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Publisher's Summary

It begins at the prestigious music school in New York City. A killer flees the scene of a homicide and locks himself in a classroom. Within minutes, the police have him surrounded. When the scream rings out, followed by a gunshot, they break down the door. The room is empty.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to help with the high-profile investigation. For the ambitious Sachs, solving the case could earn her a promotion. For the quadriplegic Rhyme, it means relying on his protégé to ferret out the master illusionist they've dubbed "the conjurer", who baits them with gruesome murders that become more diabolical with each fresh crime. As the fatalities rise and the minutes tick down, Rhyme and Sachs must move beyond the smoke and mirrors to prevent a terrifying act of vengeance that could become the greatest vanishing act of all.

©2003 Jeffrey Deaver; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"Well-researched and exciting, this has all the elements of good crime fiction: likable leads, a colorful supporting cast, fascinating scientific analysis, and a look at the secrets of an otherwise unknown world. A sure hit." (Booklist)
"Deaver is clever enough to string it out to almost unbearable limits of suspense." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    13
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Truly a terrible book.

I transferred this book to CD's - 4.4 discs. By the beginning of the fourth CD, I had lost patience with the ridiculous coincidences and contrived plot twists. I don't think it will give too much of the plot away to comment that it depends significantly upon an illusionist's misdirection of an audience (of one or more). The major problem I had with this ultimately uninteresting book was that not only did the plot depend upon misdirection, the entire book did, and pretty ridiculous misdirection at that.

But that last four-tenths of a CD really tried my patience. I found myself yelling "Ridiculous!" at my dashboard -- not normally something I do. A contrived, weak, misdirected, pointless, and most unsatisfying ending.

My apologies to the prior reviewer and to Mr. Grupper. Way too "dramatic" a reading! When I want an old fashioned radio show, I will dredge out my "Shadow" recordings. Character delineation is obviously critical to a good audio book reading. This well-intentiond reading simply went too far for my tastes. I have burned these 4.4 CD's -- literally!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Raymond
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 03-29-03

Narration makes this book highly entertaining

A previous reviewer was critical of this book because of its abridgement. I can only say that I appreciate the abridging process because I don't like 10 hour length books.

That said, the complicated story probably could have used more explaination and background for the first time listener to a Lincoln Rhyme book. But because I have read - not listened too - previous Rhyme books, I didn't need the background. But the plot twists were quite abrupt and could have used a few more seques.

Still, I rated the book high because the narrator did such an outstanding job. I've listened to quite a few books and heard a wide variety of narrators and I rate Joe Mantegna and Judy Kate the highest. But listening to Adam Grupper is like listening to an old fashioned radio show with each character being read by an actor or actress. He's really amazing and he breathed such life and vitality into the story that just listening to him was a treat.

The story is complicated and, yes, the plot twists were abrupt but the narration alone makes this Deaver tale a wonderful piece of entertainment. I highly recommend The Vanished Man.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Arlington, TX, USA
  • 05-08-04

suffer the listeners. . .

Some books don't abridge well, some do. I don't know if this one would, but this version is, simply put, awful.

This is by far a terrific reading of an awful abridging of a book. I had to borrow (not wanting to throw good money after bad) the novel to see just how poorly this version was cut. Important plot and character development seem to have been willy nilly taken out, and the work as a whole suffers for it. Seemingly unrelated events pop up unexpectedly in what seems an amateurish manner. Deaver's writing deserves far better.

The reader, though,was great, I thought. I enjoyed a good performance of what was in effect a horrible script. If the unabridged version is ever released, try it, but don't waste money or a credit on this version. An editor somewhere at Simon & Schuster needs a new career.

Don't get this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Winterville, NC, USA
  • 10-30-07

Twists and turns

Deaver did a good job of twisting this story around through the various places. The change in characters and focus was good. The conclusion was a little abstract and disjointed. Good story!

  • Overall

Loved it!

Great book. Fast pace. Well written. Terrific narrator. Read it.

  • Overall

The Vanished Man

Jeffery Deaver has done it again with this Lincoln Rhyme story. Keeps you guessing right to the end! You'll love it.