Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

The Case of the Vanishing Blonde

And Other True Crime Stories

by Mark Bowden

From Mark Bowden, a “master of narrative journalism” (New York Times), comes a true-crime collection both deeply chilling and impossible to put down

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 240
  • Publication Date July 20, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5868-0
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 240
  • Publication Date July 07, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2844-7
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date July 07, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4632-8
  • US List Price $26.00

Six captivating true-crime stories, spanning Mark Bowden’s long and illustrious career, cover a variety of crimes complicated by extraordinary circumstances. Winner of a lifetime achievement award from International Thriller Writers, Bowden revisits in The Case of the Vanishing Blonde some of his most riveting stories and examines the effects of modern technology on the journalistic process.

From a story of a campus rape at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 that unleashed a moral debate over the nature of consent when drinking and drugs are involved to three cold cases featuring the inimitable Long Island private detective Ken Brennan and a startling investigation that reveals a murderer within the LAPD’s ranks, shielded for twenty six years by officers keen to protect one of their own, these stories are the work of a masterful narrative journalist at work. Gripping true crime from a writer the Washington Post calls “an old pro.”

Praise for The Case of the Vanishing Blonde:

“Bowden’s writing is a reminder that, in all the complexity of an age of upheaval, there is still good, and there is still evil, and the most interesting parts of humanity lie in the gulfs of gray in between.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Engrossing… New readers will want to seek out Bowden’s book-length nonfiction after devouring this.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Uncomfortably thrilling — as good crime writing should be… This true crime master expands the limits of the genre, digging to find answers and revealing that even the most horrific crimes are often linked to a larger story about America.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“For all of the podcasts and Netflix docu-series that brought true crime into the modern zeitgeist, this genre solidly thrives where it began: in print journalism. Here, best-selling Bowden collects six of his long-form articles, most from Vanity Fair, each delving the intricacies, patience, and persistence of detective work… PI Ken Brennan, the memorable cold-case-cracking rock star, features in three investigations, and he is reason enough to pick up this slim and satisfying volume… Bowden writes with journalistic efficiency and a matter-of-fact admiration of the investigative work — from the ingenious to the tedious.”—Booklist

Praise for Mark Bowden:

“With its blistering descriptions of an American special-forces operation gone wrong, Mark Bowden’s 1999 nonfiction book Black Hawk Down made for excellent action-movie fare. The story told in his latest work, the deeply unsettling The Last Stone, unfolds more slowly but is no less potent. Bowden displays his tenacity as a reporter in his meticulous documentation of the case.”—Time, on The Last Stone

“This is a story of extraordinary persistence and the grimmest, least romantic kind of heroism there is, and Bowden tells it with the dexterity of an old pro.”Washington Post, on The Last Stone

“A telling a stirring, suspenseful, thoughtful story that, miraculously, neither oversimplifies the details nor gets lost in the thicket of a four-decade case file. This is a cat-and-mouse tale, told beautifully. But like all great true crime, The Last Stone finds its power not by leaning into cliché but by resisting it — pushing for something more realistic, more evocative of a deeper truth.”New York Times, on The Last Stone

“Riveting true crime from the ever-capable author . . . A keen synthesis of an intricate, decades long investigation, a stomach-churning unsolved crime, and a solid grasp of time, place, and character results in what is sure to be another bestseller for Bowden.”—Kirkus Reviews, on The Last Stone

“Bowden delivers a narrative nonfiction masterpiece in this account of fiercely dedicated police detectives working to close a cold case. This is an intelligent page-turner likely to appeal even to readers who normally avoid true crime.”Publishers Weekly (starred review), on The Last Stone

“Interesting and insightful . . . The book is well-researched and well-written, and those interested in crime and police interrogation methods will find it most interesting.”Washington Times, on The Last Stone

“Bowden returns to the story that catapulted his career with a horrific portrait of a sociopath and honors the dedicated officers who were determined to get justice for two innocent girls and their grieving family.”Booklist, on The Last Stone

“Mesmerizing . . . The Last Stone will leave readers on the edge of their seats as a group of indefatigable detectives tries to unearth the carefully concealed, unspeakable truths behind a decades-old tragedy.”BookPage, on The Last Stone

“A passionate advocate for long-form journalism and one of its more successful practitioners . . . Bowden is so good at what he does best — highlighting the human angle of battles large and small.”Minneapolis Star-Tribune, on Three Battles of Wanat

“Bowden . . . applies his signature blend of deep reportage and character-driven storytelling to bring readers a fresh look at the 1968 battle in the Vietnamese city of Hue . . . [A] compelling and highly readable narrative . . . A meticulous and vivid retelling of an important battle.”New York Times Book Review, on Hue 1968

“One of the most intense, visceral reading experiences imaginable . . . The individual stories are woven together in such a compelling and expert fashion, the narrative flows so seamlessly, that it’s hard to imagine that this is not fiction.”—Philadelphia Inquirer, on Black Hawk Down

“Riveting . . . Masterfully told . . . Plenty of classic Bowden here: meticulous reporting backed by a compelling narrative.”Washington Post, on Guests of the Ayatollah

“Mark Bowden has a way of making modern nonfiction read like the best of novels.”Denver Post, on Killing Pablo