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Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite
The Vanishing Girls by Callie Browning is a gripping romantic suspense novel set in 1980s Barbados. It follows Holden Davis, a thirty-year-old righteous guy who shares the inherited family business (a funeral parlor) with his annoying brother. Holden's in search of an assistant, and when Eileen, a good-looking young woman, presents herself for the job in the dead of night, he tries to turn her down but hires her anyway. Unfortunately, Eileen had no other choice but to accept the post's conditions. Now Holden and Eileen work together, injecting dead people with chemicals and doing other repulsive stuff. But when a young woman's lifeless body is discovered in a cane field, and then another, people begin to think there's a sinister serial killer on the loose, preying on random young women, making Eileen fear for her life.
It might sound clichéd, but I literally devoured The Vanishing Girls by Callie Browning in one sitting. In her gorgeous romantic thriller, Callie Browning explores women's torment of living in constant fear and terror, unsafe to walk alone at night, especially when there's a serial killer on the loose, and no one seems to know how to catch him. The authentic dialogue, likable characters, and well-modulated action scenes make this story utterly fascinating. Callie Browning has a gift for drawing out her characters' secrets slowly. She masterfully crafted an appealing story that kept me guessing all the way through, surprising me at every twist and turn. The Vanishing Girls is a must-read as it unfolds in fascinating layers.