Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Disappearance by Efrem Sigel. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.
The Permanent Press (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-57962-180-5 (1579621805)
ISBN-13: 978-1-57962-180-3 (9781579621805)
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $28.00
Review: Efrem Sigel's suspense novel The Disappearance is more than a mystery; it's a powerful study of interpersonal relationships, what keeps them together and what tears them apart.
Nathalie and Joshua Sandler’s son, their only child, 14-year-old Daniel was absent from their home when they returned from running an errand that lasted just two hours. It was a beautiful August morning in The Hollow, a small village in the town of Smithfield, Massachusetts where the Sandler’s had their summer home. Dan’s bike was in the garage. Nothing about the house or Dan’s room was disturbed. Maybe he had met his friends to take a swim in the river. Maybe they went for a hike. Maybe. Maybe. As the hours passed Nathalie and Joshua spoke with Dan’s friends. Nathalie called the parents of the friends they could not find. Nobody in this town of about sixty people had seen or been in contact with Daniel. Joshua, along with the small town police force, questioned adults and children. Had anyone seen somebody or anything out of the ordinary on that morning between 10 AM and noon? No one had. Joshua endlessly continued his search for almost a year to find his son. Nathalie, a cellist with the New York Philharmonic, put her cello down, and took a leave of absence from the orchestra and retreated into herself. It is with heartache that Nathalie and Joshua resolve they must continue their lives.
The Disappearance is a story of love, heartbreak, and tragedy. But it also am absorbing character study. Nathalie and Joshua are outsiders in Smithfield, rich people from the city. Some members of the town board aren't totally sympathetic to their loss, believing that change (in the form of summer folk) isn't good for the community. The compassionate police chief, however, a parent like many others in the town, does everything in his power to help in the search. But the focus here is on Nathalie and Joshua. Nathalie refuses to believe Daniel may be gone, but rather than continue to hope, gives up in despair. Joshua eventually accepts the reality of their son's disappearance, but never gives up his pursuit in finding him. He understands they must try to rebuild their lives together or lead them separately and apart. The mystery of Daniel is eventually resolved, but the story here, and the reason to read the book, centers around the consequences of a child's disappearance, not the act itself.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Disappearance and to Author Marketing Experts for providing a copy of the book for this review.
MBN note: Read our interview the author at Mysterious Reviews: A Conversation with Efrem Sigel.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.
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Synopsis (from the publisher): When Joshua and Nathalie Sandler's only child, 14-year-old Daniel, disappears one flawless summer day in a tiny hamlet in western Massachusetts, their world changes in an instant. Over the next year, Joshua neglects everything else to search for their son while Nathalie, a beautiful and gifted cellist, withdraws into herself, unable to play even a note of music.
The Disappearance immerses the reader in the Sandlers' world, deftly portraying the various townspeople who might be involved in this mystery, among them a mean-spirited local town leader, half a dozen troubled teenagers, and a dark-haired, passionate young woman who is drawn to Joshua and his plight.
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