Customer Reviews: Vanish
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on August 24, 2005
Medical examiner Maura Isles is called to examine the body of a beautiful, nameless woman but she

gets the shock of her life when the corpse opens her eyes...

The woman, who mistakenly was pronounced dead, is rushed to the hospital where doctors scramble

to help her, but things turn deadly as she steals a guard's gun, kills him, and takes hostages. One of the hostages is none other than detective Jane Rizzoli who is on the verge of going into labor.

As things begin to spiral more out of control, the crazed woman calls a local radio station with

a simple message "The die is cast."

Now it's up to Jane's husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean to use all of his negotiating and investigative skills

to get his wife and child out of this alive.

'Vanish' is the best novel Tess Gerritsen has written and one of the finest thrillers to come out in a long time.

From page one the reader is pulled into a tension filled novel that surprises with each new plot twist. Combining well-drawn characters with expert plotting 'Vanish' is a novel that begs to be read in one sitting.

This is a page-turner of the first order and a definite MUST read.

Nick Gonnella
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on September 25, 2005
When it comes to thrillers Ms. Gerritsen is top-drawer. She always offers inventive storylines, truly dynamic and complex characters and does so without cheating the reader or the story.

Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli are back with a vengence and their latest case is not only chilling, it's deeply engrossing.

After a long day Dr. Isles is working on a report and when she can't remember a detail to one of the bodies she autopsied she returns to the cooler only find that there is a body that should be there yet. She's alive...barely. Maura has no idea though that she has uncovered a scandal of epic proportions and the fall out of this has only just began.

Detective Jane Rizzoli is drawing near to her delivery date. This tough, sassy, and pregnant cop is going to sit the stand one more time before she leaves on maternity leave. What should have been an easy in and out court testimony ends up with Jane controlling the out of control suspect with the end result of her water breaking. She is sent to the hospital where Dr. Isles "Jane Doe" was sent. Instead of delivering her baby Jane finds herself in a hostage situation involving "Jane Doe" and a secret she wants heard. But someone doesn't want "Jane Doe" to talk and will do all that they have to in order to seal the lips of this witness. Before they know it Jane, Gabriel, Maura, and more law enforcement agencies than you can shake a stick at. Will Jane and Gabe be able to save the day at the same time avoid losing sight of what's important?

This was an incredibly fast-paced read and one that will completely engross the reader from page one. All of our favorites come back for this story and it was interesting to see how far Gabriel and Jane have come emotionally since their first introduction. Mila is a wonderful character that the reader will see very little of but she is what ties the various threads of this story together. Ms. Gerritsen is a very talented author and one that I highly recommend if you like smart thrillers with all that that entails.

Official Reviewer for Romance Designs
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Tess Gerrtisen's "Vanish" has the same general theme as another engrossing novel that I read a few weeks ago--"Dead End," by Mariah Stewart. Both books deal with the loathsome practice of importing vulnerable young girls into the United States from countries such as Mexico and the former Soviet Union. These girls are beaten, drugged, imprisoned, and sold into prostitution.

"Vanish" features some familiar faces, including Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli, who is nine months pregnant, Gabriel Dean, Jane's devoted FBI agent husband, and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The book opens as a seventeen-year-old girl named Mila, from Belarus, tells the heartbreaking tale of how she and other like her were lured into the United States under false pretenses. Gerritsen then switches gears as a startled Maura Isles finds a corpse in her morgue who is still breathing. Next, a man and woman with a hidden agenda hold Jane Rizzoli hostage. A negotiator is brought in an attempt to bring the standoff to a peaceful conclusion. These seemingly unrelated plot lines gradually merge into one suspenseful and horrifying narrative about the abuse of power by influential, wealthy, and immoral individuals.

I have always loved Jane Rizzoli, and motherhood takes away none of her feistiness. Whether she is trying to control her pain during labor contractions, attempting to soothe her screaming baby, or confronting a vicious murderer, Jane is always thinking, planning, and looking for solutions. Gabriel, Jane's beleaguered husband, wishes his wife were just a little more laid back, but he cannot help admiring her honesty and depth of feeling. These two are an interesting and offbeat couple, and their scenes together are wonderful.

