Before I read this book I decided to try out a short story by Joseph Finder and his series hero, Nick Heller. I enjoyed the short story enough to give Vanished a try. This is the first book in the Nick Heller series, and as I write this article, I’ve also read the second book.
Nick Heller is a typical thriller hero. He’s tough, smart, and has Special Forces training. As this book opens, he is working for an investigative firm as their top fix-it man. As with many heroes, he has a back story. In Nick’s case, his father was a Bernie Madoff-type of guy who continues to scheme from behind bars. Most importantly, he’s a guy that you like and can cheer for.
Part of the reason for your fondness of the guy is seen early on when his nephew Gabe asks for his help. Gabe’s mother has been attacked and is in a coma and his stepdad Roger is missing. Roger is Nick’s brother.
Despite his poor experiences with his father and being estranged from his brother, Nick still believes in family and sets out to find his brother. Thus begins a convoluted search that keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. Finder does a great job at this, which is why I enjoyed the wild ride that the story took me on.
So, although Vanished is a lot like many good thrillers out there by Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, Harlan Coben and the like, it doesn’t make it any less good. In fact, it puts Finder in good company.