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A book by Joseph Finder

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Nick Heller could easily become Finder's franchise character...

  • Jul 25, 2009
  • by
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.

In Vanished, the story starts out with Roger Heller, Nick's estranged brother, disappearing after his wife is mugged when they are out for a dinner together. Lauren Heller wakes up in the hospital with no clue as to what happened (or why), and no answers as to what happened to her husband. Her son, Gabe, calls his uncle, Nick, to help find his stepdad. It's a good choice, as Nick works for a investigation firm that has incredible resources at their beck and call. Regardless of how Nick feels about Roger, he starts hunting for Roger more for Gabe than anyone else. It appears that Roger disappeared due to something he uncovered in his job as a mergers and acquisitions expert for a worldwide company. But the deeper Nick digs, the more things don't add up. And it may well be that more than one group is involved in Roger's disappearance, or at least wants to find him in order to make sure he's dead.

Vanished starts off fast, and doesn't slow down much. The interaction between Nick and Gabe is quite authentic given the characteristics that Finder gave them, and Nick's continually shifting view of Lauren kept me on edge as to how much she may or may not know about what actually happened. Nick has a perfect mix of hard-nosed attitude and realistic humanity, which made it easy to root for him as the hero. And twists? They just keep coming... I didn't know how this one was going to turn out until the very end.

If you've read Finder's previous novels, you'll want to read this one too. If this is your first intro to Finder, you're in for a treat. And since this is the introduction of a new character, you don't have to pick up any of his previous novels in order to jump in. But you'll want to get those after this one... :)

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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 03, 2009
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 …
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
Thomas Duff ()
Ranked #42
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … 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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