Customer Reviews for

Vanished

Average Rating 3.5
( 212 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(74)

3 Star

(43)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Solid Debut of a New Series

Joseph Finder - the talented author of such novels as "High Crimes" and "The Moscow Club" - enters the arena of the continuing-character series with the introduction of Nick Heller in his latest offering "Vanished".

Nick Heller's an ex-Special Forces veteran of Bosn...
Joseph Finder - the talented author of such novels as "High Crimes" and "The Moscow Club" - enters the arena of the continuing-character series with the introduction of Nick Heller in his latest offering "Vanished".

Nick Heller's an ex-Special Forces veteran of Bosnia and Iraq, with unique skills he now uses as an investigator for an executive-level "consulting" firm that specializes in solving "problems" for major corporations and other elite clients.

Nick's older brother Roger has vanished, the apparent victim of a crime in which Roger's wife Lauren was beaten into a near coma. When summoned by a frantic phone call from Lauren's son Gabe, Nick determines to find his brother at all costs, and as he delves into the case he finds himself exploring a labyrinthine conspiracy involving massive sums of money embezzled from the war zone, corporate takeovers, and the world of modern day mercenary soldiers also known as "civilian contractors".

Nick's a good character for a series: charming, just the right amount of insolence, and tough enough to do the job. He's somewhat along the lines of Elvis Cole, without the Joe Pike backup. I look forward to following his further adventures.

But there were a few problems with this book that prevent that fifth star.

First of all, the "conspiracy" was just a tad TOO involved and intricate, making it hard to follow through the story, and a bit outside the credibility limits, at least for me. Too many of the characters were hard to keep straight without a scorecard. I kept finding myself going: "Huh? Which guy was this again?".

When we find out about the involvement of one of the characters (can't be more specific without revealing a major spoiler), it was so glossed over - especially as to consequences for that character - that it was a major dissonance.

But in many cases, first entries of continuing series aren't the best, as the characters (and style) develop over time in subsequent books. The first Bob Lee Swagger novel ("Point of Impact") is very different from his later - and more refined - efforts. The same can be said of the Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole, Mitch Rapp, Lucas Davenport, and Harry Bosch novels.

So, good entertainment, looking forward to more of this character, a solid four stars.

posted by Brian_Baker on July 18, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Interesting, but don't get your hopes up on a compelling read.

When I read the synopsis I was totally intrigued. I thought it would be a page turner, but I was wrong. The plot is interesting. If you're into politics and gov't conspiracies it's a good book. The main character is funny and kicks ass. I was constanyly guessing wh...
When I read the synopsis I was totally intrigued. I thought it would be a page turner, but I was wrong. The plot is interesting. If you're into politics and gov't conspiracies it's a good book. The main character is funny and kicks ass. I was constanyly guessing what would would happen next, but I was usually wrong. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. There is no sexual content, which was a let down (that was one thing I was anticipating). The relationships were interesting.

posted by blueskyes on October 17, 2009

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Page 1 of 11
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Solid Debut of a New Series

    Joseph Finder - the talented author of such novels as "High Crimes" and "The Moscow Club" - enters the arena of the continuing-character series with the introduction of Nick Heller in his latest offering "Vanished".

    Nick Heller's an ex-Special Forces veteran of Bosnia and Iraq, with unique skills he now uses as an investigator for an executive-level "consulting" firm that specializes in solving "problems" for major corporations and other elite clients.

    Nick's older brother Roger has vanished, the apparent victim of a crime in which Roger's wife Lauren was beaten into a near coma. When summoned by a frantic phone call from Lauren's son Gabe, Nick determines to find his brother at all costs, and as he delves into the case he finds himself exploring a labyrinthine conspiracy involving massive sums of money embezzled from the war zone, corporate takeovers, and the world of modern day mercenary soldiers also known as "civilian contractors".

    Nick's a good character for a series: charming, just the right amount of insolence, and tough enough to do the job. He's somewhat along the lines of Elvis Cole, without the Joe Pike backup. I look forward to following his further adventures.

    But there were a few problems with this book that prevent that fifth star.

    First of all, the "conspiracy" was just a tad TOO involved and intricate, making it hard to follow through the story, and a bit outside the credibility limits, at least for me. Too many of the characters were hard to keep straight without a scorecard. I kept finding myself going: "Huh? Which guy was this again?".

    When we find out about the involvement of one of the characters (can't be more specific without revealing a major spoiler), it was so glossed over - especially as to consequences for that character - that it was a major dissonance.

    But in many cases, first entries of continuing series aren't the best, as the characters (and style) develop over time in subsequent books. The first Bob Lee Swagger novel ("Point of Impact") is very different from his later - and more refined - efforts. The same can be said of the Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole, Mitch Rapp, Lucas Davenport, and Harry Bosch novels.

