Desperate, with nowhere else to run, Nick's nephew, Gabe makes that call one night. After being attacked in Georgetown, his mother lies in a coma, and his step-dad, Roger, Nick's brother, has vanished without a trace. Nick and Roger have been on the outs since the arrest, trial, and conviction of their father, the notorious "fugitive financier" Victor Heller. Where Nick strayed from the path, Roger followed their father's footsteps into the corporate world. Now, as Nick searches for his brother, he's on a collision course with one of the most powerful corporations in the world - and they will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.
©2009 Joseph Finder; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
Finder's weaving of the plot provides excellent entertainment because one cannot anticipate every twist and turn in the story (however, many can be predicted). He does get somewhat verbose in his descriptions; but, I enjoyed the artful mental paintings...my wife, however, did not. This is a perfect book for a long drive!
I love Joseph Finder's books. "Vanished" is a very good one, in my opinion it is better than the previous one "Power Play", but not as good as "Paranoia". The main character Nick Heller has been very well developed. Nick has a clear opinion about things, has humour, and is generally a likeable guy. Nick scored some bonus points with me for listening to Johnny Cash' version of "Hurt" in the car during a drive. Joseph Finder is in tune with today's business environment, and blends in some nice anecdotes in "Vanished": a conspiracy theory on Enron, the impact of the new President in the USA, a cleverly disguised story around a scandal that in real life involved a key official of the Formula One association. The reason I did not award a 5/5, but only a 4/5, is in the lack of credibility in the business rationale/structuring of the corporate scam that is uncovered, as well as the unrealistic "superpowers" that Nick has in some of the scenes. Other than that, a very enjoyable book that I liked listening to.
VANISHED by Joseph Finder is the first thrilling Nick Heller mystery. Nick is former Special Services turned corporate intelligence specialist. He's also, one of two sons of a ruthless white collar, money maker spending the final years of his life in jail. Nick was working on a case involving billions of dollars of stolen illegal money, when his 14 year old nephew, Gabe, called asking for help. Gabe's Mom has been attacked and is in the hospital, and Gabe's Dad is missing. Nick flys immediately to Washington, D.C., to help his brother's family.
As I've found Joseph Finder's other books to be, there are a number of seemingly unrelated paths being investigated at the same time, that keep his readers thoroughly involved in the story. This story is deeply immersed in companies and government issues that fit right into our present national and international history, Greed, lies, misplaced trust, misused intelligence, and family loyalties drive this mystery deep, hard and fast. Finder definitely knows how to develop scenes with descriptions that push the thrills of his novels into heart racing reading!
The story was engaging but had some unnecessary and confusing turns. I don't want to hear Holter Graham again. His portrayal of Lauren and Gabe was like fingernails on a blackboard. I have never before been tempted to put a story away due to the narrator but I was in this case.
I was half way through the book and I thought I would check out the reviews by other listeners. I could not agree more with the other reviewers on the annoying voice of the narrator. I thought it was just me losing my patience, but apparently others thought so too!
I'm a HUGE fan of Finder, a fan who always eagerly awaits his next, but this one is weak. The mother and son are so whiny and bratty and obnoxious that they're unsympathetic. The protag also has major flaws; a prime example is when he visits his father in prison. He desperately needs info from his father, but engages in childish sarcasm and obfuscation for far too long.
Then there's the narrator. OH. MY. GOSH. I wish I had read this one with my eyes instead of ears because this guy is one of the most annoying narrators I've ever heard. The whiny, nasally, trembling voices grate on my spine like fingernails on a chalkboard. How does a major release like this get to market without SOMEONE saying, "Whoa, we have a problem?"
Audible seriously needs to bust up the review process into separate components for content and narration.
I have read a couple of Finder's books and like them but I must say that after listening to about on hour of this book, I can't stand it any more. The reader uses this whining nasal voice for the teenage boy and his mother that has driven me to quite listening. Too bad because I think this is probably an excellent book.
I was engaged all the way. But the audiobook narrator was annoying.
I loved the way Nick and the reader learn things and clues along the way. No tell-all at the end. There were many interesting things, like the way Nick repeatedly set off window alarms to get in a building. I liked what he did with a FedEx envelope. I liked what he did to a key card. I liked how Nick learned something about Roger by what the father accidentally said.
Someone compared Nick Heller to Jack Reacher (by author Lee Child). He was similar in that he took-on three guys at once and beat them in hand-to-hand combat. The Reacher books have more fighting scenes than this book. This book had Nick fighting about twice. That’s not a complaint, just a comparison. Finder might be a little better with plotting.
I “require” happy endings. And the ending was good for me.
The Nick chapters were 1st person, and then many chapters were 3rd person which was well done. I don’t like 1st person, but if you have to do it, this is the way to go.
AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR: Holter Graham.
I was annoyed with the narrator using weird voices for Gabe and Lauren (the stepson and wife of the missing guy Roger). He sounded the opposite of constipated. He sounded like he had to go to the bathroom but was holding it in and holding his breath. It was really off-putting. Other characters also had the “holding the breath” feel.
In an interview the narrator said he wanted Gabe to have a voice that cracked like many 15-year-old boys. The idea is ok, but the voice ended up being more weird than authentic. Also Graham’s voice for Nick sounded like a college kid instead of an adult ex-military guy.
However Graham did have a good general narration style.
Genre: mystery suspense.
This is book 1 in the Nick Heller series. They do not need to be read in order, but I’d recommend it. Book 2 is “Buried Secrets.”
I am a big fan of Finder whose usual plots involve an average man caught in a web of corporate intrigue and ethical dilemmas. In this novel, I had the impression that he was trying to channel Harlan Coben. But H.C. would have written this book with a lighter touch, a sense of humor, and a less confusing plot. I finished the tape, but only because I kept thinking that it had to get better. Actually, in retrospect, the plot was pretty silly, though it might become a good movie if Sylvester Stallone took the lead role.
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