Vanished by Irene Hannon is the second book in her Private Justice Series. I like that this book is a stand alone title, meaning I do not have to read the first book in the series to understand this book.
A teen age runaway meets a friendly gentleman at a homeless shelter during a snowstorm. Her half sister hires a Private Investigator to find her. In the process of investigating, feelings develop between the two. They make a decision not to pursuit a romance until the missing girl is found. Will this girl be found alive or will she be dead? Read Vanished to find out the answer.
Irene Hannon once again does a masterful job with the second installment of her Private Justice Series. As I said you do not have to read the first book to understand the second book. Each book tells the story of one of the Private Investigators from the PI firm Phoenix Foundation. Characters from the previous book have minor roles in this story, so you do not feel confused.
The story was well paced, but when you hit the climax of the story you want to finish the story as fast as possible to find out how everything ends. I found myself holding my breath because the action was so intense and compelling. Hannon does a superb job weaving a suspenseful story with a hint at romance. The story focuses on the job that needs to be done-- find the missing teen. Then the story wraps up with a bit of romance for the "icing on the cake". This was a fantastic thriller.
My thanks to Netgalley and Revell publishers for the complimentary e-book to review.
Laura Griffin never knew raising a teenager would be so hard. But after her free-wheeling mother's death, the public library director agrees to take in 16 year old Darcy, who is her half-sister.
Streetwise Darcy and Laura clash constantly...until one evening after arriving home from work, Laura finds a note on Darcy's bed - she has run away. Unsure where to begin, Laura calls Darcy's classmate Danny Martin - whose older sister is the administrative assistant for the Phoenix Inc private investigation firm.
These private investigators are different from most...they all have law enforcement backgrounds, they were classmates in college, and they are all Irish. Their motto is "Justice First" - and they are determined to solve cold cases that law enforcement simply does not have the resources to probe. As a result, they are on very good terms with their local law enforcement.
This particular book focuses on James Devlin, the mischief maker of the group. In the first book of this series, "Vanished", it is hinted on that something happened to Dev during his days as an undercover ATF agent. As a result, he has lost much of his carefree attitude and feels that God is disgusted with we humans in general.
Dev is assigned to Laura's case. Although he usually dates superficial party girl types, he is quite attracted to the librarian - who also has some surprising secrets of her own.
As the days tick by with no sign of finding Darcy, Laura becomes discouraged. But, through a homeless man and a chatty daycare employee, the Phoenix PIs discover the local daycare director - who seems a pillar of the community - is actually hiding many evil secrets. His basement is a chamber of horrors and he is always looking for a girl to "save". And now he has found Darcy....
As with all of her books, Irene creates characters so believable you feel like you could converse with them (I was yelling at Darcy "Do NOT go in the basement!") Mark Hamilton, the daycare director, is OCD to the nth degree. He makes Captain Ahab look normal. This character is something out of "Criminal Minds". He is truly a freak and has been Irene's scariest villain to date.
One of the best parts of this series is the verbal sparring between Dev and Nicki (the administrative assistant. Please, Irene, keep this going...it is absolutely priceless and brings needed comic relief. The banter between the three guys and the hapless Nicki (who tries to teach them the niceties of life beyond McDonald's burgers and U2)is great as well.
The romance between Dev and Laura was wonderful.....and the mentions of Cal's wife Moira (from "Vanished") also adds a nice continuity to the series. I am already anxious to read Connor's story and am just disappointed I must wait until next summer.
Captivating mystery/thriller. I enjoyed following their search for evidence, it was intriguing how very insignificant little detail can be so vital to solve a mystery. But I felt terrible for the doctor, he was great doc, and very compassionate person. If not for his selfish father who should have known that when your child idolizes you every word you say is a law to him, he shouldn't have made him administer that morphine. Its a lesson to you parents-- children are very impressionate and something that means little to you can mean a world to them.
Can you imagine knowing that you hit someone with your car, but when help finally arrives there is no evidence of it? How about being a renowned investigative reporter and still have people doubt what you claim? At some point I think you would even begin to doubt yourself. Thankfully Moira turns to a very capable and handsome I might add private investigator and his team to solve this mystery.
Throughout the story the reader really does know what is going on but you continue to wonder if the killer is going to get away with it. I completely enjoyed the journey through this tale. The romance was nice and it felt like it progressed at the appropriate rate considering both of the character's backgrounds.
What I really enjoyed were the authentic and plausible details that were uncovered throughout the story. I don't think that I ever felt sorry for the doctor but I did appreciate all the background detail that led up to the crime involving Moira. The author did a great job of displaying how we as humans can rationalize even the most heinous actions by thinking we are doing what God would have us to do.
If you are looking for a book that is fast paced, suspense filled and has a little romance thrown in then you need to pick this book up. It is book one in the series and I personally can't wait for book two!
I received a copy of this book in order to fascilitate my review.