Alisha Marie's Reviews > The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
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May 19, 10

bookshelves: first-reads, books-i-own-that-i-ve-read, mystery, arc-s
Read in May, 2010

I received an ARC copy of The Vanishing of Katharina Linden as part of the First Reads program. I was excited to receive this book because it seemed like it had a great plot. Missing girls that seem to magically disappear. A town giving in to stifling paranoia. A ten year old girl determined to figure out what's going on. Amazing premise! However, the book seemed to fall a bit short and I was very underwhelmed while reading it.

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden doesn't really start off with a bang. But I can appreciate that. The author seemed to be going for more of a creepy build-up and it worked after about fifty pages in. But those initial fifty pages had me wondering whether or not I should put this down. I didn't because I really wanted to know what was going to happen, which brings me to my next point.

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden got going around page 50, yet on page 60, I already guessed who the killer was (and ended up guessing right). It was completely predictable, especially since I guessed this. I'm not the type of reader who will try to guess who the killer is in any mystery. Sure, I suspect, but half of the fun of a mystery is going through the whole ride and then being completely shocked at who committed all the events. I'm fine with this premise as long as it makes sense and isn't throwing a curveball just to throw a curveball. But if you guess who the killer is at the beginning, it kind of sucks the fun out of the mystery.

Another thing that bothered me was Pia's character. She just seemed to be all over the place. I didn't find her endearing, mostly just irritating and her friend Stefan, even moreso. They acted very irrational for ten year olds. Yes, I know that ten year olds aren't the most rational of human beings. But I don't think any ten year old would go through the lengths those kids did in trying to find out who was kidnapping little girls considering it would be life-threatening. I know I would've never done that at ten years old. Sure, I would've been curious, but I would never go out and single-handedly try to stop it. I would be thinking that my life would be at stake.

So, while, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden did end up to be a page-turner and literally kept me at the edge of my seat (particularly in the last 50 pages), I still thought it was just okay. It could've been great, but it was just too predictable. Plus, it left me with unanswered questions regarding how the kidnapper didn't kidnap one who was so close in the midst. It was just a "suspend belief" moment. It was just "meh".
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Reading Progress

05/18/2010 page 69
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