Book Review: “Vanished” by Joseph Finder


Genre:  Thriller

So many books, so little time.

Over the years, I have seen, and thumbed through, Joseph Finder’s books (between Eisler and Flynn).  I knew he was dead-on what I like to read….spys,  killing, and murder….but, even though I have two of his books in my personal book queue, I had not read Joseph Finder….until now.

“Vanished” has catapulted Joseph Finder into my must read category. A terrific book with terrific characters and I love the lighthearted, sometimes funny, writing style that is similar to another favorite (yes, you know I have many favorites) of mine, Brian Haig.

“Vanished” is an ARC sent to me by Joseph Finder and will be in stores August 18, 2009.

Lauren and Roger Heller just finished dinner when they were attacked. Lauren ended up in the hospital with a concussion and Roger ended up missing. With no ransom demands, it is assumed he has been murdered, but, so far no body has shown up.

Gabe, Roger’s step-son, calls his uncle Nick for help. Nick is in the middle of figuring out the disappearance of an entire plane load shipment, so he promises to get back to Gabe when he can. Which he does.

Nick Heller is an ex-special forces soldier now working as an investigator for Stoddard Associates, a private intelligence agency. They are the ones who assigned Nick to the missing plane load mystery, which Nick solved very adeptly.

Now he needs to find his brother. Even though they are not close as adults, they were when they were kids in a wealthy family disgraced by their fathers arrest.  As a kid, Roger was the book worm while Nick was the stud. Even though he was younger than Roger, Nick always had Roger’s back.

Before he disappeared, Roger was a Vice President with Gifford Industries. He worked as a senior finance person while Lauren was the adminstrative aide to the CEO. Nick and the police wonder if his work at Gifford could have caused him to make enemies or to get involved with something on the wrong side of the law.  They know he found something unusual in the books of a potential takeover, and fear that that knowledge may be the root cause of his disappearance.

An email, from Roger, came to Lauren from an account

It starts like this:

“My sweet Lauren,
This has to be the strangest letter I’ve ever written. Because if you get it, that means I’m dead”.

And ends with this:

“P.S. Please say good-bye to the librarian.”

Roger knew he was in danger. But now, from beyond the grave, he has left some clues, and  has assured Lauren and Gabe that he has taken steps to protect them.

The intrigue mounts as Nick follows the leads to find Roger.   In the process, we find out that Nick can more than handle himself in a fight, and that there seems to be a relationship between Stoddard Associates, Gifford Associates, a private security company, Paladin Worldwide, and the missing plane load.

Nick, Gabe, and Lauren are in mortal danger…..and people die.

“Vanished” starts off at a run and picks up speed as the mystery starts to unfold. By the end, your head is spinning and the pages are whirling by.

Does Nick figure out the mystery? Does he find Roger? What happens to Lauren and Gabe? Who is the librarian?

You will just have to read “Vanished” to find out. 🙂

A 2009 Twist

I have been following Joseph Finder (@JoeFinder) and Nick Heller (@NickHeller) on Twitter. In his Twitter posts, Nick, errr….Joe, has been revealing plot line hints.

That is very cool.   🙂

For example, here is one of the latest Tweets from Nick:

NickHeller: To save hard drive space (or tape), they’ll record an image every 10-15 seconds (!!!) in black & white. Some ATM security that is.


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