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Publisher's Summary

Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads solitary outcasts through hostile territory to escape the vengeance of their enemies. But the shaded forest paths her Seneca ancestors might have followed on such missions have all been converted to superhighways, and now the safest way stations are crowded urban buildings that offer the camouflage of anonymity. Still, the supply of runaways - and the need for a woman who will take great risks to save them - have never been greater.

Jane knows all the tricks; in fact, she has invented several of them herself in the ten years she has been teaching fugitives to live with new identities. Many of her clients have been innocent people whom the institutions of society have been too slow and cumbersome to protect, but an increasing number have been like the gambler Harry Kemple: people who aren't especially admirable but who aren't bad enough to deserve to die prematurely.

Jane opens her door to find in her house an uninvited visitor named John Felker, the latest to run to her for sanctuary. Felker is not like the others Jane has helped, and everything about him is disquieting. He doesn't even know whom he is running from - only that whoever is framing him as an embezzler has already circulated an open contract in the prison system for his death. Maybe his problems began years ago, when he was a policeman; a good cop makes an enemy with each arrest. But perhaps he is still a policeman and has invented precisely the right story to entrap Jane. Or perhaps he is something even worse.

The unexpected guest draws this exceptional woman into an adventure of mystery, love and sacrifice, betrayal and vengeance, and propels her on a pursuit that takes her from the night streets of Los Angeles and Vancouver to the dark, unexplored regions of her own mind.

©2008 Thomas Perry; (P)2009 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    164
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    123
  • 3 Stars
    84
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    16
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    8

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    122
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    84
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    35
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    10
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    8

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    3
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  • Overall

The Book - 4 Stars; Narration - 3 Stars

My gripes first - the second half of the book is marred by sloppy auditory editing. Sections are repeated which detracts from being engrossed in the tale. The narrator, Joyce Bean, barely makes my score of average; her reading is pretty flat. Now on to the good stuff - the book itself. I read this one as a response to Audible's offer of affordable first-books-in-a-series. I'd probably never have read a Thomas Perry novel had it not been for the opportunity offered at a discount price. That said - I will be reading the next Jane Whitefield novel in the series. I found the protagonist interesting, although not terribly believable, but it is fiction after all. I don't have to think everything that happens in a novel actually could happen in real life. That's part of the entertainment. Give this book a try if you're looking for something a little different than the typical mystery - and if you like your main character to be a capable woman.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What a difference a narrator makes

What would have made Vanishing Act better?

This is the 5th Thomas Perry audiobook I've listened to, and it is the first I didn't love. This isn't his best story, there are some shoddy editing errors (shame on Audible, I expect better), but the real problem was the narration (see below).

Would you be willing to try another book from Thomas Perry? Why or why not?

Of course, every Thomas Perry book I've read or listened to has been good, and several were excellent.

What didn’t you like about Joyce Bean’s performance?

I understand the choice of a female narrator considering the sex of the protagonist, but I can't help but imagine how much better this one would have been with Michael Kramer, who narrates other Perry novels. Joyce Bean can do the sensitive, intellectual side of Jane Whitefield, but reads dramatic scenes distinctively un-dramatically. A bigger problem is that she absolutely cannot do men's voices. I dreaded every conversation with a man because her voice became so grating. Finally (and this is not Joyce Bean's fault), there are a handful of repeated lines in this production. By far the most I have ever heard in an audible audiobook.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The story was fine. What you would expect from Thomas Perry. I state this caveat because I have to say my biggest reaction to the audiobook was disappointment.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narrator ruined it for me

The narrator's voice was so annoying I couldn't finish the book. Her reading of a male voice was like listening to chalk grind on a chalkboard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

MacGyver meets Hiawatha with men who croak a lot

Would you consider the audio edition of Vanishing Act to be better than the print version?

audio was confusing. you need to flip back to cover the confusing points in the middle

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

ending a bit predictable but he does it so well. Shades of Gabaldon. How could I fall for this? And yet I did.

What didn’t you like about Joyce Bean’s performance?

"male" voices just croak

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

my reaction to the book was against the narrator. they should have used a guy or a better girl.

Any additional comments?

really good use of Native American motif. The character is good, really good, and from living on a rez ... out west ... seemed realistic and wholesome. A good way to learn about eastern native american culture. The adventure moves in the midst of it gracefully with nary a false note.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

This recording is mechanically flawed!

I loved the book, but the second part of the recording is flawed. It skips, it repeats, and and it seems to leave out parts. Audible needs to replace it! I just finished it this week, the first week in February 2015.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bad audio editing toward the end

In the last few chapters, the audio editing is awful. The narrator repeats herself at least five times to get the infection of certain lines right, and the editors completely missed it. It really brings the listener out of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Started a little slow...

Would you consider the audio edition of Vanishing Act to be better than the print version?

I like books, books,audible books, or e-books...I like them all.<br/><br/> In this series, I am on the third "Shadow Woman" and am buying them as I go (in case I give it up as too tedious). Read them in order, you will need details of the previous books to have a chance at keeping up later on. Jane's character is a little hard to like, her reasons for tucking away criminals get pretty convoluted. The protagonist? How could she fall for that line? Never liked him. Jake, the neighbor, is well intentioned but way too careful. MAYBE I just stumbled on what's bothering me...everything and one are too careful, Jane is Superwoman on a great day. If you like thrillers that explain everything to you detail by detail, these books are for you...if you are filling a rainy day, good choice...looking for escapism, welcome to the great outdoors.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Boring and Predictable

What disappointed you about Vanishing Act?

It was so slow moving at the start. I fell asleep while listening, missed a chapter and 1/2 and woke up and feeling like I did not miss anything at all. It was so predictable I felt like shaking the main character and asking her how she can be so dim.

Has Vanishing Act turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, just this author.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Limited character voices. Try not to make everyone sound the same

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

It finally ended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not as good as the other one I listened to.

The first half was a little dull. She has an affair with her client and I thought 'uh-oh' and sure enough it turned out to be a bad idea. Things got more exciting in the second half, so I can give it three stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Chavez
  • Huntington Beach, CA USA
  • 11-26-13

Slow Slow Slow and stupid

Any additional comments?

Watching cement dry would of been a better use of my time. There is nothing to recommend about this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful