Vanishing Act (Jane Whitefield Series #1)

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Overview

Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads solitary outcasts through hostile territory to escape the vengeance of their enemies. But the shaded forest paths her Seneca ancestors might have followed on such missions have all been converted to superhighways, and now the safest way stations are crowded urban buildings that offer the camouflage of anonymity. Still, the supply of runaways - and the need for a woman who will take risks to save them - have never been greater. Jane knows all the tricks; in ...
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Vanishing Act (Jane Whitefield Series #1)

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Overview

Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads solitary outcasts through hostile territory to escape the vengeance of their enemies. But the shaded forest paths her Seneca ancestors might have followed on such missions have all been converted to superhighways, and now the safest way stations are crowded urban buildings that offer the camouflage of anonymity. Still, the supply of runaways - and the need for a woman who will take risks to save them - have never been greater. Jane knows all the tricks; in fact, she has invented several of them herself in the ten years she has been teaching fugitives to live with new identities. Many of her clients have been innocent people whom the institutions of society have been too slow and cumbersome to protect, but an increasing number have been like the gambler Harry Kemple: people who aren't especially admirable, but who aren't bad enough to deserve to die prematurely. Jane opens her door to find in her house an uninvited visitor named John Felker, the latest to run to her for sanctuary. He was sent, he says, by the long-vanished Harry: "He knew I was in trouble. He told me that if I needed to disappear, there was a door out of the world. He told me that this is where it was." Felker is not like the others Jane has helped, and everything about him is disquieting. He doesn't even know whom he is running from, only that whoever is framing him as an embezzler has already circulated an open contract in the prison system for his death. Maybe his problems began years ago, when he was a policeman; a good cop makes an enemy with each arrest. But perhaps he is still a policeman and has invented precisely the right story to entrap Jane. Or perhaps he is something even worse. The unexpected guest draws this exceptional woman into an adventure of mystery, love and sacrifice, betrayal and vengeance, and propels her on a pursuit that takes her from the night streets of Los Angeles and Vancouver to the dark, unexplored regions of h

A page-turning thriller from the bestselling author of Butcher's Boy. Jane Whitfield makes people disappear. A Native American, she is expert in creating a new identity and life for people who need it. But her latest client is not whom he appears to be. Whitfield tackles this most mysterious of cases with cunning and a deeply-rooted ancestral understanding of the natural world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Perry's sixth novel (after Sleeping Dogs) is a taut thriller that at times reads like an extended, though flawed, character study of its heroine. Jane Whitefield, half-white, half-Indian member of the Seneca Wolf clan, helps people disappear-people like Rhonda Eckerly, fleeing her abusive husband, or Harry Kemple, hoping to stay alive after witnessing a gangland shooting. Like a one-woman witness protection program, Jane has helped both vanish by giving them new identities and new starts at life. Now an alleged new victim has invaded Jane's upstate New York house: John Felker claims that he's a cop-turned-accountant, is being framed as an embezzler and has a contract out on his life. Almost immediately, the men chasing Felker appear, and Jane leads him farther upstate, to a Canadian Indian reservation where he can build a new life. Jane is an original and fascinating creation. Like Andrew Vachss's series hero, Burke, she operates outside the law, but with a particular slant born of her distinct character and Seneca heritage. Perry tells her story in a trim and brisk manner, moreover, with plenty of action and suspense. It takes Jane far longer than it will most readers to figure out that Felker is other than what he says, however, and while her trusting nature, which borders on gullibility, generates tension, it doesn't mesh with her hard-boiled profession and hunter-like wiles. It's only when the truth behind Felker is revealed, and Jane acts decisively on it, that most readers will regain the respect they've lost for this otherwise likable and unusually intriguing heroine. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Perry is best known for his antihero comic thrillers like Metzger's Dogs (LJ 9/15/83) and The Butcher's Boy (LJ 8/82). Here he has a new hero, a woman who draws on the strengths of her upstate New York Native American tradition to guide those in trouble to safety by creating new identities for them. Her latest case involves an ex-cop turned accountant who has been set up to take a dive for an unknown enemy. After an opening that is a graphic grabber, the cop's recounting of his story and Jane's deciphering of it from her point of view are almost too convoluted. Once the action gets going, however, Perry is back on track, though this novel lacks the comic twists that earmarked his earlier works. The ending is a stunner, with Jane and the bad guy battling it out Indian-like in the North Woods (read the Adirondacks). A cut above average, but not Perry's best. Buy where nonformula thrillers are popular. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/94.]-Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
School Library Journal
YA-The protagonist in this convoluted tale of intrigue and suspense is Jane Whitefield, who helps people start new lives by acquiring new identities. She is drawn to John Felker, an ex-cop turned accountant who has been set up to take an embezzlement rap. Jane and Felker embark on an adventure that leads them from New York to Vancouver, from California to the Adirondacks. Somewhere along the way, the roles of hunter and hunted become blurred and Jane must call upon the wisdom of her Seneca ancestors to survive this latest vanishing act. A thriller with wide appeal.-Pamela B. Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Emily Melton
A battered wife needs a safe haven from her violent husband. A card shark who has gone too far craves the safety of anonymity. A young boy, tired of being a pawn in a bitter custody battle, wants to escape into a new identity. Jane Whitefield, a tough, smart, resourceful woman with a strong Native American heritage, can help. She knows all the tricks it takes to make someone disappear. Her latest case is one John Felker, who has been accused of ripping off big bucks from his employer and needs to acquire a new identity, at least until things cool off. Even though Felker's story doesn't quite add up, Jane finds herself strongly attracted to him. Unfortunately, her attraction overwhelms her judgment, and it's only after Felker has disappeared that she finds he's not been completely honest about his background. Jane sets out on a journey to find the truth about Felker--a journey that will take her from Canada to California and that will end in violence in the dark forests of upstate New York. A suspenseful and satisfying thriller.
From the Publisher
"Bean's performance is an act that's hard to follow. She's highly believable as Whitefield and modulates the story's emotional ups and downs easily." —-AudioFile
From Barnes & Noble
Jane Whitefield, a Native American guide who secretly provides sanctuary to fugitives seeking new identities, helps John Felker, who draws her into a dangerous world where she must use the knowledge of her ancestors to escape.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679435365
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/31/1995
  • Series: Jane Whitefield Series , #1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 289
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Perry is the author of many critically acclaimed novels, including the Edgar Award–winning The Butcher's Boy and the national bestsellers Death Benefits and Pursuit.