    So, good entertainment, looking forward to more of this character, a solid four stars.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The road to Heller

    Joseph Finder did follow the hero rulebook with the creation of Nick Heller:

    Special Forces background (check)
    Troubled childhood (check)
    Has trouble with authority (check)
    Can punch his way out of a situation (check)
    Loner (check)
    Cracks cynical jokes when a pistol is pointed at his face (check)
    Tough guy with a good heart (check)

    What sets Nick Heller apart from the others is that Finder places him in a business environment (Heller is a corporate investigator). Heller isn't fighting against a corrupt politician with his own personal agenda or terrorists groups whose goals are to tear down the government. No, Nick Heller isn't scuffling with Bob the accountant, tossing paperclips at each other in the break room either--that would have been boring. Heller does face off with well-trained, well-armed private security personnel and must locate the individuals responsible for the abduction his older brother.

    There's plenty of action, suspense, good humor and mystery to satisfy everyone. The book is a quick read and Heller is a likable character. I'm looking forward to reading the further adventures of Nick Heller.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    Nick Heller Delievers

    I have read all of the Joseph Finder novels and am a huge Jack Reacher fan. Nick Heller, the protagonist, is right up there with the best. This is a very enjoyable escapist read with a terrific hero in Nick Heller. There is a neat twist to the plot and it appears Heller will feature in future books.

    Vanished and Power Play are two of his best books and will give several hours of pleasure to its readers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    FASCINATING...GREAT IMAGINATION!

    I don't usually read this kind of book but I started the first few pages out of curiosity. I was immediately captivated with the storyline and couldn't stop reading. I enjoyed the Washington, D.C. background because I live near there and it kept my heart pounding as I tetered on the edge of my seat all the way through. Fascinating facts along the way...great imagination....Finder is a terrific writer! Well worth your time!

    Another book I thoroughly enjoyed recently, but it's more of a woman's book, but just as suspenseful and exciting, is EXPLOSION IN PARIS by PIRRUNG. Another book well worth your time!! EXPLOSION IN PARIS

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Finder's title 'Vanished', immediately sets a picture in the mind and you want to know who, what,when and why. Like many of his other titles,Zero Hour, Extraordinary Powers and The Moscow Club. The title fires the imagination.

    Best Finder novel yet. Compelling, fast moving. Kept me turning the page far into the night. Full of action and suspense. You'll think you know what is coming next. However, it twists and turns and you guess wrong. The secrets keep piling up and it actually makes the pulse pound. Excellent thriller.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    my book of the year

    Top notch reading for any mystery buff & I just couldn't sit this down on the last 150 pages or so. Lots of twists & turns and some very good character development. Written in 1st person narrative and is an exciting read with good action... tops Power Play IMHO by a small a margin, nice start to a series...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    Good mystery, lots of action and tension. I recommend it for people who like a good whodunit.

    Usually I can figure out who did it at least half-way through the book. With this one, I was surprised time and time again. I definitely want to get the next book that has Nick Heller as the good guy trying to figure out what in the world is going on. I loved that he was so concerned about his brother's family and was willing to do anything to help them, even when the plot thickened and some of the family was more involved than expected. This is my first book of Joseph Finder and I will probably read more of his books as time goes on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    Real characters with just the right amount of flash-bang.

    Modern Agatha Christie that has you analyzing each step and doesn't reveal anything more than what the main character knows. Keeps you trying to ffigure out the end game up till the last pages. Hope to see Nick Heller again. NewPortlandFan

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    Gelati's Scoop

    Last Sunday, I shared with you a series of novels I thought would make you laugh and cringe at the same time. This week I have a novel for you that have recently been released in paperback, Joseph Finder's Vanished. To say I am a fan is an understatement. I have read all his novels and always look forward to the next. So, if you wish, click off here, thinking I am a homer, see you tomorrow, maybe. Me being the Yankees fan I was raised to be, always can find something wrong with things in Boston,haha.
    Vanished is an absorbing read. I am consistently amazed by the element of detail that Joseph Finder adds to his novels. It sets him apart from others in the genre and he seems to raise his game with each new novel. The plot line of Vanished has us experiencing the collision of three fractured, damaged people, in a father and his two sons. The force and speed to which Finder narrates the story puts them on a course that would seemingly find them in an atom smasher. I personally enjoyed the whole thing. Reading about a fast moving train wreck and being an innocent bystander isn't a bad thing when there are no real life fatalities.
    I am hard pressed to name more than a handful of authors that are in Joseph Finders stratus in this genre. Getting a novel of his that one has not read is truly a pleasure. If you haven't discovered him for whatever reason, do yourself a favor and pick up any of his many titles. Here are a few: Paranoia, Power Play, Killer Instinct, Company Man, No Hiding Place. I don't hesitate to say to put them in your Goodreads or Shelfari -to read - lists. FYI- for Finder fans , if you didn't know, he is one of the contributing authors of a short story to the Agents of Treachery novel that was recently released. You can check our archives for my thoughts on that. Joseph Finder's newest novel, Buried Secrets, is due out in the spring of 2011, which I look forward to reading.

    What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook & Linkedin. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, and the Gelati's Scoop Facebook Fan Page. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati's Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day.
    http://www.gelatisscopp.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting, but don't get your hopes up on a compelling read.

