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Book Review: Vanished by Joseph Finder

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It trips a reviewer's trigger to receive novels hot-off-the-press and straight from the author. Joseph Finder is more than a writer to his fans. He's personal. Over the last few years, a nice relationship has developed  between Joe Finder, novelist, and his public. This writer appreciates his public — his readers. No J. D. Salinger here, Joe blogs with writing tips, how to get published articles, and talks with anyone who will listen about the process of writing.

It is more than just public relations and the ca-ching of the cash register driving Finder's approach to writing. He shares himself. With his latest thriller out just last week, Finder is omnipresent online. The reaction to his media blitz is favorable. He doesn't claim a spotlight and pontificate about the glory of his words, instead there is an honest attempt to define the writing process, to explain how he got the idea for the plot and what influenced his choice of characters. Enough said about Finder personally; you can go to his website to read more.

The book? The thriller? Does it thrill?


And Nick Heller, the new anti-hero private investigator who will, undoubtedly, lead the fray into more fictional fun? He's delicious. Finder is at his best when creating the satirical and lovable main man. There's a bit of a rogue in this guy Heller, with his obvious wit and subtle humor.

Finder keeps us interested with subtle cultural asides. When Heller is going to sneak a peak at someone's laptop, he boots the computer and then has enough time to walk around the room, survey the view from the window, check the titles of books on the shelves and get comfortable at the desk. All this because it's a Windows machine he's booting. A quick Google search using Joseph Finder "Macintosh" gives this result, an interview on Alors, Et Toi?: "I write on a Macintosh G5 tower in Boston and on a MacBook Air at our Cape house, and yet another Mac, a MacBook Pro, at my small home office in Boston." It's a Mac thing, this reviewer understands…

Bottom line? Joseph Finder's latest, Vanished, is well worth your time. Plot and character analysis in a book review will ruin the read and should be undertaken after reading. The characters are believable. The Every Man concept of Finder's novels works well. Any one of us could be caught up in the fantastic. All of us want to think we'd be better at solving a crime or a mystery than the average Joe, but we know we lack the courage and fortitude to be heroes. Or do we?

Thrillers and spy novels should be filled with intrigue and clever plot twists. Unpredictable yet believable. Fast paced but with an attention to detail creating credible story lines. Finder always delivers. This Nick Heller is going to be my new American fixation. Elizabeth George's British crime dramas fulfill my international diversity requirement for now, and words about George will soon follow in reviews here. For now, grab the latest Finder and find a comfortable chair. Perhaps grab a bag of Oreos and big glass of ice cold milk… savor the thriller.

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About Val MacEwan

  • Got in a hurry, I’m afraid and lost the critique in a purely amateur move, hit backspace and lost text as it sent the review to “pending” with BlogCritics wherein it couldn’t be changed. Lost intro and all. I’m old enough and certainly experienced enough to know better. I hang my head in shame. Erp, was hoping to let this one slip by and redeem myself tomorrow with much improved writing.

  • Phil

    Great analysis of Finder but I’m sorry, I kind of missed the actual “book review” part of it– a mini summary, critique on style– an actual review.

  • Ooops, “fit the cliche'” didn’t sound quite right, I meant it as a compliment as in “one can apply cliche’ goodness such as “fast paced” “thrilling” and more to Finder’s writing…

  • Finder’s books are entertaining and fit the cliche’ of fast-paced action thrillers. Not too much gore, long on plot and character development, nice twists and turns. If you haven’t tried reading Joe’s work, start with Paranoia.