In some ways, mystery novels about vanishing people are often more compelling and suspenseful than murder mysteries because you’re left with bigger questions and fewer answers. Where did the missing person go? Are they still alive? Was there foul play? Can they be found in time? We love a good missing person mystery suspense novel, which is why we’ve rounded up these excellent mystery books about vanishing people.
by Kate Kessler
Killian Delaney is an ex-con who is tough as nails and doesn't let anyone mess with her. Recently released from prison, she doesn't waste any time when her sister calls to say Killian's niece has vanished. As Killian begins to look into her niece's last known whereabouts, she discovers that she was into some pretty dangerous stuff...and at the center of it all is the man who sent Killian to prison to begin with.
Audie Palmer pled guilty to a robbery that resulted in the death of four people and the disappearance of seven million dollars. He's spent the last ten years in prison, and during that time everyone—from the police to the lawyers to his fellow inmates—have asked him where the money went. Now, just a day before he's set to be released, Audie vanishes completely. But how, and where has he gone?
by Ian Rankin
John Rebus has always been a police inspector first and a father second. But when his daughter Samantha calls in the middle of the night to tell him that her husband has been missing for two days, Rebus immediately rushes to his daughter's side. He's uneasy, though—the facts of the case don't look good, and they all point to his daughter being responsible for her husband's disappearance.
by Lisa Regan
Everyone in Detective Josie Quinn's small town is alarmed when beautiful blonde Isabella Coleman vanishes. As search parties comb the area, they're shocked to discover another girl—who hasn't been reported missing—who is selectively mute. She utters one unfamiliar name, and reveals a piercing that's similar to one Isabella has, and that's all it takes to convince Josie that something big and dangerous is going on.
Diane's best friend Samantha disappeared without a trace seven years earlier, after a late-night party. Diane has never really gotten over it, and when she receives a letter addressed to Samantha, she opens it and makes a grisly discovery: a fingernail painted in Samantha's signature shade. But it doesn't belong to Samantha...it's the fingernail of a woman who was just murdered.
by Shan Serafin
When a powerful and dangerous man is killed, the three women closest to him disappear suddenly—his wife, his personal chef, and his maid. Now Detective Sean Walsh is racing to figure out what happened to the women, and why the victim wound up dead, but the more he digs up, the more reasons he finds for the women to stay underground...if they're even still alive.
by Harlan Coben
Thirty years ago, Wilde was found in the woods with no memory of where he came from. Now, a girl named Naomi has gone missing, but the adults in her life and strangely unconcerned. Enter Hester, a woman who knows Wilde and who also knows that Naomi was bullied at school. She asks Wilde if he'll look into the case, and he agrees...but doing so forces him to face the past and plenty of secrets that have been buried for decades.
by K.L. Slater
Lucie and Blake decide to let their nine-year-old daughter Grace walk home from a friend's house alone. It's just down the street—perfectly safe. But when Gracie doesn't come home, they panic. The police, neighbors, and friends all pitch in on the search, but Gracie has vanished. And then, when hope seems lost, Lucie finds a disturbing secret Blake has been keeping from her. But Lucie has dark secrets, too...and the only way to find her daughter seems to be to face those secrets.
When Detective Rob Ryan was a child, he and two friends went into the woods and disappeared. Only Rob re-emerged from the woods, unable to tell anyone what happened or where his friends were. Now an adult, Ryan is shaken when a young girl is found murdered in the very same woods. Are the two cases connected? And if so, can Ryan remember what really happened all those years ago?
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