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Vanished Hardcover – April 25, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Robards (Superstition) opens her latest romantic thriller with a bang by placing her heroine, assistant district attorney Sarah Mason of Beaufort County, S.C., in the midst of a convenience store robbery gone wrong. A cashier is shot to death, Mason is wounded in the head and a young girl, who was hiding in the store during the gunplay, vanishes. Mason, who has thrown herself into her work with a vengeance since the disappearance of her five-year-old daughter, Lexie, 10 years earlier, becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. The action rarely lets up, except for the many sexually charged scenes devoted to Mason's initially platonic relationship with PI Jake Hogan, "the closest thing to family" she has left, who worked as a detective on Lexie's case and who routinely comes to her rescue during this new case. The plot, with its suggestions that the holdup was not a random act and eerie phone calls apparently from a Lexie who hasn't aged, will keep readers turning the pages. Author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

For seven years, South Carolina assistant district attorney Sarah Mason has just been going through the motions, trying to forget the day her daughter, Lexie, was taken. Sarah has never forgiven herself and has lived a monastic life, except for her friendship with Jake, an ex-FBI agent turned private detective. Now she is caught in a convenience store robbery. Before the twitchy thugs shoot her and a scared little girl, Sarah grabs her and makes a run for it, although she is hit by a bullet. Sarah insists on going back to work once she is out of the hospital, but she is receiving taunting calls and messages containing information known only to Lexie and her kidnappers. Jake tries to find out who is torturing Sarah and why now, when the trail of her daughter has gone cold long ago, all while preoccupied with sorting out his feelings for Sarah. Robards offers heartfelt insights into the agony and desperation experienced by adults whose children are abducted, and she delivers a knockout romantic thriller. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399153381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399153389
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,128,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen Robards is the New York Times bestselling author of forty-seven novels. The winner of six Silver Pen awards for favorite romance novelist, as well as numerous other awards, she lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband, Doug, and their sons Peter, Christopher, and Jack. She says, "I read, I write, and I chase children. That's my life."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the plot of VANISHED has been done many times, Karen Robards brings her own unique talents to this tale of a lost child. Not up to her usual standards of plot it does carry her trademark of unconnected events which finally come togather in a very remarkable way. My greatest complaint is the whinny, clingy,unstable heroine. She is a prosecutor who is supposed to be one of the best, she goes after her job fully, yet doesn't eat, falls apart easily, and hasn't seen her best friend, who is a sexy male P I in any way other than a friend in seven years. Give me a break, some I could overlook, but not wanting comfort of food, entertainment, or sex for seven years. NOt likely.

Sarah Mason is 31, seven years ago her 5 year old daughter went missing from a park. Lexie has not been heard from since, but Sarah has been searching for her with the help of Jake Hogan for the whole seven years. She is a prosecutor in the DA's office. Her whole life centers on her job and her search for her child.

Jake Hogan is a former FBI agent who has gone into the private sector. He runs his grandfather's private investigation agency. Jake is a man's man and a woman's too. Strong, giving, and ready to do anything to protect the woman he has come to love while furnishing her with family, hope, and security in her life for the last seven years. Even he has trouble believing her tales of phone calls from her kidnapped daughter after seven years.

The ending was somewhat unbelievable due to the fact you knew what had happened to the daughter. Not one of her best, but definitely worth the reading, I don't know if I would purchase a hardback again, but I know I would eventually read it either, from the library or in paperback.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is definitely a page turner. I read it in a day - I literally couldn't put it down. The beginning scene in the convenience store is written very well, and really pulls you into the book. The characters are also very well realized. I typically don't like thrillers, and usually spot the true culprit miles away, but this one was a surprise. I really really liked the book until the final pages, where it just gets... unbelievable. But its well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Assistant DA Sarah is out getting kibble for her dog when she ends up embroiled in a convenience store robbery. A clerk is shot, and as she tries to flee with a small child in tow, she too is shot. When it is determined that she was shot from someone outside the store, it begs the question of who shot her, and does it have anything to do with the corrupt police officers she is prosecuting?

When she starts receiving cryptic phone calls from her daughter who was kidnapped without a trace seven years earlier, her best friend, PI Jake Hogan helps her reconcile and investigate the possibility that Lexie is still alive. Jake has had an unrequited crush on Sarah for years. He has had several empty romances while waiting for the right time to take their relationship to the next level.

Robards is at her trademark best - throwing out multiple plot lines and weaving them into an intriguing and intricate web. A complete page turner, it will keep your interest until the very end, when the plot is trashed for a "happy ending" that just doesn't fit in with the rest of the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book was quite a disappointment. The premise held such promise and it should have been a suspenseful, intriguing story. Instead, it focused on the angst of the heroine, Sarah Mason for better than half the book. Descriptions of irrelevant details were made in 500 words when 50 would have sufficed. There was so much repetition I could almost recite some of the passages by rote. Yes, the ending was rushed because so much of the book was wasted on telling us ad nauseum of Sarah's pain. Quite frankly, this could have been addressed in one chapter with occasional references. I wearied of her not eating and sleeping and being told to do so by her best friend turned lover, Jake. It is also a mystery to me as to why we needed so much information about simple activities (step by step descriptions of Sarah getting in her car, putting it in gear, backing up and then turning right on whatever street). This was poorly written and edited.

I wish I had that part of my life back I spent reading this book. It's because of my own stubbornness to finish every book I start that made me stick with this one. This book may be the final straw in sticking to that commitment.
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Format: Hardcover
Vanished is a bit of a dark story. Robards doesn't really go into any gruesome detail that some might find...distasteful, but it is dark-themed, dealing with child abduction, child pornography, and other such things. It's definitely not a light story. Which is not a problem for me, really. I like a good dark, suspense.

Overall, a nice storyline. Nice progression, fairly nice romantic aspect. But I wouldn't call any part of it exceptional. I've read other books of hers that I liked a lot more. I did like Vanished, it was interesting and a good read; I just wasn't enthralled. Robards does a good job keeping you wondering who the bad guy is and setting everything up. Jake and Sarah were a good enough pair...didn't absolutely adore them, but they worked for the most part.

The one thing I really disliked about this story was the ending. When I read the last sentence I looked at it and couldn't believe that was it. I thought there needed to be more. The story really just felt so incomplete to me. I wanted to know more about what was going on with the people after her, I wanted to know more about what her daughter had been through, and I wanted more of the aftermath. I felt kind of cheated at the end. I thought the discovery of the daughter and her reintroduction was really cheap, rushed and forced. In all honesty, I almost thought the story would have been better served if the girl hadn't been found, or been known to be dead. It just didn't work for me the way Robards did it.

Anyway, decent story. Worth reading, but I've read much better books, and better from Robards.
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