Gerritsen is in top form here. She incorporates many elements seamlessly--gentle humor, political skullduggery, terrifying and suspenseful confrontations, betrayal of trust, and a nail-biting conclusion. Using a spare style that avoids melodrama, the author's realistic dialogue, well-developed characterizations, and excellent pacing make "Vanish" a first-rate and thought-provoking thriller.
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VINE VOICEon January 29, 2006
"Vanish," the latest novel from bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, is a terrific "high concept" thriller -- a story built around an easy-to-grasp premise that grips an audience right away and won't let go.

It begins with the body of a beautiful woman in the Boston morgue. Just another accidental death -- until she suddenly comes back to life. At the hospital, she seizes a security guard's gun and takes several hostages. One of them is homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, who is due to give birth at any moment. It is up to Rizzoli's husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to get his wife and unborn child out safely.

From that basic set-up, the author weaves a spellbinding tale of government conspiracy and white slavery, with themes as current as the morning newspaper. Some of it might be a little overblown, but there's no denying the power of Gerritsen's storytelling.

"Vanish" is a perfect example of the best-selling thriller: action-packed, entertaining and compulsively readable.
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on November 30, 2005
Many probably thought that it wasn't a smart move for Tess Gerritsen to give up her medical practice, but her fans are thrilled! She continues to produce riveting suspense novels that don't disappoint her reading audience.

Jane Rizzoli has made several appearances in previous Gerritsen tomes, and she again headlines this one. Jane is a week overdue to deliver her first child and things are not going smoothly by any means. When Jane is testifying in court, the defendant becomes belligerent and an attempt to remove him from the courtroom is made. As the baliff tries to handcuff him, a scuffle ensues and even though Jane should be out of commission, she grabs the guy. As she's handcuffing him, her water breaks. Yep, Jane doesn't do anything the easy way and things go downhill from here.

Jane is then taken to the hospital where she is taken to Diagnostic Imaging for an ultrasound to ensure everything is ok before the doctor induces labor. While there, she is taken hostage by Olena, a beautiful woman who was thought dead and originally taken to the morgue. There Dr. Maura Isles (another Gerritsen favorite character) rushes her to the hospital in an attempt to save her life.

This is where the story line gets a bit convoluted. Dr. Isles goes to visit the woman and sees a doctor and security guard struggling to restrain the patient. As she goes to help, Olena shoots the security guard and the doctor vanishes. Dr. Isles is taken hostage at gunpoint and as they are walking into the lobby, Olena realizes she can't escape, so she goes to Diagnostic Imaging. Dr. Isles escapes and Olena takes others hostage, including Jane Rizzoli.

Confused yet? It sounds more confusing when recapping the story. Gerritsen does a nice job of switching between Rizzoli and Isles so the reader is not confused. She also switches between the current story and that of a girl named Mila. We come to learn that Mila is associated with Olena.

As typical with any Gerritsen story, there are red herrings thrown in to confuse the reader as to the villain's true identity. I was fooled in the beginning but figured it out before it was revealed. The ending was no surprise, but still enjoyable.

Characters were vivid and brought out emotions from the reader. The wide assortment of people had a bit of everything. We were treated to Dr. Isles and her search for answers for the dead, Jane Rizzoli and Gabriel Dean who continue to bring out justice and truth, and variety of rogues who will make your skin crawl.

Some of the subject matter is not for the faint of heart. This story deals with sexual slavery of young teens, torture, rape, and viciousness. To balance this, Gerritsen gives the reader insight into Jane's new role as a mom.

The only negative I could find in this book was Gabriel Dean's attempts to get Jane to become someone she is not - to get her to retire as a police officer and become a stay-at-home mom. Yeah, right, anyone who has been introduced to Jane Rizzoli knows that will never happen!

