Same thing happened last week in Iain Lawrence's B for Buster: a fighter plane "disappeared from the sky." We are to take this to mean that it fell quickly enough that it was as if the plane had disappeared. In a different kind of book, planes can disappear. Both kinds of book can be good, but if you read one with the expectations of the other, you will be confused, frustrated, and disappointed.
Sometimes I find myself being overly careful of reading protocol possibilities when I'm writing. I try to edit out references to things disappearing unless they actually disappeared, because I don't want to send my readers down the wrong road in what actually is a speculative story.
I had one of my extremely girly reading moments while reading this book: I really wanted the main character's outfit. How embarrassing. But really, a clingy creamy sweater and a short, wine-red, fine-tweed skirt with two pleats and pocket flaps? I could wear that. Totally.
At least this time it's reasonable. When I read Pattern Recognition, I put it down desperately wanting a knife-pleated black miniskirt, and I don't think Mr. Gibson put one of those anywhere in the book. Very strange things, brains.