Laura Griffin never knew raising a teenager would be so hard. But after her free-wheeling mother's death, the public library director agrees to take in 16 year old Darcy, who is her half-sister.
Streetwise Darcy and Laura clash constantly...until one evening after arriving home from work, Laura finds a note on Darcy's bed - she has run away. Unsure where to begin, Laura calls Darcy's classmate Danny Martin - whose older sister is the administrative assistant for the Phoenix Inc private investigation firm.
These private investigators are different from most...they all have law enforcement backgrounds, they were classmates in college, and they are all Irish. Their motto is "Justice First" - and they are determined to solve cold cases that law enforcement simply does not have the resources to probe. As a result, they are on very good terms with their local law enforcement.
This particular book focuses on James Devlin, the mischief maker of the group. In the first book of this series, "Vanished", it is hinted on that something happened to Dev during his days as an undercover ATF agent. As a result, he has lost much of his carefree attitude and feels that God is disgusted with we humans in general.
Dev is assigned to Laura's case. Although he usually dates superficial party girl types, he is quite attracted to the librarian - who also has some surprising secrets of her own.
As the days tick by with no sign of finding Darcy, Laura becomes discouraged. But, through a homeless man and a chatty daycare employee, the Phoenix PIs discover the local daycare director - who seems a pillar of the community - is actually hiding many evil secrets. His basement is a chamber of horrors and he is always looking for a girl to "save". And now he has found Darcy....
As with all of her books, Irene creates characters so believable you feel like you could converse with them (I was yelling at Darcy "Do NOT go in the basement!") Mark Hamilton, the daycare director, is OCD to the nth degree. He makes Captain Ahab look normal. This character is something out of "Criminal Minds". He is truly a freak and has been Irene's scariest villain to date.
One of the best parts of this series is the verbal sparring between Dev and Nicki (the administrative assistant. Please, Irene, keep this going...it is absolutely priceless and brings needed comic relief. The banter between the three guys and the hapless Nicki (who tries to teach them the niceties of life beyond McDonald's burgers and U2)is great as well.
The romance between Dev and Laura was wonderful.....and the mentions of Cal's wife Moira (from "Vanished") also adds a nice continuity to the series. I am already anxious to read Connor's story and am just disappointed I must wait until next summer.
Captivating mystery/thriller. I enjoyed following their search for evidence, it was intriguing how very insignificant little detail can be so vital to solve a mystery. But I felt terrible for the doctor, he was great doc, and very compassionate person. If not for his selfish father who should have known that when your child idolizes you every word you say is a law to him, he shouldn't have made him administer that morphine. Its a lesson to you parents-- children are very impressionate and something that means little to you can mean a world to them.
Can you imagine knowing that you hit someone with your car, but when help finally arrives there is no evidence of it? How about being a renowned investigative reporter and still have people doubt what you claim? At some point I think you would even begin to doubt yourself. Thankfully Moira turns to a very capable and handsome I might add private investigator and his team to solve this mystery.
Throughout the story the reader really does know what is going on but you continue to wonder if the killer is going to get away with it. I completely enjoyed the journey through this tale. The romance was nice and it felt like it progressed at the appropriate rate considering both of the character's backgrounds.
What I really enjoyed were the authentic and plausible details that were uncovered throughout the story. I don't think that I ever felt sorry for the doctor but I did appreciate all the background detail that led up to the crime involving Moira. The author did a great job of displaying how we as humans can rationalize even the most heinous actions by thinking we are doing what God would have us to do.
If you are looking for a book that is fast paced, suspense filled and has a little romance thrown in then you need to pick this book up. It is book one in the series and I personally can't wait for book two!
I received a copy of this book in order to fascilitate my review.
On a dark and stormy night Moira Harrison finds her self lost on a back road, when suddenly the form of a woman is illuminated in her headlights. Moira swerves off the road in an effort to avoid the woman, but right before she crashes into a tree along the side of the road, she heard the sickening thud. But when help comes hours later there is no body? Not a trace. Where did it go?
Irene Hannon's newest book is different from her previous novels in that instead of being a Crime Mystery/Suspense, Vanished strikes me as a chilling thriller. Though it is a little different in the general flow of the story compared to Ms. Hannon's other novels, it is the same in that it was impossible to put down!
This definitely had the chills coursing done my spine, because it was one of those stories where I knew who that bad guy was and what he was doing, but the other characters didn't know. So throughout the book I was like, "Don't trust them!" "Don't go with them!"
Overall, an action packed read that is nearly impossible to put down. I'm already dying to read the next book in the series! A thrilling read that won't disappoint!
"Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!