Lisa Rookes

The Vanishing of Joni Blackwood by Lisa Rookes published today by Orion

18/04/2024

The Vanishing of Joni Blackwood Lisa Rookes Orion

Congratulations to Lisa Rookes whose chilling mystery thriller The Vanishing of Joni Blackwood is published today in ebook and audio by Orion. A paperback edition will be published in November.

The debris from the night before is scattered underneath the village tree and across the cobbles. Red wine stains the ground like blood. And Joni has vanished.

Joni Blackwood is my best friend. She was there for my first crush, stood beside me at my wedding, watched my daughter grow up. She’s been there through the painful mess of the divorce, too. So when she suddenly goes missing on All Gallows’ Eve, I’m first to raise the alarm.

People outside the village say she must have been sacrificed in some pagan ritual. But All Gallows’ Eve isn’t like that. We’re just simple folk enjoying an annual bonfire to keep an old tradition alive. It’s mulled cider and local mums running charity bake sales to be in with a chance of winning Gallows Queen. Joni wins every year.

My mum used to say this village was built on the roots of The Gallows Tree, that they’re underneath the ground, under all of our houses. It used to scare me as a kid. Thick, snaking roots squirming under me. No matter how far you ran, they could tunnel after you. And when the bones of a small child are unearthed in the church graveyard, I have to wonder how many secrets are running through our village, like the roots of the tree. And I wonder if Joni can really outrun hers. And I wonder if I can really outrun mine.

The Vanishing of Joni Blackwood is an utterly compelling mystery with a twist you won’t see coming.

Praise for The Vanishing of Joni Blackwood

‘Creepy, dark, and twisted!’ – Sharon Bolton, author of The Craftsman

‘This one is for all the gothic thriller fans… A gripping, pacy read with bold characters, gasp-out-loud twists, and an ending you’ll never see coming.’ – Carly Reagon, author of The Toll House

The Vanishing of Joni Blackwood is available now on all ebook platforms and in audio on Audible. The paperback edition will be published 21 November.