    When I read the synopsis I was totally intrigued. I thought it would be a page turner, but I was wrong. The plot is interesting. If you're into politics and gov't conspiracies it's a good book. The main character is funny and kicks ass. I was constanyly guessing what would would happen next, but I was usually wrong. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. There is no sexual content, which was a let down (that was one thing I was anticipating). The relationships were interesting.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2009

    Captivating Read

    In Joseph Finder's new book "Vanished," the thriller focuses around Roger Heller and his mysterious disappearance during which his wife Lauren is injured, and following which his brother Nick Heller gets asked by Lauren's teenage son Gabe to investigate. The writing is engaging and the protagonist Nick Heller is a strong character comparable to James Bond-including his penchant for the latest technologies, dangerous situations, and martial arts techniques. What's particularly interesting about the writing is Finder switching from Nick's first person narration, to third person narration surrounding characters like Lauren, Gabe, and Roger's ex co-worker Marjorie. This interesting writing technique, however, is essential to the plot as the reader soon discovers that Nick is really the only trustworthy character in the book. The story line itself successfully builds up throughout the book, as Nick investigates the corrupt business practices of a company linked to the government, an unexpected murder occurs with one of the characters, a car explosion threatens Nick's entire plans, and the one person who might help him is not whom he seems. In fact, with the exception of the protagonist, all of the characters are hiding something which makes this read particularly satisfying. Much of the action is focused around Washington D.C., and characters who are wealthy but often illegally so-such as Nick's and Roger's father Victor Heller who's in jail and among the dark personalities dominating the story. The theme itself is reflective of modern struggles between self-interest and doing the right thing, which creates tension in every scene. Is Lauren really telling Nick everything she knows? Did Roger become a victim knowingly? Are Gabe's and his mother's lives in danger because of their actions? This theme particularly climaxes towards the end of the book, when the chilling truth comes out. Overall, I found this book is a page turner with solid writing and a strong plot that certainly rivals today's movie thrillers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Filled with plausible exhilarating twists, readers will find themselves dropping everything to finish this book in one sitting.

    International corporate security expert Nick Heller is the best at his job. He currently is in California searching for containers filled with billions of dollars taken in Iraq, but stops in his tracks when his fourteen year old nephew Gabe calls hysterically from DC. The kid's stepfather, Nick's brother Roger has vanished and his mother Lauren is in a coma.

    Nick rushes home though he and Roger are not on talking terms since their father was convicted of securities fraud. Nick knows his first priority is to the teen and his mom, but also begins inquiries into his missing brother. He begins to fear his brother was involved in some nasty stuff that threatens his family and apparently ties back to their incarcerated father as well as a dangerous mercenary-for-hire company.

    VANISHED is a fast-paced, action filled thriller that never takes a breather once Gabe contacts his uncle. Nick drops everything to keep his nephew and his comatose sister-in-law safe while searching for his vanished estranged brother, whom he assumes initially, was abducted, but begins to reconsider his premise as he uncovers clues. Filled with plausible exhilarating twists, readers will find themselves dropping everything to finish this book in one sitting.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Gjfh u ghgghtuyigjfh

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    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2013

    VANISHED by Joseph Finder is the first thrilling Nick Heller mys

    VANISHED by Joseph Finder is the first thrilling Nick Heller mystery.  Nick is former Special Services turned corporate intelligence specialist.  He's also, one of two sons of a ruthless white collar, money maker spending the final years of his life in jail.  Nick was working on a case involving billions of dollars of stolen illegal money, when his 14 year old nephew, Gabe,  called asking for help. Gabe's Mom has been attacked and is in the hospital, and Gabe's Dad is missing.  Nick flys immediately to Washington, D.C., to help his brother's family.




    As I've found Joseph Finder's other books to be, there are a number of seemingly unrelated paths being investigated at the same time, that keep his readers thoroughly involved in the story.  This story is deeply immersed in companies and government issues that fit right into our present national and international history,  Greed, lies, misplaced trust, misused intelligence, and family loyalties drive this mystery deep, hard and fast.  Finder definitely knows how to develop scenes with descriptions that push the thrills of his novels into heart racing reading! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Thrilling and funny.

    I read this book in two days. I enjoyed it all the way but I felt a little disappointed at the end.. it ended up so predictable instead of a surprising twist. On the other hand I enjoy Joseph Finder's way of writing. Full of humor and combines thrilling story with funny comments and dialogues. I had fun except for the ending part. Still recommended.

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    This was the 1st Joseph Finder book I read. It started out slow but as i read more it started getting better. It got to a point I couldn't stop reading it. I did go and buy another book by him....Buried Secrets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Great Read!

    I will definitely be following this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Disappointed

    Couldn't make up my mind what type of story this was. If it was action Flynn and Thor do it better. If it was process, DeMille. If it was if it was plot stick with Berry. Ending left me NOT wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    great

    i think this was one of his best

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    Good Read!

    I enjoyed this book and look forward to other books by this author.

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