Vanished

( 33 )

Overview

Seven years ago, Sarah Mason?s five-year-old daughter vanished during an outing at a park in Beaufort, South Carolina. Despite a frantic search, little Lexie was never found, and Sarah was left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and go on the best she could.

Then, one hot August night, Sarah comes home to hear the phone ringing. When she picks it up, a child?s terrified voice whispers, ?Mommy, help, come and get me . . .? The call is cut off, but not before Sarah?s ...

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Overview

Seven years ago, Sarah Mason’s five-year-old daughter vanished during an outing at a park in Beaufort, South Carolina. Despite a frantic search, little Lexie was never found, and Sarah was left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and go on the best she could.

Then, one hot August night, Sarah comes home to hear the phone ringing. When she picks it up, a child’s terrified voice whispers, “Mommy, help, come and get me . . .” The call is cut off, but not before Sarah’s heart goes into overdrive: she is sure the voice belonged to Lexie. Five-year-old Lexie. Though seven years have passed, she sounds exactly the same.

Frantic, Sarah turns to the police, the FBI, and her co-workers at the County Prosecutor’s office, none of whom takes the call seriously. The only person she can count on to help her is Jake Hogan, her closest friend in the world, the man who has provided a strong shoulder for her to lean on throughout the long search. A former FBI agent, Jake is now a P.I., and though he is skeptical about the authenticity of the call, the attraction he feels for Sarah pushes him to help her. He is convinced someone is deliberately tormenting the grief-stricken mother.

Their long friendship explodes into a romance as they try to figure out who, and why - and what happened to Lexie. When the torment escalates to murder, Jake is the only one who can keep Sarah safe. Together, they are caught up in a nightmare search for Lexie that just might end with Sarah’s death.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
New York Times–bestselling author Karen Robards delivers an action-packed, adrenaline-laced thriller in this story of Sarah Mason, forced to relive her worst nightmare -- the kidnapping of her young daughter, Lexie, seven years ago. It starts when Sarah, who works in the county prosecutor's office, gets a call for help from a young child who sounds just like her daughter Lexie when she was five. Is Sarah finally cracking up? The only one to believe her story about the call is her best friend, Jake Hogan, a P.I. Their investigation into the call and what really happened to Lexie unearths some dangerous secrets in the town and kicks off a passionate romance between Jake and Sarah. As usual, Robards knows just how to keep the heart pounding and the pages turning. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Robards (Superstition) opens her latest romantic thriller with a bang by placing her heroine, assistant district attorney Sarah Mason of Beaufort County, S.C., in the midst of a convenience store robbery gone wrong. A cashier is shot to death, Mason is wounded in the head and a young girl, who was hiding in the store during the gunplay, vanishes. Mason, who has thrown herself into her work with a vengeance since the disappearance of her five-year-old daughter, Lexie, 10 years earlier, becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. The action rarely lets up, except for the many sexually charged scenes devoted to Mason's initially platonic relationship with PI Jake Hogan, "the closest thing to family" she has left, who worked as a detective on Lexie's case and who routinely comes to her rescue during this new case. The plot, with its suggestions that the holdup was not a random act and eerie phone calls apparently from a Lexie who hasn't aged, will keep readers turning the pages. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
(See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423305576
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/25/2006
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 11
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 2.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Robards is the author of more than thirty novels, most recently the New York Times bestseller Pursuit. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Interviews & Essays

Heart to Heart Interview with Karen RobardsHeart to Heart: We love Vanished. It has such an adrenaline, ripped-from-the-headlines feel to it. How do you sustain this tension as you work on a book like this? Do you have the plot figured out from the beginning, or do things evolve as you go along? Karen Robards: Thanks so much for the kind words about Vanished. I really enjoyed writing it, and it's always great to know that other people like what you do. As for sustaining the tension, I think it's all character-driven. As a writer, I create a character, in this case Sarah, and then try to get inside her skin. I feel her emotions -- loss, terror, love, resolve -- and do my best to convey them to the reader. When I start, I have a basic idea of where the plot is headed, but twists and turns crop up along the way that surprise even me. The book is a work in progress -- a journey -- until the very last page. HtoH: There are some wonderful stories about your early writing days. Can you tell us how you came to write your first romance, "Sex and the Pirate Ship"? KR: As a law student who discovered that law school was not what I'd thought it was going to be, I took a graduate-level creative writing course to keep my sanity. The assignment for that course was to write 50 pages of something publishable. What was "publishable" at that time were historical romances -- it was the era of Sweet Savage Love. I had never read one -- I thought I was way too intellectual to read books with titles like that -- but I bought several and read them. And you know what? They were great. I loved them. And I thought, I can do that. So I did, or at least I tried. I wrote 50 pages of a historical romance that I called "The Pirate's Woman." ("Sex and the Pirate Ship" was my joking title for it.) I really wanted to do a good job and get a good grade in the class, so I put everything into those 50 pages: action, adventure, snappy dialogue -- and sex. Lots and lots of sex. Then, along about Thanksgiving, the professor, in an "oh, by the way" moment, mentioned that we were going to have to read our creations out loud. In front of the whole class. I almost died. There was no help for it, however. It was too late to write anything else. Anyway, I was sure my stuff was good. Just -- ahem! -- maybe a little sexy. What I didn't know was that everyone else had written the Great American Novel, full of meaning and symbolism and all that good stuff. By the time it was my turn to read, though, I had figured it out, to my great dismay. There was no turning back at that point. It was, as I said, too late. When the time came, I stood up in front of the class and read "The Pirate's Woman" with my best dramatic inflection. I gave it my all. When I finished and looked up at last, it was to find the entire class staring at me. Wide-eyed. Open-mouthed. (Did I mention that it was a small class, maybe 12 or so students, approximately 11 of whom were male?) And you know what I (poor naive kid) thought when I found them staring google-eyed at me? I thought, they loved it. I've really wowed them. Then they started to laugh. They laughed until they were practically falling off their chairs. The professor, too. Finally he stopped laughing long enough to say, "Karen, you're a really good writer, but we've got to do something about your choice of reading material." Just for the record, I sold that book two years later. It was published in 1981 as Island Flame, and it is still in print today. Check out those first 50 pages. They're still the same. HtoH: Tell us about the books that have meant something to you in your early stages as a writer -- and which authors you enjoy reading now.

