Dark and disturbing, The Disappearance of Lyndsey Barrett is as difficult to read as it is to put down. This stylish story of horrific crime and terrible retribution will outrage, horrify and disgust you; it will also keep you guessing until the final chapter.
Lyndsey Barrett is a nineteen-year-old honor student with a brilliant career ahead of her as an actress. Returning home from her latest scholastic triumph, Lyndsey is brutally gang-raped by a group of cricket players. This gang-rape or "groining" is encouraged by the team's captain, George Weston, who believes that rape is a form of male bonding and strengthens team spirit.
While Lyndsey remains in a virtual coma, these wealthy young men of privilege and their powerful families ensure that police force find drugs in Lyndsey's belongings. All the young men tell that same story to the police: that Lyndsey supplied them with drugs and that she consented to sex.
Upon hearing this news, Lyndsey's father dies of a heart attack. Lyndsey's mother, who has multiple sclerosis, vows to do her best to take care of her daughter but Lyndsey disappears from the hospital. Since she never pressed charges for rape, the team goes unpunished.
Seven years later, members of the cricket team are dying, one by one. Frank Illiff always believed that Lyndsey was a complete innocent, and that she was brutalized by a bunch of sadistic young men. But his superiors on the police force were friends of the boys' parents; justice was bought with influence and the case was closed.
Now, with ten dead cricket players, Frank finds himself having to reopen the case. Frank knows that the trail to the murderer will lead him back to the disappearance of Lyndsey Barrett. Even worse, he now finds himself in the distasteful position of having to protect a man he despises, George Weston.
Psychological thrillers are often dark and macabre: The Disappearance of Lyndsey Barrett is all that and more. With its twists and turns and fast-paced suspense, this tale keeps the reader on edge until the last page. But this book is not for everyone; it has a number of very disturbing elements, including the rape and some very twisted eroticism found in the second half of the story.
However, if you have the stomach for it, this book is as fascinating as it is appalling. I felt physically ill while reading some of the scenes in this story, but I couldn't put it down. It's very much like driving by the scene of a car crash: you don't want to look but you can't help yourself.