Author: Joseph Finder Book Title: Vanished
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 2009)
Joseph Finder's novel Vanished begins with Roger and Lauren Heller walking back to their Mercedes after a night out to dinner at a Georgetown sushi restaurant. They get to the car and Roger realizes he’s left his keys back at the sushi place. He wants her to go with him, but she insists she’ll be ok waiting alone on a dark deserted street.
Just when Roger is a few hundred yards away some comes out of nowhere, and attacks Lauren Heller. She tries to fight back but is over powered and the last thing she hears before loosing consciousness is her husband Roger saying “Why her?”
Lauren Heller wakes up in a hospital and soon learns that her husband Roger has disappeared. With no one else to turn too Lauren’s 14-year-old son Gabe calls his uncle Nick for help. Nick Heller was in the Special Forces in Iraq and is now employed by a large corporate security firm that is know in many circles for finding the secrets that no one wants found. Using his connections Nick sets out to find a brother that seems kidnapped but for whom no one has demanded ransom.
In the process he protects his brother’s wife and son, and uncovers a trail of secrets spinning through many twists and turns. In the end Nick takes on a group of mercenaries, and begins to wonder if his brother Roger has gone down a path similar to their corrupt father Victor Heller.
The novel held my interest and was an easy read by Thriller standards. I did feel it lull in spots when the author got a little too deep into the narrative voice. The things I liked about the writing were the author’s level of description and technical knowledge.