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The Vanishing | [Wendy Webb]

The Vanishing

Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired...and who the world believes is dead.
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Publisher's Summary

Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired...and who the world believes is dead.

When she arrives at the Sinclairs' enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her "too-good-to-be-true" position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.

©2014 Wendy Webb (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A brisk thriller tinged with gothic elements. . . . Careening through séances and ghostly encounters leaves the reader breathless." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (380 )
5 star
 (113)
4 star
 (132)
3 star
 (95)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
3.8 (354 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (352 )
5 star
 (141)
4 star
 (121)
3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    LaurelOlivia Carlsbad, ca, United States 04-11-14
    LaurelOlivia Carlsbad, ca, United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2013

    LauralOlivia

    HELPFUL VOTES
    87
    ratings
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    188
    156
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    4
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Convoluted"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think there are people that might enjoy it. The premise was interesting, follow through was frustrating and lacking. Character development would have helped. That was missing, no connection with any of the characters. The mystery is summed up in the last few minutes and still you are confused or at least I was. I think with good editors or a collaboration, the story could be really good. Nora Roberts did one similar.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I am hoping for a great recommendation from Audible or other listeners.


    What three words best describe Xe Sands’s voice?

    Saltery, whisper, .....She is an acquired taste, at first I wasn't sure I liked her. Sometimes at first I had a hard time hearing or understanding some of her words.I chose this book because of her. Now I look for books she has narrated.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It did. I finished it. There are many books I don't. Xe Sands might be part of why I finished it. I also kept listening to see if relationships developed or to make sense of the mystery. I finished it hoping to be convinced, I wasn't.


    Any additional comments?

    Right now I wouldn't recommend it but , after awhile I might try listening again. It was not worth my credit, but on sale.....

    35 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 04-28-14
    Judy 04-28-14

    I love a good supernatural story with good content, especially from authors that don't feel the need to add smut.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
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    20
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    "Great book with a rushed ending"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a slow, suspenseful tale. The author would tell you just enough, then leave you hanging until the background story is picked up again, which kept my interest.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a haunting story without gore or sex.


    Have you listened to any of Xe Sands’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the narrators work. She had believable voices for each character and would enjoy listening to her narrations again.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The ending felt rushed and was rather silly. SPOILER ALERT: The ending of the main part of the story sounded like an episode of The Haunting on The Discovery Channel. It was pretty awful, especially after reading what I considered to be a very good ghost story.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria QH 07-30-14
    Maria QH 07-30-14 Member Since 2015

    castellana

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    20
    2
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    Story
    "A total surprise!"
    If you could sum up The Vanishing in three words, what would they be?

    Unexpected. Hunting. Slow


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love Xe Sands, the narrator. She is amazing!!!

    The ghostly feeling about the entire story. Also, the unexpected slight twist at the end.
    Overall, it was haunting although I would have liked a little more risk, more danger.


    Which character – as performed by Xe Sands – was your favorite?

    The lady of the house.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It got creepy a few times but it could have been creepier and I would have loved that.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a little bit predictable, and it could have been more intense. I got a good feeling about the whole thing, but it was lacking something... It could have been more engaging, and pack more danger! :)

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAyn Maplewood, MN, United States 10-29-14
    JoAyn Maplewood, MN, United States 10-29-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    33
    30
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    2
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    Performance
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    "Different kind of scary story."

    This one started off with a mystery and got you hooked right away wanting to find out what the heck is going on. Didn't get bogged down with too much romance or sex, just a good old fashioned scary story mystery. Performance was a bit weak but ok. I got kind of tired of the quivery voice thing, but she did the old lady great.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 10-29-14
    Susan Bartonville, TX 10-29-14 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.  

    HELPFUL VOTES
    753
    ratings
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    359
    343
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    74
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    Story
    "Great Spook Mystery"

    This was a Daily Deal but worth a credit. A young woman, Julia Bishop, finds herself desolate after her husband is uncovered as a blue collar thief and instead of jail he cowardly chooses suicide. Shortly after her loss, a man of wealth appears at her door, she of course is suspicious, however, is intrigued and allows him to complete his explanation and proposal. He makes an offer that would entail her moving away from her life and coming to live in a mansion, on the Canadian boarder, where she would be a companion to his mother, a famous writer who was thought to be dead. She would have a safe haven where she could leave her disaster of a life behind with the hope of sometime in the future starting a completely new one. Needless to say she can't really find any reasonable reason to refuse.

    Upon her arrival she is introduced to the house, his Mother, the caretaker and three enormous, well trained Malamutes. Almost immediately Julia starts to see apparitions, some malevolent and some whom she is not frightened by at all. She starts to wonder why she is the only one who can see them and why they all seem so familiar, not only them, but the house and people as well.

    As stories are revealed about the house she just becomes more tentative and has an overwhelming need to get away but at the same time is pulled towards the house, and feels herself falling in love with the main characters. An exceptional ending, paced correctly and the epilogue knocked my socks off. I instantly went in search of the next book, but am sad to say there is no sequel. Xe Sands does an exceptional job narrating, as always, she adds a little something extra to the flow and feel to the story. This is a great spook, mystery that builds to a pinnacle ending. A perfect Halloween read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruby 05-04-14
    Ruby 05-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Loved this book"
    Would you listen to The Vanishing again? Why?

    Yes, The narrator did an excellent job with the accents portrayed in the book.


    Have you listened to any of Xe Sands’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I'm now looking for books narrated by her just because I know she does such a fantastic job at it.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Havenwood is a haven for those alive or dead.


    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LovelySunrise 06-04-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    28
    1
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    "good"

    I really liked the story but expected a little more of a creative, surprising end. Good. not great. The narrator was excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RGM Amazon Customer Kentucky 03-27-15
    RGM Amazon Customer Kentucky 03-27-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Great story"

    A wonderful tale. This is the type of story where it's hard to tell the 'real' from the 'fake'. Is she crazy or not? I really enjoyed this audio book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa California, United States 12-30-14
    Melissa California, United States 12-30-14 Member Since 2013

    My parents told me that my very first word was...BOOK! That was no surprise to me. I have always been surrounded by books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Atmospheric"

    This audio book was a recent "Daily Deal" I picked up from Audible just before Halloween. I was pleasantly surprised. This paranormal suspense/romance was creepy and atmospheric, with a haunted mansion, plenty of ghosts and ghouls, and mysterious happenings. It was not gory or overly graphic, just the kind of book you'd enjoy on an autumn night. I'll be checking out this author's other titles.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Pasadena, CA 91105 12-10-14
    Stephanie Pasadena, CA 91105 12-10-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    14
    13
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    0
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    "Xe Sands - AMAZING READER and STORYTELLER"
    If you could sum up The Vanishing in three words, what would they be?

    Suspense, Loving, Bewitching


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Julia.
    Her DNA got her into trouble, but the story took me through an amazing journey.


    What about Xe Sands’s performance did you like?

    Loved her voice
    she was able to bring all the characters ALIVE, as if there were several readers


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The entire book!
    It got my attention from the very beginning


    Any additional comments?

    More by Xe Sands.....:)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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