Lief’s previous two suspense novels featuring former detective Karin Schaeffer are filled with malice and the kinds of twists and turns that kept readers turning pages as they became emotionally involved with her protagonist.

In Vanishing Girls, a serial killer who has remained on the streets of New York murdering prostitutes for two years appears to strike again.

Now married to her former partner, Mac, and with a young son, Ben, Karin is still learning to cope with loss when she becomes involved unofficially in the cases of two women found one Sunday night on a Brooklyn street.

With Mac ill with s serious case of the flu, Karin responds to a friend’s call and arrives on the crime scene. One victim is an eleven-year old girl, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run, who remains uncommunicative throughout the early part of the investigation. The second body mirrors the work of the serial killer on the loose.

Complicating matters is the post-traumatic syndrome that Karin and Mac’s good friend, homicide detective Billy Staples, is suffering from, a year and a half after loosing an eye and almost his life in a shootout with the woman he loved. His dazed appearance at the crime scene confuses Karin, and at the same time, convinces her Billy needs professional help.

“There was something to see hiding in the shadows” Karin thinks, as the plot turns and escalates.

As she gets involved deeper into the cases, a strange link occurs that will change everything, and terror will strike close to home, changing Karin’s family in unexpected and profound ways.

Lief paints a realistic picture of Karin’s distraught feeling that she attracts darkness to her life and the fears for her family that this brings. She’s also produced a suspense-packed novel that will have you looking for the next Karin Schaeffer installment.