Vanishing Point

Leaving the office Julian slips into the New York subway, in the direction of home, as he does every day. On the carriage, his eye falls on the newspaper of a passenger beside him. There is a blurb on which a photo stands out. He observes her and only then does he read the accompanying words. He is troubled by it. It is a blast from the past, into a previous life. The photo is of Rye Adler, whom Julian dated briefly, before Rye became an internationally renowned photographer and he entered the world of advertising. They met in the photography class Brodsky Workshop many years ago. They had also become roommates, but somehow they never managed to “meet”. Julian, methodical and precise, always kept the apartment tidy, Rye on the contrary was a volcano both in personality and in activity. Even as regards the subjects they portrayed they could not be more different: Julian preferred empty spaces, while Rye concentrated on people, on their faces. The only thing that accumulated them was the interest in their classmate, Magda, who despite her perfect command of English retained an accent that betrayed her Polish origin. But now that article says Rye is dead. Julian has long since lost contact with Rye’s wife, Simone, but he feels it is his duty to show up at the funeral. On the day of the funeral ceremony, Julian gets on the train at Penn Station which, leaving the city behind, goes into the hinterland of the State of New York, along the suggestive path of the Hudson River …

In the wake of the novel’s success The appearance of thingswhich in 2021 saw the adaptation on the big screen starring Amanda Seyfried, Elizabeth Brundage proposes a new thriller with more subdued tones and without the use of the supernatural. Vanishing Point is a well-written novel that captures the reader without ever making him feel bored or tired. Photography plays a central role in history. The main characters are all linked by an initial passion for auteur photography, which leads them to attend a high-profile course, where they meet and get to know each other. Just as the camera focuses the lens, so Brundage focuses on a different character from time to time, picking up the thread of the story from that character’s specific point of view. Skeletons emerge in the closet and rivalries never subsided. Another theme dealt with in the novel is addiction to hard drugs, a real scourge of American society. Vanishing Point it does not have the structure of the classic action thriller – indeed there is very little action – instead it stops to investigate the character peculiarities of the protagonists and how these have influenced their decisions and consequently their lives. With a slow and steady pace, but never boring, it is therefore more classifiable as a psychological thriller – without extreme peaks – or dramatic. In the background, the harsh winter of New York State.

Vanishing Point