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A book by Joseph Finder

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"See, that's my problem...I get my hooks into something, I can't stop"

  • Jul 3, 2009
  • by
The thriller genre is hip-deep in strong, resourceful men with murky pasts and hearts of gold. Some of these men are "keepers," breaking your heart from time to time but really always there for you. I won't infuriate anyone by naming a few and leaving out your favorites, but I think my first was John D. MacDonald's "beach bum" Travis McGee (if you don't count Frank and Joe Hardy, who technically didn't have the murky past).

Best-selling author Joseph Finder has until now populated his books with regular people from the corporate world, but Vanished (Nick Heller) is the debut of a new guy in town. According to his Twitter page (I'm not making this up), Nick Heller describes himself as "Intelligence investigator, security consultant, fixer, ex-military. Knows where the bodies are buried." Something tells me that the Nick Heller franchise is going to be a big deal in the genre. Don't miss this chance to get in at the beginning!

In this debut thriller, Heller's brother Roger vanishes late at night in Washington, DC, and his wife Lauren is assaulted. Heller gets pulled in by his step-nephew, Gabe, a graphic-novelist with a murky past ... well, no, but he's a terrific mix of teen angst and a heart of gold. The roots of the case lie in big-corporation misdeeds and become entangled with Heller's top-drawer investigative firm. I don't have to tell you that everyone owes Heller a favor and he can command any investigative resource with a speed-dial phone call. The man is fearless! His willingness to walk into the jaws of the enemy will amaze and impress you.

But don't for a minute think that Nick Heller is a two-dimensional superhero. "Vanished" weaves just enough personal history into the story to make him surprisingly plausible; there is a father in prison for corporate fraud, early years of wealth that left Nick impervious to its appeal but his brother Roger insatiable for more. Finder's style and pace are flawless; if you've read his earlier books (Power Play, Killer Instinct, and Company Man among them) you already know how well he writes, and how plausibly he portrays a dark side to corporate power. The only thing we could have wished for was a continuing character, and now we have him in Nick Heller. I can't wait to see what Finder gives us next in this series! There is already audio and I hear that we may get a look at young Gabe's graphic novels, which feature (surprise!) a hero modeled on Uncle Nick. Can a movie be far behind?

Get your hands on this smart, readable five-star thriller and get ready to turn the pages until you reach the satisfying conclusion.

Linda Bulger, 2009

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More Vanished reviews
review by . August 29, 2011
Someone attacks Lauren Heller when she and her husband are out to dinner in Georgetown. When she wakes up in the hospital she finds that Roger has vanished.    Robger's brother Nick is a former Special Forces member who is now an investigator for Stoddard Associates. He just prevented the theft of a cargo from a plane in a regional airport near L.A. The cargo was a large amount of money.    Roger is a chief financial officer at Gifford Industries. He carries …
review by . December 23, 2009
I know my heading is kind of weird. But then again Vanished is a bit odd. Too many oddities to the character development. Its a little odd that Roger and Nick Heller are estranged yet Nick on behalf of his sister in law and nephew decide to look into the case. Some compelling moments where Nick battles with some corproate thugs. However there are other moments of dead space between the pages. Still more moments of unnecessary complexities involving father Victor Heller.     The …
review by . July 20, 2009
In my opinion, Joseph Finder is the preeminent writer of thrillers concerning corporate intrigue at work today. It is not easy to write a thriller, but to write one that involves corporations and business dealings, and make it interesting, requires a very special talent which Mr. Finder appears to have in abundance.    His earlier works were "stand alone" books, not dependant upon each other for story continuity. This newest book introduces us to Nick Heller, and he is to be …
review by . July 25, 2009
I've *really* been looking forward to the latest by Joseph Finder... Vanished. I actually received an autographed copy from him (yeah, yeah, full disclosures and all that stuff), and it was immediately moved to the top of my "start reading" pile(s). A day later, it was done. REALLY good! Nick Heller, the main character in Vanished, is someone who can go in so many directions in future novels. I can see him becoming a franchise character for Finder much like Coben has Bolitar and Lee Child has Reacher. …
review by . June 27, 2009
***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT******    Nick Heller has had little use for his family. His father, convicted of federal crimes, will likely spend the remainder of his life behind bars. And he and his brother Roger have not had much to do with each other....and then he gets The Call.  The Call comes from Roger's stepson Gabe. Gabe's mother Lauren (Roger's wife) is lying in a DC hospital in a comatose state, after the couple are accosted in Georgetown; Roger, Nick's estranged …
About the reviewer
Linda Bulger ()
Ranked #149
When I love a book, I want to wave it in somebody's face and say "Look! Read this!" The internet was made for people like me, don't you think? The lunch.com crowd seems friendly enough...   … more
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Book Description
Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. And in his line of work, it's essential. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator--exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He's a guy you don't want to mess with. He's also the man you call when you need a problem fixed.

Desperate, with nowhere else to run, Nick's nephew, Gabe makes that call one night. After being attacked in Georgetown, his mother, Lauren, lies in a coma, and his step-dad, Roger, Nick's brother, has vanished without a trace.

Nick and Roger have been on the outs since the arrest, trial, and conviction of their father, the notorious "fugitive financier," Victor Heller. Where Nick strayed from the path, Roger followed their father's footsteps into the corporate world. Now, as Nick searches for his brother, he's on a collision course with one of the most powerful corporations in the world--and they will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Joseph Finder on Finding a Hero for Vanished
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ISBN-10: 0312379080
ISBN-13: 978-0312379087
Author: Joseph Finder
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

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