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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
V for Vanished: A Not-so-Ordinary Love Story by Ingrid McCarthy is a combination of love story, mystery, and commentary on human nature. The novel is set in modern times, with the coronavirus playing a substantial role, but the story is told through a series of flashbacks. Much of the book deals with the protagonist’s troubled relationship with his domineering father. But McCarthy’s novel is also about a man with a difficult childhood who grew up to go his own way. Even in adulthood, though, his life is tumultuous, with a distressing discovery about his wife leading to a couple of shocking events. Furthermore, many other unforeseen incidents happen to the protagonist. Readers rejoice with him and agonize with him as he tells his life story.
This book is a terrific read. Although author Ingrid McCarthy tells us early that the protagonist commits a crime, she does a superb job in not telling us what the crime is until it happens. Until the incident takes place I never could have imagined what the crime was, nor why the protagonist chose to commit it. The same goes for the wild turn of events that the protagonist undergoes. McCarthy must have a terrific imagination and she uses it to tell a wonderfully entertaining story. Although V for Vanished is about the rawest of human experiences, there is little explicit language, no graphic violence, and no explicit sex. The protagonist isn’t always likable, which adds to the believability of the story. I recommend V for Vanished to anyone who enjoys a well-told tale with plot twists and surprises.