Title: The Vanishing of Class 3B
Author: Jackie Kabler
Publisher: One more chapter
Publication Date: 11/05/2023
Comment: I was given an ecopy of this. I leave an honest review which is in no way influenced by the threat of having thirty-odd kids to take care of. *shudders*. No amount of money is worth that.
One spring morning, a bus full of children and their teachers from a Cotswolds primary school head off on a much-anticipated day trip.
But as night falls and the well-heeled parents – one or two of them famous, as well as wealthy – wait at the school to collect their weary offspring, it soon becomes clear that something has gone very wrong.
The children and their teachers do not come back.
What’s happened doesn’t seem possible.
How can an entire class of children simply vanish?
The class from 3B go on a field trip to the zoo. Excited and determined to have the best day, despite the original school bus not working they manage to set off and wave goodbye to delighted parents.
But when pick-up time comes the parents wait, but the children aren’t there. They don’t come home. Somewhere between the zoo and the school the entire bus of children and their teachers has vanished.
The next day the school bus is found with one of the teachers beaten to death inside it. Finally a ransom. One of the wealthy parents has a secret worth five million. But which one?
I loved the synopsis of the book and was eager to read it.
The book has multiple narrators in several of the parents and the kidnappers. This keeps things fresh as you look at things from several points of view to try to piece together the events and who has something to hide. The twist at the end was great as I really wasn’t expecting it- which is very unusual in thrillers as they do tend to run along the same lines.
But despite the excellent twist, I was a little disappointed that there was no one really to root for. The parents were all unlikeable characters and their secrets were mostly mundane.
The kidnapper was clever but also a little smug and although I could see their grievance I didn’t think it was really worth the hassle of kidnapping thirty children.
I can understand the need to get revenge but, having that many small, smelly, complaining, crying children is not worth 5 million, no matter what someone else has done to you. You are basically torturing yourself.
I was also a little disappointed that the children weren’t used as effectively in the rescue scenario. What was the point of mentioning that one of the kids recognised the kidnapper when that was just ignored later on?
Despite those few issues I thought it was a solid thriller that kept you guessing and invested enough to keep reading to the end.
With thanks to rachels random resources and the author for a copy of the book.