Opening Line: "My name is Mila, and this is my journey."
VANISH is part 5 in the Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series. I read it as a stand alone though and did just fine, so I can recommend it that way too. I’d also never heard of author Tess Gerritsen before this but will definitely be searching out more from her and this series. I loved her style of writing, the realistic characters, the suspenseful medical based plot and the fast moving thrill of this story as a whole. There were elements that you could tell if you were invested in the series (and reading it in order) would have been even better or funnier or sadder however I never felt lost or left out of some big plot due to the excellent story telling. This is crime writing suspense at its very best.
Vanish pulls you in from the very first page starting with Mila’s heartbreaking story of human trafficking. She and a group of Russian girls are crossing into America from Mexico having been lured there by the promise of a better life however by the end of the chapter one of the girls is dead and Mila has been sold into a prostitution ring. Mila’s story (which we keep flashing back to) is gritty and often hard to read probably because it is very real.
We then switch to coroner Maura Isles who is going about her daily routine (in vivid medical detail) when she discovers that one of the bodies in the morgue is still alive. “Jane Doe” is rushed to the emergency room where we meet up with our other protagonist Detective Jane Rizzoli who has just gone into labour following a take down at the courthouse (she rocks)
Through a fantastic series of events that kept me on the edge of my seat and never able to guess what was coming next, the formerly “dead” woman grabs a security guards gun and takes 6 people hostage in the hospital, one of which is Detective Rizzoli. “Jane Doe” won’t talk to the police negotiator and we only learn her motives after a man disguised as member of the SWAT team joins her. His story is equally enthralling.
This tense drama plays out for a large part of the book bringing in a host of other characters (and their POV’S) along with clever plot twists and exciting action. All of which Gerritsen manages to tie together. We meet Jane’s husband FBI agent Gabriel Dean (I’m assuming we met him in earlier books) we also have Jane’s partner (hints of a love triangle), reporters, spies and bad guys in Washington. We get crime scene investigations and the makings of a political thriller which thankfully doesn’t take over and a very realistic story involving a new mother trying to get to know her baby while maintaining her identity. Throughout it all we keep coming back to Mila and her story is the one that haunts me.
What a fantastic unputdownable read. Not my usual fare but a series I will definitely be coming back to. Cheers