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to being an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, she has been nominated multiple times for a prestigious Audie Award, including for Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2002

    WOW----It Will Knock your socks off

    I have been looking for a good mystery series to read, and a relative told me about Thomas Perry... I wasn't sure I'd like his books, because I don't usually read the same things that she does; however, she insisted I take the first two books of the Jane Whitefield series with me on vacation over Christmas break. I read both of them in three days, and wanted more. This book is good, but the second one is even better. I can't wait to read the rest of them. These are better than anything out there! I started getting really bored with other authors, because of the lack of imagination that seems to be so commonplace in novels, but with Thomas Perry, you can tell that he really KNOWS how to write, how to use the English language, and how to kep reeling you in.... He is incredible! If you are looking for a really great book, start with this one, it's the first in a series.... (I think there are 4).......and I know you won't be disappointed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Pure Genius!

    Wow! This book grabs you by the throat from the first page and never lets up! I couldn't put it down; tons of non-stop action, suspensful twists, fascinating characters and an orignal plot set against an intriguing background. Perry's writing is nothing short of phenomenal; this was the first of his books that I've read but not the last.
    If you like this book, you should also try the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2007

    I loved it!!

    This is a super book. I love the whole Jane Whitefield series, and so does my husband. I have also read all of Mr. Perry's other books, and loved them all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    A twist on a mystery. It sneaks up on you.

    Jane helps people run away from their current lives and arrive at a place where they can start anew. Is the man she is currently helping really evading those who want to kill him or is he trying to locate another? Jane is a Seneca Indian and there is a good deal of interesting Native American lore included.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended- couldnt put it down

    So happy to discover this first book of a series. Just when you think you have figured out the next step Perry throws another surprise into the mix.
    I also enjoyed the upstate New York references. The touches of ancient Indian lore enhance the main character. Can't wait to start book #2.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    Anon

    Just finished rereading the entire Jane Whitefield series and enjoyed it as much as the first time several years ago. The character of Jane is just so unusual. The plotlines, while always involving someone fleeing certain death or mayhem, are all very individual. Only problem is I couldn't seem to get anything else done until I had finished them all!

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