by Bentley Little
Gary is successfully enjoying being a student at U.C.L.A. living far away from his native Ohio. He views every choice now as one step up the ladder to a future life in California. He even has the girl, granted it has only been a few weeks, but he has the feeling that this is the one person for him, Joan.
With their friends, Gary and Joan decide on an adventure at a Burning Man Festival. When they arrive, the festival is just beginning its climatic events. The actual events after this are a little confusing because the group discovers that they were drugged and now Joan is missing. With little assistance from the local law enforcement, the friends return to U.C.L.A. to discover that any records of Joan at the school have now disappeared.
Gary has to make the decision of whether to focus his energy on searching for Joan or to just continue his life on campus. He knows that she is the one for him so he begins to investigate. He attempts to contact her parents but it appears that they left their home in a hurry. Joan’s roommate doesn’t know what happened to her, but then she disappears. The girl in the dorm room next to the two wants to be helpful but she is killed by a hit-and-run driver. Why all the mystery? Where is Joan? Added to this, now Gary’s record at U.C.L.A. does not exist.
The characters are quite realistic and visual. The intensity of the storyline is tremendous and moves quickly. As to organization, THE DISAPPEARANCE is well-planned and leads to an unusual climax. This story is fast-paced. The story is not a thriller, or a horror novel, but one that puts you as one with the main character and feeling his fear.
Bentley Little has won the Bram Stoker Award for his previous short stories and novels. He has had a variety of work experiences that has helped him in the development of his characters. He currently resides in Arizona.