Vanished by Irene Hannon
Review by Marianne Hooper
Book #1 in the Private Justice Series
Author Irene Hannon often shows up on lists of highly rated Christian fiction. While many readers automatically disregard this genre as being too lightweight, this romantic suspense novel could stand side by side with some of the more well-known secular authors such as J.D. Robb, Linda Howard or Suzanne Brockmann. If you’re looking for hot and steamy with a good story as a backdrop, then you will be disappointed. But, if you are looking for a good suspense story (or series) that will keep you reading into the night, and make your heart flutter just a bit, then I would recommend author Irene Hannon.
Vanished is the first book in the author’s Private Justice Series. The characters include three former members of law enforcement who now operate a private detective agency; a quirky office manager; and in this case an inquisitive journalist.
The journalist, Moira, is driving on a deserted back road on a dark and stormy night, and hits a woman standing in the middle of the road. A good Samaritan comes along, reassures Moira that everything will be okay and she then blacks out. When she wakes up, there is no woman, no good Samaritan, and the road is empty. The stage is set, and Moira reaches out to the private detective agency to help solve the mystery.
The circumstances, characters and the romance elements are woven together to create plenty of interest and suspense to keep you reading. There is a good amount of detail with regard to investigative procedures and medical background which also add interest to the story and raise some questions regarding the morality of some of the characters’ actions. The faith-based issues are woven in, but are not annoying or preachy.
Overall, it is an entertaining and fairly quick read, even if somewhat predictable (damsel in distress; handsome rescuer). Four stars for the entertainment and interest factors, and likeable characters.
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About the reviewer: Marianne has worked in libraries for the past 15 years and loves to read mysteries and thrillers, and listen to history and biography books while gardening or working on her house. She also volunteers for animal rescue groups, and likes to travel, camp and hike.