A tenacious reporter. A skeptical PI. And a secret that will shatter lives.
Reporter Moira Harrison is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a lone figure suddenly appears in the beam of her headlights, Moira slams on her brakes-but it’s too late. She feels the solid thump against the side of her car before crashing into a tree on the far side of the road.
A man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then the world fades to black. When she comes to, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person. But she can’t forget the look of terror she saw on that face in the instant before her headlights swung away. And she can’t get anyone to believe her story-except maybe a handsome ex–homicide detective turned private eye, who reluctantly agrees to take on the case.
As clues begin to surface, it becomes obvious that someone doesn’t want this mystery solved-and will stop at nothing to protect a shocking secret.
How would I feel if I believed I’d hit someone with my car but there was no sign of them? How would I feel if I believed I was about to be rescued only to realize I’d been left? I’d probably be mad about the abandonment, but I’d be far more concerned about the person I believed I’d hit. What if people tried to tell me I’d probably hit a deer, when I know what a deer looks like and how it moves? This is what drew me into Irene Hannon’s newest release, Vanished.
I’ve read books by Hannon before, so I recognized the name of Cole Taylor when it came up on page 26. He was a main character in Lethal Legacy, the last of her Guardians of Justice trilogy. I briefly wondered if I’d missed something, but it seems Taylor’s name is an inconsequential name drop moment. We learn early on that the investigator, Cal Burke, is somewhat damaged goods as he’s still emotionally attached to his late wife. Moira’s most recent relationship ended when her guy cheated on her so trust is an issue. Still, those often mentioned reporter’s instincts won’t allow her to leave things alone, even when life takes a dangerous turn.
Approximately halfway through I thought I had the plot figured out. I knew who the bad guy was; it was just a matter of figuring out the motive. There’s an important flashback scene which does explain a lot. But, like the characters in the book, I didn’t have it in me to believe the bad guy was actually evil. I wanted to believe he was more misguided. After that, it was a matter of letting the plot play out. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say the woman gets into trouble and the man has to rescue her. It is, after all, a bit of a plot cliché. But when all was said and done, I still had a major question: why was the bad guy driven to do what he did? What was so important about his cause?
This is Christian fiction, but I was concerned about the amount of lying that was done during the investigation. Cal plays a number of different characters in order to get information, and persuades Moira to do the same on one occasion. Moira raises her concern regarding the issue at one point, but Cal brushes it off. It’s not illegal and the end justifies the means. Moira seemed to accept the reasoning, but I had a hard time with it. Does the end always or ever justify the means?
Ultimately, the bad guy is stopped and we do get the requisite happy ever after. Since this is the first book of the new Private Justice series, there will probably be mentions of Cal and Moira in the other two books. And, although this isn’t one of those books that made me go, “Wow!” I expect I’ll pick up and read the others whenever they’re released.
Publication Date: 01 January 2013
Page Count: 314
Thank you to Revell for my free copy of Vanished, which I received in exchange for an honest review.