DiscoverMiddle Grade

Vanished in Vista Point


Loved it! 😍

An age friendly mystery about solving an old cold case disappearance that is as educational as it is fun.

Fourteen-year-old Hank, also known as Boomer due to his boomerang skills, has a passion for forensic science and his own web show about it. He dreams of finally cracking a case someday. He finally gets his chance when new neighbors move in. Hannah has an interest in crime too and is curious about the old cold case that happened in her house when a teenaged girl disappeared. Together they investigate the old case and discover something fishy is going on with the evidence and police chief. The case gets more fishy when they discover a skeleton on a nearby island that they are convinced is the missing girl, but evidence and those who know about the skeleton start to disappear. If they want to bring the truth to light, Hank and Hannah will have to discover the truth before they wind up missing too.

Each chapter opened with some fun forensic related facts presented as peeks into Hank’s forensic web show. These openers were fun and my favorite part of the book. Hank and Hannah’s shared interested in solving crimes also made for a charming friendship as well as learning opportunities for readers. I can see the forensic aspects appealing to kids interested in solving crimes. While this book is about solving an old murder, everything was kept friendly to the targeted age group. The pacing was also fast, keeping the story from dragging and the portrayal of Hank felt realistic and made him likable.

Hank also has a bully he deals with in the story. It added a familiar element that at times felt forgotten since once the investigation started it took over the story. While the bully wasn’t as attention grabbing as solving the old disappearance, it added a touch of reality to the book and an issue many kids can relate to.

I did find myself wishing to know more about the teenager who disappeared to understand her and the case better and why someone would want to cover it up. I think that would have given the reveal more oomph and gotten me more invested in solving the disappearance. The reveal of the perp fell a little flat to me simply because I felt like I didn’t know enough about the perp or the missing teenager yet for it to wow me. It really was Hank and Hannah who made the story for me more so than the actual case.

Reviewed by

I'm a publishing pro who loves to support all sides of the publishing industry. As a reader I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Visit my website for my editing services and publishing advice and my instagram for book pictures. Kate Valent is my pen name.

About the author

Whitney is a former middle school teacher and currentl resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband, sons and the dogs that love them. This is her first novel. view profile

Published on July 14, 2020

Published by Fawkes Press

60000 words

Genre: Middle Grade

Reviewed by