Thursday, August 25, 2011
"Treasure the love you receive about all else. It will survive long after good health has vanished." Og Mandino
In Joseph Finder's novel, "Vanished," someone attacks Lauren Heller while she and her husband, Roger, are out to dinner in Georgetown. Lauren hears Roger shout "Why her?" before she's knocked unconscious. When Lauren wakes up in the hospital, she learns that Roger has disappeared.
Roger's brother, Nick, is a former Special Forces member who is an investigator for Stoddard Associates. As the story begins, he's just prevented the theft of a cargo from a plane in a regional airport near L.A. The cargo that was in question was a large amount of money.
Roger's son, Gabe, gets in touch with Nick and asks him to help. Even though Nick and Roger haven't spoken in years, Nick is fond of Lauren and Nick so he agrees to try to find Roger.
Roger's position is chief financial officer of Gifford Industries and carries the burden of his father's crime. His and Nick's father is in jail for insider trading and securities fraud. Wanting to erase the memory of his father's crime, Roger has been extra diligent in his job.
Lauren also works for Gifford Industries as the executive secretary for the CEO, Leland Gifford. She admits to Nick that Roger told her that he had found something but wouldn't say just what it was. However, she knew it involved a great deal of money. She also admits that Roger may have let the people who were responsible for the espionage know of his discovery. She fears these people may have kidnapped Roger.
As Nick investigates, he finds that there is a corporation similar to Blackwater, that provides government security in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Much of their activities involves bribes to officials in those countries and sometimes to people in the U.S. Nick finds that military looking people are following him as he begins to find out things about Roger's past and could even involve his father.
This is an intelligently written financial thriller. There is good action and Nick is an excellent character somewhat like Lee Child's protagonist, Jack Reacher. Overall, I found the story to be cleverly plotted and suspenseful. I look forward to reading more of Nick Heller's exploits in future stories.
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