Many people were stopped in their tracks by the story. Was it possible in London, in a building of flats, for a person, an attractive woman, to fade into oblivion, so that no one thought to ask, "Where’s Joyce?" For nearly three years? So many people live alone in a big city, and some are old, less vivid, and without next of kin. They may be missing before they’re gone. But Joyce Vincent did not seem to fit that description. A tremor of anxiety, a fear of societal malfunction, went through London. It seemed like a warning, a measure of the times.