The story line is convoluted but very interesting. This is definitely a winner in Gerritsen's continued focus on Jane Rizzoli, Dr. Maura Isles, and others. I can't wait for another book to be published in this series!
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on July 20, 2006
This novel is not only fast reading,but deals with an issue that is a worldwide phenomenon-human trafficking and sexual slavery.Gerritsen makes her stories easy to read,which must be very diificult when dealing with the sometimes complicated topics she selects.As a former physician,it's obvious that her expertise shows through when she describes medical issues,but what may not be so obvious is that she does a lot of research on her non-medical topics as well.As a former INS agent,with over 20 years of field experience including a few years assigned to anti-smuggling(human trafficking)operations I can say wihout any hesitation that the author not only did her homework,but does not exaggerate just to tell a good story-I personally never was assigned to any sexual slavery cases,but I know of cases first hand which were investigated by other agents which were worse than anything depicted in this book.Anyone who finds the images in the book disturbing or offensive should remember that the type of crime Gerritsen examines here really is offensive-the truth is what it is.She also has some other little gems of arcane knowledge displayed throughout the story.Her main protagonist,Jane Rizzoli is no archetype(not the author's style to use them),but a very real person who manages to make some very ill-considered decisions while doing her job-if I had $5 for every one of those I'd made,I'd be driving a BMW instead of a Toyota.I don't think Tess Gerritsen could write a bad book,but this is definitely one of her best,rivalled only by Gravity and The Surgeon.
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VINE VOICEon October 6, 2005
A creepy, effective beginning involving women getting kidnapped by a white slavery ring is followed by a somewhat slower middle section where we see a medical mystery and a hostage crisis unfold. The reader, of course, wonders how said mystery and crisis ties into the opening scenes of the book, which were set several months earlier. This wondering keeps us reading, even though there are some tedious emotions on display: homicide detective Jane Rizzoli's FBI agent husband Gabriel endlessly displays realistic but extremely predictable (and ultimately tiresome) demonstrations of concern over the fate of his wife, who is one of the hostages. The last section of the book, set in some lonely woods after the hostage crisis has played out, really pick up, however; they're tension-packed, laced with danger, and keep one turning the pages. The closing pages also finally do something interesting with the Rizzoli/Gabriel dynamic, as our stalwart FBI agent lets us know that he, too, has had enough of his endless concern about his wife's dangerous job, and may want off of the merry-go-round! But final answers on this issue will have to wait for the next entry in this series, which this book will ultimately make you want to seek out.
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on August 27, 2005
VANISH is the latest in Gerritsen's medical-examiner/cop-thriller series, featuring Dr. Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli.

If you've never read any other books in her series, don't let this stop you from picking up one of the best reads of 2005. Though part of an ongoing series, the book stands alone quite well with a vivid cast of characters, a gripping plot, and themes regarding acceptance and love, reassurance and validation. (Yes, only a handful of authors are capable of taking us on that roller-coaster ride and delivering a powerful message through the chaos of twists and turns.)

From page one, Gerritsen's latest thriller will hook you with with page-turning drama complete with a brutal prostitution ring, a tense hostage crisis, murder, cover-ups, and conspiracy theories. And in the magical way that only Tess Gerritsen is capable of among NY Times Bestsellers, she tinges the edges of her masterpiece with real-life anxiety over the fragility of new marriage and the impact that motherhood has on confidence, family, and career.

If you've spent your time and money on better-publicized authors such as Dan Brown, Baldacci, Patterson, or Cornwell, then by all means, you should give Tess Gerritsen a try--the only person who will be disappointed will be your boss when you call in sick for the next day of work because you've been up all night reading!
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2006
'Vanish' is a page-turner of the highest caliber. Tess Gerritsen has written a finely honed thriller that goes from a hostage crisis in a hospital to a federal cover-up thriller without missing a beat. The story and characters are all believeable (for the most is a thriller, y'know), and there's just enough humor and plot twists to keep you turning pages one right after another, even when you're supposed to be getting out of the house to go to work.

Strongly recommended.
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on October 20, 2005
This is definitely one of the best novels I've read from Ms Gerritsen. After reading the first chapter I knew I was settling in for an entertaining, suspenseful, page turning ride. The horrors that the innocents had to endure was hard for me to imagine, but heartrendering just the same. Such cruelty. It felt good to see some good come from all they'd endured. A very satisfying ending to a novel I've recommended. Great job Ms Gerritsen.
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