Book Review - Vanished by Joseph Finder
I've *really* been looking forward to the latest by Joseph Finder... Vanished. I actually received an autographed copy from him (yeah, yeah, full disclosures and all that stuff), and it was immediately moved to the top of my "start reading" pile(s). A day later, it was done. REALLY good! Nick Heller, the main character in Vanished, is someone who can go in so many directions in future novels. I can see him becoming a franchise character for Finder much like Coben has Bolitar and Lee Child has Reacher.
In Vanished, the story starts out with Roger Heller, Nick's estranged brother, disappearing after his wife is mugged when they are out for a dinner together. Lauren Heller wakes up in the hospital with no clue as to what happened (or why), and no answers as to what happened to her husband. Her son, Gabe, calls his uncle, Nick, to help find his stepdad. It's a good choice, as Nick works for a investigation firm that has incredible resources at their beck and call. Regardless of how Nick feels about Roger, he starts hunting for Roger more for Gabe than anyone else. It appears that Roger disappeared due to something he uncovered in his job as a mergers and acquisitions expert for a worldwide company. But the deeper Nick digs, the more things don't add up. And it may well be that more than one group is involved in Roger's disappearance, or at least wants to find him in order to make sure he's dead.
Vanished starts off fast, and doesn't slow down much. The interaction between Nick and Gabe is quite authentic given the characteristics that Finder gave them, and Nick's continually shifting view of Lauren kept me on edge as to how much she may or may not know about what actually happened. Nick has a perfect mix of hard-nosed attitude and realistic humanity, which made it easy to root for him as the hero. And twists? They just keep coming... I didn't know how this one was going to turn out until the very end.
If you've read Finder's previous novels, you'll want to read this one too. If this is your first intro to Finder, you're in for a treat. And since this is the introduction of a new character, you don't have to pick up any of his previous novels in order to jump in. But you'll want to get those after this one... :)