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Vanished (Nick Heller #1)

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3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,747 Ratings  ·  547 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling "master of the modern thriller" (Boston Globe) returns with his most compelling hero — and his most electrifying tale yet.

Lauren Heller and her husband, Roger, are out to dinner one night when they’re brutally attacked. Twenty-four hours later, Lauren awakes in the hospital to find that her husband has vanished without a trace. The only one w
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Hardcover, 388 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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D.B. Woodling
May 06, 2016 D.B. Woodling rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Joseph Finder Fans
His brother has vanished. His sister-in-law brutally attacked. Larger-than-life Nick Heller wants answers, and he will inflict serious damage to get them. A talented writer, this author possesses the ability to simultaneously engage, educate, and entertain. He fluidly drops in backstory, much like a paratrooper infiltrates a war zone.

With Vanished, Finder gives us a complex yet transparent plot involving military contract bribes, a deceptively happy marriage, Special Forces Ops, Defense Contract
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Sue
Aug 17, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
Joseph Finder has done it again...written another amazing action packed thriller.The first chapter has lots of drama and suspense and sets the tone for the rest of the book. It starts out with Lauren and her husband Roger Heller going out to dinner. As they are walking out of the restaurant, Roger forgets his wallet. He turns to head back into the restaurant, when he hears Lauren call his name. The last thing Lauren remembers before she awakens in a hospital bed is Roger saying “Why her”? Now Ro ...more
Mark
May 17, 2015 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of beach literature
Recommended to Mark by: GR
Shelves: thriller, 2015
A nice little thriller novel in the category of Ludlum-light. It opens with a brilliant heist of an airplanes contents and the hero of the book gets introduced while he solves the seemingly impossible crime. This first part never will bettered in this book about a generic Ludlum-like hero who investigates his own brothers disappearance and finds trouble on the way to the solution of this novel. The end is not that surprising for the weathered thriller reader.

The saving grace of the book is that
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Freda Malone
Oct 03, 2015 Freda Malone rated it liked it
This was a good heist or financial mystery thriller but I'm finding that I need to be really picky with Joseph Finder books. Sometimes I get a good one that compels me to give it 5 stars and some only 3 or 4. This one was typical, nothing new, common, unordinary. Finder is a great writer, but the stories don't grab me or make my heart beat faster with intensity.
DR
Aug 31, 2015 DR rated it it was ok
No Jack Reacher is this Nick Heller guy, although they bear some superficial similarities and fan-fiction types like to hypothetically match them against each other like Batman v. Superman. Nick is ex-Special Forces, now an investigator with an elite, D.C.-based private intelligence firm that specializes in both digging up secrets and burying them on behalf of powerful people and corporations. He also is rather boring. Nick spends most of VANISHED on an off-the-books mission looking for his brot ...more
Kristin
Dec 11, 2012 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, audio-books
Please allow me to emphasize, I read this as an audiobook. Much of my impressions may have been influenced by the narrator - audiobooks are like that. A mediocre book can become stellar by a voice, and stellar book can be tedious.

This was a interesting book with a narrator who's voice bugged me, the result of which more often than not I was left sniggering and snickering at the book or banging my fists against the steering wheel in frustration. My main contention was with the female character -
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Giovanni Gelati
Aug 29, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing
Last Sunday, I shared with you a series of novels I thought would make you laugh and cringe at the same time. This week I have a novel for you that have recently been released in paperback, Joseph Finder’s Vanished. To say I am a fan is an understatement. I have read all his novels and always look forward to the next. So, if you wish, click off here, thinking I am a homer, see you tomorrow, maybe. Me being the Yankees fan I was raised to be, always can find something wrong with things in Boston, ...more
Stuart
Jul 26, 2011 Stuart added it
Vanished by Joseph Finder: I was unimpressed with this book. It was OK, but, for me, somewhat formulaic. I read a review that encouraged me to read it; a new series by a thriller master. The new series features a Jack Bauer / Jack Ryan type of superhero, called Nick Heller. The story revolves around the brother of the hero who is the “vanished” of the title. At first the brother’s disappearance seems like a kidnapping, but it spirals into something much more complicated, which is a nice plot. Th ...more
William Ramsay
Sep 15, 2009 William Ramsay rated it did not like it
Another thriller. I keep saying I don't generally read this sort of book and now I know why. I bought Vanished because I liked Finder's earlier book, Paranoid. Paranoid was original and fast moving with a hero I could relate to. Vanished is contrived and conceived, I think on a white board like so many TV shows. The main characters are super heroes or arch villains. This whole mess was a vast disappointment. This is why I generally avoid vest selling thrillers. I have to move on to something mor ...more
Jim
Apr 16, 2016 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Although I've seen several books from author Joseph Finder on internet, and book stores- I had an idea he might be a good story teller. Meeting him at this year's Tucson Festival Of Books I was determined to get a few of his books and check them out. "Vanished", the first book in Finder's Nick Heller series was an excellent book to read first. At just over 460 pages, this book was incredibly hard to put down. I had to keep going one chapter after another. I was stunned how quickly I'd read over ...more
Jerome
Sep 08, 2012 Jerome rated it it was ok
Boring, easy to put down, but less easy to finish.

