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Vanished (Callahan & McLane) Paperback – June 17, 2014
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"Elliot's best work to date. The author's talent is evident in the character's wit and smart dialogue...One wouldn't necessarily think a psychological thriller and romance would mesh together well, but Elliot knows what she's doing when she turns readers' minds inside out and then softens the blow with an unforgettable love story." —RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, Top Pick
About the Author
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kendra Elliot has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on classic female sleuths and heroines like Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls before proceeding to devour the works of Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, and Nora Roberts. Now a finalist for the Golden Heart, Daphne du Maurier, and Linda Howard awards, Elliot shares her love of suspense in her Bone Secrets series: Hidden, Chilled, Buried, and Alone. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and still lives in the Pacific Northwest, with her husband and three daughters.
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Top customer reviews
By: Kendra Elliott
When 11-year-old Henley is kidnapped on her way to school, it takes the combined efforts of Police Detective Mason Callahan and FBI special agent Ava McLane to find her and each other.
I am not usually a “detective” story kind of girl. I prefer historical fiction, science fiction and the occasional fantasy. However, when I came across this book by Kendra Elliott it intrigued me. I am incredibly glad that I gave it a chance.
I did not realize until I was ready to write this review that VANISHED is the 5th book in a series. That’s a pretty good statement to the skills of the author. It’s a wonderful standalone book. However, now that I know it’s part of series I’ll have to read them all.
I appreciated the depth to which Ms. Elliott plumbed to develop ALL of her characters, not just Mason and Ava. From the secondary players such as Mason’s son to the almost unimportant bystanders each seemed as real as you and I.
The plotting was steady. I wish it had been a LITTLE bit faster-paced, however that’s a very minor complaint for me personally.
At its heart, VANISHED is a romance between Mason and Ava. Yet, the growing relationship between the two was kept to the background. The little girl, Henley, and her kidnapping was more important and the characters DO realize that. Had the romance between the two been the focus of the book, I think I as a reader would have been turned off. As it was, it was handled with class and I appreciated that.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Pick up this book and you’ll be immediately drawn into the action. A little girl has been abducted on her way to school, and the FBI is on the case, working closely with the family and a family connection who also happens to be a state Detective. Elliot does well imparting lots of information in a short amount of space. We’re introduced to the characters via their interactions with each other — no long backstories given or needed. The book opens at a tension level appropriate to the storyline, and it opens well.
Unfortunately, Elliot can’t sustain the tension within the plot, and never seems to achieve it within the romance at all. Plot-wise, tension came and went in waves, with the lulls allowing (almost prompting) the reader to pull away from the story. I don’t want to look up at the clock when I’m reading, or notice page numbers. I want to be completely sucked in end to end, to finish a story at 4 am and say, “I have to get up in two hours, but damn, it was worth it!”. Reading this book, I looked at the clock at 9, said “I’ll give it another hour”, then looked at the clock at 9:45 and said, “OK, that’s good, I can call it a night.”
Romance-wise, eh, pretty much a dud. Didn’t even feel a bit of a sizzle until page 95/335, and then it was more or less just the two protagonists noticing, rather clinically, that they found each other attractive. The romance proceeded as if it were on a schedule, and it left me lukewarm.
I think my biggest overall problem with the book was that it only grazed the surface. The story is there, the characters are there, the romance is there, but none of it had a whole lot of depth. I feel like Elliot could have done so much more with her material — and maybe she will. This was an advance galley, so there’s still another round of edits before it hits the shelves. I really do hope she spices up the characters. There should be a crazy amount of stress in a situation like this. And stress should make people freak out — make them mean, or at least snippy. Make them turn on each other, blame each other. Even all around lose it — if only for a few minutes. Instead everyone is just so darn nice to each other and supportive of each other. Seriously, there were parts where I practically gagged on the Sunday School-ness of them all. The best idea the main character can come up with to get back at her boss for giving her a crappy detail is to hide his favorite coffee mug? Seriously?
Verdict: I thought there was quite a bit of potential at the beginning, but by the end I was left wanting quite a bit more. 2/5
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