Although it is difficult to write a review about a book, of which you have seen the two film versions two times each, this book gripped me from the first to the last page, as the movies gripped me from the first to the last frame. However, it remains unclear why the American movie ("The Vanishing") had to have a happy end. That spoils - in my opinion - the clever and highly intelligent plot of the book. Without giving much away, I can say that this small book (less than 100 pages) consists of the following parts (If you consider the next part as a spoiler, do not read on. I believe, however that I do not give anything away here that will spoil your reading pleasure): - A young couple goes on holiday in France. At a gasoline station the girl goes in to buy drinks in the shop, and never returns. - We meet in the next part a French man, who in his life has made several experiments, the latest of which is preparing to kill a young woman, by abducting her first. We follow his experiments, and at the end of this second part he appears to be the person who abducted the young woman who disappeared in part one. - Eight years later the young man seems to have accepted the events from eight years ago. - However this appears not to be the case after all, and he starts an advertising campaign in French newspapers to get to know what happened to his girlfriend. - He is then approached by the abductor. This person offers him a chance to get to know what happened to his girlfriend, but only on condition that he will undergo the same fate.
This simple story is so full of horror and psychological analysis, that it is impossible to give this small book less than five stars. It simply is brilliant.