The Night Vanishing – Book Review

Painter Mann Series Book 2 By Dick Wybrow
Published on: January 16, 2020

Painter Mann is a dead private investigator currently residing in what he calls the “In Between” – a place where people who have been murdered go instead of going to their final destination, as you will. In fact he will tell you he is the best PI in the In Between, but because he’s the only one that also means he is the worst one too.


Painter Mann has spent his afterlife in the InBetween helping other ghosts move on to whatever’s next. Eventually, he’ll want to make that leap too, but to do that, he’ll need to discover the name of the person who murdered him.

Painter, the world’s only dead private investigator, goes to New Orleans hoping to learn the identity of his killer.

Instead, he gets wrapped up in a case where he must find and rescue hundreds of missing ghosts.

To do that, he’ll have to tangle with two-headed monsters, a psychotic dead DJ, enemies with supernatural powers, and the mysterious Voodoo Cher.

He’s also being “hunted” by the Ghost Wranglers, a popular cable TV show determined to hunt down the ghost PI known as Painter Mann.


When I first saw this book and its description I thought “Exactly how does this work? Are the bad guys dead too or alive? And if they are dead, who does he turn the bad guys over to? Who hires him and why?” I mean, the whole thing is kind of fascinating. Apparently, the folks in the In Between don’t know who have murdered them. I would say he mostly gets hired by those looking for the name of their killer. Having that name then allows them to move on to the next place.

In this second book of the series, he finds himself down in New Orleans, one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Painter is looking for help in identifying his own killer when he runs across someone who tells him about a lot of ghosts disappearing all at once. They didn’t move on and they didn’t solve their murder, they just disappeared.

At the same time, a group of ghost hunters with a web/cable show are filming at a home in Scotland when one of them records a spirit looking for “Painter Mann.” Their ratings have been dwindling in recent years and when this occurs the number of social media hashtags and trending topics start to increase. With so much interest, how can they not start to look into who or what Painter Mann might be?

Similar to other noir genre books, this one definitely has a list of very unusual and colorful characters – Jelly Roll, Shark, Madame Mini just to name a few. The book itself flows through Painters encounters with various individuals with conversation styles that are more natural in form. Sometimes that made following the story or the conversation difficult because I would have to pay closer attention to what was being said or done at the time in order to understand where the story was leading us.

Overall, I found the book to be a creative take on the noir and detective genre books, which made for an interesting read since I wasn’t 100% sure where the story would take me.

Recommended for those looking for a different style of detective and private investigation stories or for fans of noir and ghostly encounters.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Dee Dee Publishing for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

Cover Review: I liked how the cover title looks to have a 1940’s-50’s feel to it, which helps bring out the noir feel to the book. However, I do wish there had been some color on the cover, which I feel might showcase the humor part of the story a bit more.

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