No life is perfect. Everyone has secrets.
For millions of Londoners, the morning of 17 December is just like any other. But not for Sam Wren. An hour after leaving home, he gets onto a tube train – and never gets off again. No eyewitnesses. No trace of him on security cameras. Six months later, he’s still missing.
Out of options and desperate for answers, Sam’s wife Julia hires David Raker to track him down. Raker has made a career out of finding the lost. He knows how they think. And, in missing person cases, the only certainty is that everyone has something to hide.
But in this case the secrets go deeper than anyone imagined.
For, as Raker starts to suspect that even the police are lying to him, someone is watching. Someone who knows what happened on the tube that day. And, with Raker in his sights, he’ll do anything to keep Sam’s secrets to himself . . .
Wow! Simply put I couldn’t put this book down and with a little over a hundred pages left to read last night – when I really should have retired for the night – I stayed up to finish the book and at 3am this morning I turned the final page and my jaw dropped, what a bloody magnificent ending! In fact the whole book is magnificent; I don’t think there was anything I could or would criticise!
Vanished by Tim Weaver is one of those books that has a little of everything for the most critical of reader. It has pace, is relentless, it reads incredibly quickly with an all-consuming narrative and it’s brutally intense. The book had me hooked from the very first page and allowed my imagination to run riot throughout, if there’s one book you should read this year it’s this one.
Characterisation is impressive with a leading man in David Raker carrying the show, he commands attention and his no nonsense approach to his job is infectious. Although he’s carrying a fair amount of baggage from previous cases – Weaver does a great job of filling in his history throughout – he is determined to put those issues aside and follow his instinct, his gut, no matter who stands in his way. Raker is one of those protagonists that I couldn’t get enough of and with every page I was completely swept away by his thoughts and actions.
There’s nothing Raker wouldn’t do to find his man and in Vanished there were more than a handful of scenes in the book where he proves his dedication to the job. Whether that’s a pride in what he does best or something closer to home I’ll let you be the judge of that!
When I began reading the book I did wonder how the author could take a simple case of one man taking his everyday commute to work on the London underground and turning it into a thriller spanning 500 pages. I mean, how much more can you say about a man going missing on the tube? Vanished is an example of great storytelling and I never once felt things were there just to fill, they all followed seamlessly and the case of a missing man led to high finance, prostitution, sex trafficking and revenge.
Some of the scenes were intense, disturbing and violent – the subject a little raw at times – but close your eyes for just one second and you’ll find yourself swept away with fear especially his sojourn to the now disused underground station. With every footstep Raker takes in the dark and dank building I was surprised to notice that I had held my breath on numerous occasions, the scenes were breathtakingly atmospheric. I found I wanted to explore the ambandonded station myself – but with the lights on and no bats!
With an electrifying conclusion you never quite know who’s responsible, I changed my mind countless times, certain I knew how it would end but no, Weaver certainly knows how to finish a book off! I never saw that final scene coming!
A brutal book at times Vanished is a terrific example of how to write a crime thriller and with more than enough twists and turns and red herrings to satisfy any reader this is a must read for 2012. London’s Underground comes alive in this taut and meaty – edge of the seat – thriller and if you’re one of the millions of commuters who use the transportation on a daily basis, you’d be a fool not read it! Simply put – I loved it!
- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (19 July 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0241954401
- ISBN-13: 978-0241954409