KR: I've always been a reader. I love books, and reading is as much a part of me as breathing. I read anything and everything. As a girl, I loved Wuthering Heights and Gone with the Wind. I loved A Wrinkle in Time. I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond. When I discovered historical romances, I loved those. And Regencies! I've always been a huge fan of Regencies. Mysteries. Horror. Science fiction. Now that I have children of my own, I read aloud to them. (My youngest is ten.) We're big fans of Harry Potter and Cornelia Funke's books (Inkheart plays a pivotal role in Vanished). Right now we're reading Kenneth Oppel's series, Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing. They are as enjoyable as any books I've read in a long time. I like nonfiction too, and biographies. As I said, anything and everything.

HtoH: What are you working on now? And what's the next book we'll see in the stores?

KR: I'll have another thriller, as yet untitled, out next spring. Readers can find out the title, etc., by checking out my web site, www.karenrobards.com. I'll post details as soon as they're available.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Great book

    Wow this was a great book i love her work i am 11 and this is my first of her books great way to get started though. 5year old lexie was kidnapped when she went down the street to get some b-day cake and so 7 years later sara turns to her best friend jake hogan a FBI agent so then when sara went into the pik-quik to get some dog food she got involved in a violant shooting and 2 weeks after that she starts getting phone calls from lexie but is it really lexie????????????????? YOU WILL HAVE TO READ AND FIND OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! But do u have the guts to read this well ploted horrer/mistery story???????? (Sorry for the bad spelling i am only 11)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    What was she thinking with this ending?

    I bought this book in a Barnes & Noble store with a gift card. When I came home & read the reviews I figured it would be awful. But it¿s not. Sarah Mason is a county prosecutor. Seven years ago her 5 year old daughter, Lexie, was kidnapped. When all else failed, Sarah turned to PI Jake Hogan to help in the search. Over the years they became best friends but at some time Jake realized he wanted more although Sarah was oblivious. Sarah allows herself no pleasures, barely eating or sleeping and throws all into her job. Her house is barely furnished. She doesn¿t feel she should have any happiness as she didn¿t know what Lexie had suffered. Sarah thinks she should be punished for Lexie¿s kidnapping because she should have been able to do something. Now she¿s a victim of a violent crime and begins receiving phone calls, etc. supposedly from or involving Lexie. Jake was an alpha male but not obnoxious about it, and was a softie at heart. OK, I have to admit Sarah didn¿t sound real attractive considering she was 5¿4¿ and 103 lbs, that¿s borderline skeletal. I¿m not quite 5¿1¿ and weigh 106. Also Jake¿s affairs with ever younger blond bimbos smacked of a mid life crisis. His current was 25 to his 39. A couple more years and she would have literally been young enough to be his daughter! Ick! But his devotion to, and love for, Sarah was touching and he did all he could do to protect and care for her. And yes Lexie was mentioned a lot but the story revolved around her kidnapping so that was understandable. However, the ending was absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable. It was as if the writer wanted to wrap everything up in a pretty bow at the end instead of following the rhythm of the rest of the book. This nearly ruined the whole book for me! If Chapter 25 would have been left out it would have been a five.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Must read

    Karen Robards writes a good story that keeps a reader turning the page and takes them through the character's reasoning of why they do what they do! Good book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    roller coaster of emotions!

