Journalist Moira Harrison is driving home from an interview along a strange road in a storm when she hits a woman standing in the path of her car. She spins off the road and almost immediately a man comes to check she is all right and says he will call 911. But she loses consciousness and when she wakes, the man and the woman have both Vanished.
Worried, she enlists the help of private detective Cal Burke, of Phoenix Inc., to help her find the woman. Cal is a widower who, five years after the death of his wife, is still having trouble moving on. He is no longer mourning, but doesn't seem to know how to move forward. Moira is man-shy after finding her fiancé was cheating on her. So although they are attracted to each other, they both have histories to get past before thinking of a relationship.
Although we don’t know exactly what happened, the villain is identified fairly early on in Vanished, so much of the suspense is drawn from the reader knowing some of what he is thinking and doing, and wondering whether Moira and Cal will find him.
One ongoing annoyance was the way Cal decided Moira was a serious journalist with a good reputation because she’d been “nominated for a Pulitzer”. There’s an internet joke that anyone can be nominated for the Pulitzer – all you have to do is pay the $50 entry fee. A quick online check found that this isn’t far from the truth. Technically, anyone who has paid the $50 is a Pulitzer entry, and a jury then nominate three entries as finalists. But Wikipedia has examples of journalists referring to themselves as “nominees” when they were, in fact, only entrants. It’s not a major issue, it’s just one of those annoying little glitches that pulled me up every time I read it.
Vanished is the first book in Irene Hannon’s new Private Justice series. I really enjoyed her Heroes of Quantico trilogy, but found the Guardians of Duty trilogy to be very much the same. I was hoping that Vanished and Private Justice will see Hannon return to form. It’s better, but the romance has an air of predictability about it and the Christian elements are very understated, which combine to make Vanished good, but not great. Anyone looking for a light, clean romantic suspense should enjoy Vanished.
Thanks to Revell and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Irene Hannon at her website.