In The Disappearance: A Jill Hunter Short #13, we find that Rory, computer hacker and partner to Jill, has disappeared. Jill thought it was an argument over the milk but we are at a point 24% into the story where we find out Rory has been kidnapped by someone. Jill had been planning to change her life entirely, close her business, and travel until she got the anonymous phone call that said Rory was in trouble. She had almost made a huge mistake about the “why” of Rory’s disappearance.
Jill examined Rory’s home computer, a logical place to find out the recent activities of a computer hacker. There were some clues about the recent news of scandal in the pharmaceutical industry. Was it evil doctors or evil researchers Rory was pursuing?
Unlike the preceding short stories #11 and # 12, this one required a huge suspension of belief to accept a central premise of crime. There is a claimed comprehensive policy of a major drug company to test admittedly dangerous and experimental drugs to a population of minors. When minors died, there was a huge monetary payment accompanied by a gag order that prevented parents of the minors from publicly airing the incidents. Research involves lots of people. Doctors who receive and dispense samples form a huge part of the medical industry. In an age of instant communication, I cannot believe several persons observing unusual patterns of death linked to an experimental drug would not object publicly and loudly. This premise is conspiracy theory run amok.
There is a fantasy genre. This short story fits into that genre more than a mystery category. Since I was expecting a mystery in patterns suggested by previous stories in the series, this one was disappointing.