Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Vanished by Irene Hannon
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"Hannon’s superbly crafted characters are believable, everyday common people we can appreciate and understand. Rich character development continues to be one of her writing hallmarks."
Returning from a late night interview, reporter Moira Harrison finds herself lost on a rural, wooded road. Her car careens across the wet pavement in a harried attempt to avoid hitting a lone figure in the middle of the road. She ends up running into the person and crashes into a tree. In dazed disbelief and confusion, she is comforted by a hooded man who promises to call 911. Waking up an hour or so later, she is alone—no Good Samaritan, no injured person on the road and no emergency help. And yet she cannot ignore, in her mind and heart, what she believes happened.
Now at the top of her priority list is to find anybody who believes her story so she doesn’t go crazy. Cal Burke, a handsome former police detective turned private eye, agrees to take on the case on a pro-bono basis not really sure of what awaits him. For Cal, it doesn’t hurt that Moira is an exceptionally fine looking woman. His two partners continually rib him regarding his motivation. The chilling secrets that will be revealed throughout the investigation will definitely shatter lives.
Once again Hannon hooks her readers with a quick-paced, engaging mystery while tackling some complicated moral issues within these pages. There is an element of predictability as the story of Vanished unfolds. We become privy to the antagonist’s identity during the story which makes it more of a cat-and-mouse game than a mystery.
Hannon’s superbly crafted characters are believable, everyday common people we can appreciate and understand. Rich character development continues to be one of her writing hallmarks. One of the primary characters, Dr. Kenneth Blaine, is a highly respected surgeon and philanthropist. He believes the welfare of God’s children comes first. Deeply troubled and scarred by a childhood memory, he is a study in contradictions.
Themes permeating these pages include the value of means to an end, two-faced deceit, compassionate understanding and redemptive healing. The contrast of belonging to a team who’s looking out for each other and going solo without any backup is clearly presented. I don’t believe my romantic side has been tainted over the years, but some of the love language bordered on silly sappiness.
Hannon has found her niche as an author of more than 40 romance and romantic suspense novels. It would be wise to read all of her stories, preferably one at a time, in your free time!Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.