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Kit Reed. Tor, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7982-5

When everyone disappears from Davy’s small coastal town of Kraventown, S.C., he’s sure it’s the fault of a newcomer, slick Northerner Rawson Steele. The truth is harder to determine in this multiperspective mystery. Reed (Son of Destruction) plays off various unexplained disappearances from Jamestown to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, showing the terror of both those who vanished and those who wonder where they went. Davy’s girlfriend, Merrill, narrates from the side of the disappeared, and the story is mostly driven by her relationships with the other characters. The complexities of her pre-disappearance life (issues with Davy; Rawson’s own strange advances; dealing with her abusive, power-hungry father) still haunt her even as she’s trapped in a sterile, stupor-inducing new world. There’s a powerful sense of building terror and hopelessness, and the portrayal of Merrill’s father works much like a smoldering volcano. The conclusion is extremely abrupt and ambiguous, but the brilliant writing and characterization make even the faltering ending worth getting to. (May)