing new life back into the long-dead town.
Lorcan and Naiyana refuse to leave. No one can talk sense into them.
And now, no one can talk to them at all.
They’ve simply vanished.
Ever wondered what The Australian Outback is like? Read this – you’ll be there.
This is some evocative writing from Mr Delargy. The heat, the flies, the dust – it’s all there. And it’s all there wrapped round a proper mystery…
Lorcan, Naiyana and their son, Dylan, make the move from suburban life in Perth to the middle-of-nowhere fictional mining ghost town of Kallayee, deep in the Western Australian desert. The reasons why become clear as you read on, guided through the investigation into their whereabouts by Detective Emmaline Taylor, her team from Major Crimes, and local police who know the area.
Vanished is what happens to people when they’re on the edge of survival (and society) with not much left to lose. And it’s a tale about trust, and what happens when it’s misplaced.
The investigation is really interesting – how do you find someone in thousands of square kilometres of desert? Where tracks are obliterated by sand, wind, and animals. Where the towns are 50 miles apart, the land is desert and scrub, and the weather will kill you as easy as anything else.
There’s nefariousness, to be sure. This one’s got layer upon layer, and a real twist of an ending.
Told through multiple points of view and flashbacks, Vanished grabs you from the off and doesn’t let go. We have Emmaline’s search wrapped around flashbacks from Naiyana and Lorcan, weaving through activism, corporate espionage, gangsters, politicians, illegal miners, and petty crims. We experience enormous amounts of country and the characters that choose to inhabit it.
This almost made me feel like I was back in Australia.
Mr Delargy’s other works are absolutely going on my list.
James Delargy was born and raised in Ireland and lived in South Africa, Australia and Scotland, before ending up in semi-rural England where he now lives. He incorporates this diverse knowledge of towns, cities, landscape and culture picked up on his travels into his writing.
His first novel, 55, was published in 2019 and has been sold to 21 territories to date. Vanished is his second novel.
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