    Once again, Karen Robards hits it on the head! A book full of emotions ... definitely reccomend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Not one of her best

    The plot was ok. I understand what was being said and how it is suppose to be read, but I think the lives of the characters were kind of out there. The ending is suppose to be a happy one, but just kind of falls short. It drops the love story and then when we continue the other it just ends.

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  • Posted May 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    On the fence

    This was my first Robards book. Though I did enjoy the story and as a mother I felt Sarah's pain this book was way too wordy...the story could've been told just as effectively in about 50 fewer pages. The story itself brings forth a lot of emotions and did make me cry. However, when Lexie's fate was revealed I thought I was going to vomit. I just couldn't believe that the writer went "there" even though she didn't give details about it, it doesn't take a genius to put 2 and 2 together.

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  • Posted December 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book!

    This was an excellent read, I always like how Karen Robards writes suspensful books but still manages to have a love story with some smutty scenes in them. This book you could definetly escape in and I read it in like two days! It kind of kreeped me out when the toys that were packed away from her missing daughter came out and turned on by themselves.....chills, love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    A real page turner!!!!

    I thought this book was excellent. The moment I started it I couldn't put it down. Although the end was a little predictable I still loved it! It did have a lot of love seens in it, if you know what I mean. I have read a few by this author and if you love a good mystery with some steamy stuff mixed in you'll love Karen Robards.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2007

    okay read

    i thought it was a good book.it could have been a great book but the ending was disappointing.not the outcome ,but the book had lots of details thoughout.then the end was very abrupt.its almost like it missed a chapter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    I have read all Karen Robards books, I look forward to them, but this one fell way below her usual standard.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2007

    This is a Good Reading

    This book was good. It was my first Karen Robards book, but the book was a page turner. Those who were left 'in the loop' might want to re-read the book to better understand what the scenes were. it happens sometimes, and some people just need to go back and re-evaluate what portion of the scene needs more attention than the other.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was a little disappointed in the ending. I wanted to know more about what happen once everything was out in the open. I really hope that the characters in this book appear again in another book so that we can see what happens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2006

    BIG BIG DISAPPOINTMENT

    I usually love Karen Robards books but this one was really lousy.. In addition to the story being very fragmented and choppy, the ending left me with so many questions that I was just so frustrated. The reason I even gave it one star was becasue it was Karen Robards. Nowhere near up to the standards of a prolific and long time author as K.R.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    A great read

    Karen Robards has written another pulse pounding thriller in Vanished. ________________________________ District Attorney Sarah Mason barely escapes death in a convenience store hold up. Her closest friend PI Jake Hogan is willing to watch over Sarah as she recovers. ________________________________ Strange things start to happen the most unsettling is a call from Sarah¿s missing child. Lexie was taken over seven years ago and Sarah still hasn¿t gotten over it. _________________________________ Someone wants to traumatize Sarah and Jake is not willing to let anything happen to her. As they dig deeper into the past it is somehow connected to the present. Jake and Sarah¿s friendship takes a deeper turn. Can Jake make Sarah believe in what they have? Will Sarah let go of the past and start to live again? _______________________ Vanished will have you on the edge of your seat from page one. It¿s a non-stop roller coaster ride. Vanished is also sweet, tender and funny. You couldn¿t ask for a better read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2006

    not one of her best

    I felt that the book had a lot of potential in teh beginning but afterwards it became very dry, the story would not come together for me, i felt that parts were missing. Definetly not one of Ms. Robbard's best

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2006

    A Disppointed Fan

    I've read all of Karen Robards books and was anxiously awaiting her latest. I finished it last night and was dumbfounded. This didn't compare with any of her other books. Felt like she had a good start but got weak in the middle and absolutely floundered at the end. As the previous comments noted there was a lack of character development. Interesting subplots were started but no resolution was even hinted at. I hope this is just a blip as her others have been great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    First time reader and....

    I was sorely disappointed. I spent a good hour in the bookstore trying to find a new author that I'd never read before and I even read the first few passages of this book and I thought that it would be perfect... I found myself extremely frustrated with this book. It felt like she spent pages upon pages saying the same thing over and over again... How many ways can you describe a mans body? I actually found myself skpping pages at a time because I just couldn't bare it. It also turned me off to see many typo's... Not expected of a New York Times Bestseller. I am grappling with the idea of even trying any of her other books, but hearing that this was not typical of this author, perhaps I'll give her another try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2006

    Had so much potential....

    I'm usually a huge fan of hers and after reading the online summary was sure this one would be fantastic. However, I was disappointed with the lack of direction of the book and the lack of developement of the characters. It almost seemed if three different stories were running without pulling them all together. I agree with the previous poster that the author seemed to have some trouble with this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2006

    ????

    I picked this book up without question, because simply I have always read all of Ms. Robards novels. However, after reading the whole thing, I don't know what she was thinking. It seemed sloppy and just thrown together at times as if she had a very hard time writing this one. The leading female wasn't so bad and it does seem like it could have gone somewhere, but it didn't.

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