The Vanishing Office is the second book I’ve read by Clarkson. The first was The Lamb, a murder mystery.
While The Vanishing Office, a dystopian thriller, is quite different from The Lamb in terms of genre, subject matter, and tone, Clarkson’s distinctive voice and intriguing writing style are still there.
In The Vanishing Office, an unnamed female protagonist is hired as a cleaner for Nemo and Company, where she receives assignments by text, doesn’t know any of her co-workers, and her work is shrouded in secrecy for unclear reasons.
I thought I would hate the concept of a story being told from the point of view of a nameless lead character, but it actually worked really well. It forces the reader to almost assume the identity of The Cleaner and feel her emotions as she tries to understand what is happening around her and decipher what is real and what isn’t.
The reader could really feel her struggle and relate to her realization that “sometimes it’s a good idea not to argue too hard with them. As long as you know what’s going on in your head, that’s all that matters.”
One of the scariest elements of the book is that, with a society that revolves around alternate facts and an isolating, impersonal work environment, there are points where it is easy to forget it is supposed to be dystopian.
The one drawback to the book is that there are a few typos and formatting issues. Personally, these didn’t take away from the reading experience or the overall message.
I’ve already downloaded and started reading The Ghost Society, the second installment in the Nemo & Co series. To read my review of The Ghost Society, visit this link.
The Vanishing Office is available on Amazon in several formats.