Kathy O’Shaughnessy

Vanishing Act

Whistle in the Dark

By

Viking 330pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Ever since Gillian Flynn’s bestselling Gone Girl, the words ‘psychological thriller’ have loomed large in writers’ minds. Emma Healey’s new book, Whistle in the Dark, fulfils the brief, but with an interesting twist. While Gone Girl was brilliant, but also nasty and fantastical, Healey’s book takes us into the world of a family we recognise. This is ordinary life gone wrong – a hell, in other words, to which we can relate.

At the beginning, Jen and Hugh’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Lana, is in the news. On an ‘art holiday’ with Jen in the Peak District, she goes missing for four days, before being found in the countryside, her sweater matted with blood, a gash on her scalp, strange marks on her ankles and her clothing wet, although it hasn’t rained. What happened in that time? ‘Nothing,’ she says to the police and her parents.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,