The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson begins with these words:
"How easy it was to disappear: A thousand trains a day entered or left Chicago. Many of these trains brought single young women who had never even seen a city but now hope to make one of the biggest and toughest their home."
The reader can initially sense the mystery that is going to unravel with the use of the word "disappear" in the opening line. We sense that there was a sense of naivete at the time and that the city itself is going to be a main character.
About the Book (from Publishers Weekly): Not long after Jack the Ripper haunted the ill-lit streets of 1888 London, H.H. Holmes (born Herman Webster Mudgett) dispatched somewhere between 27 and 200 people, mostly single young women, in the churning new metropolis of Chicago; many of the murders occurred during (and exploited) the city's finest moment, the World's Fair of 1893. Larson's breathtaking new history is a novelistic yet wholly factual account of the fair and the mass murderer who lurked within it.