Heller works alone until he needs help. Then he picks up his cell-phone, and much like reaching into a tool-box to find what he needs, dials a number - demolitions expert, computer genius, security expert - they're all one phone call away.

Heller can also become a one man army when necessary. Up against a Blackwater-like security/military firm, Heller decides to go right to the top and break into the CEO's isolated secure compound, for a one-on-on
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gert
Sep 06, 2011 gert rated it really liked it
(same review for both books in the series, copied and pasted. because i'm lazy).

i read mostly romance, but am finding myself completely bored with most. so i sought out my other favourite books - suspense-ish. i came upon the nick heller series by accident, and am seriously resenting there being only TWO books! so damn good!

here's what you need to know:

- similar to jack reacher, but better. nick heller has a great sense of humour and is far more self-aware then dear jack.
- way smart - the story
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D.K.
Oct 26, 2009 D.K. rated it really liked it
Joseph Finder did follow the hero rulebook with the creation of Nick Heller:

Special Forces background (check)
Troubled childhood (check)
Has trouble with authority (check)
Can punch his way out of a situation (check)
Loner (check)
Cracks cynical jokes when a pistol is pointed at his face (check)
Tough guy with a good heart (check)

What sets Nick Heller apart from the others is that Finder places him in a business environment (Heller is a corporate investigator). Heller isn’t fighting against a corrupt
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Arapahoe Libraries
Oct 19, 2009 Arapahoe Libraries rated it it was amazing
Shelves: joannes-picks
One of my favorite corporate intrigue thrillers has long been Paranoia, and I'm terribly excited to tell you that this best selling author has done it again! In his new book, Mr. Finder introduces Nick Heller, an elite corporate intelligence specialist and former Special Services extraordinaire!

In California, Nick receives a frantic phone call from his fourteen year old nephew begging him to come to Washington D. C. immediately as his father has vanished without a trace, and his mother is in a c
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Bernie Charbonneau

This was a very good thriller novel. Mr. Finder introduces us for the first time to Nick Heller, former American Special Forces soldier. Unlike some of the other novels that I have read with these type of special training characters, Mr. Finder, for me, has made his character more realistic. By this I mean that Heller is not portraid as this super hero, larger-than-life fighting machine.
The plot was well developed with enough twists in which, when you thought you had it figured out, nope, wrong
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Jane Stewart
Really well done mystery. I was engaged all the way. But the audiobook narrator was annoying.

I loved the way Nick and the reader learn things and clues along the way. No tell-all at the end. There were many interesting things, like the way Nick repeatedly set off window alarms to get in a building. I liked what he did with a FedEx envelope. I liked what he did to a key card. I liked how Nick learned something about Roger by what the father accidentally said.

Someone compared Nick Heller to Jack R
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James
Apr 16, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
This is the beginning of a new series, featuring Nick Heller. Nick was trained in the Special Forces and took those skills into the rough and tumble world of the private intelligence investigator. He is tough, smart, and stubborn. He needs those traits as he exposes secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He is a guy that you want on your side in any problem.

As the plot opens, Nick is on a routine(?) assignment looking for a stolen air transent shipment. What he discovers is a pa
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Tony
May 27, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it
Joseph Finder- Vanished (St. Martin’s Press 2010) 4.25 Stars

Nick Heller’s brother was grabbed outside of a downtown restaurant and Nick’s nephew, Gabe, has asked for his help in finding his dad. Special Forces training and a job as a spy for hire has prepared him for a moment just like this. He intends to locate his brother no matter what secrets he must uncover and what scandals he will unearth. He will find out just how little he really knows about his brother and that he may not be so innocen
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Julie Davis
Apr 09, 2012 Julie Davis rated it really liked it
Where did I first hear of this? I'd have thought Brandywine Books which keeps my mystery/thriller "to read" list filled. But I don't see it there in my extremely casual search. Perhaps it was via The Curt Jester.

Wherever I found it, I am enjoying it a lot so far in these first few chapters. Here's some of the description.
Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. And in his line of work, it's essential. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator--exposing sec
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Michael
Lauren Heller is attacked after she and her husband Roger were out to dinner. When she wakes up in the hospital she finds that Roger has disappeared.

Nick Heller is Roger's brother and although he and Roger haven't spoken in years, he is fond of Lauren and her son, Gabe.

When they ask for Nick's help, he agrees and finds that Roger works as the CFO of a corporation and investigates corruption. He's found something, according to Lauren and she thinks he may have been kidnapped.

When Nick investigate
...more
Donna
Nov 01, 2011 Donna rated it it was ok
This was my first Joseph Finder book, so I did not know what to expect from this author. I would have to say that Vanished was an average read, neither good nor bad storytelling. I liked the main character, Nick Heller, though it would have been nice to see a bit of his personal life and to know what he was feeling at times. His sister-in-law Lauren was fairly one dimensional and annoying with all the secrets she was keeping that seemed necessary to drag the story out. His nephew, Gabe, was on t ...more
Debbie Curtis
Jul 14, 2014 Debbie Curtis rated it really liked it
This was my first Joseph Finder book, and it won't be my last. As an author, I have discovered that my reading tastes have become finicky, to say the least. I appreciate good writing, and don't bother to finish stories that have bad dialog, unrealistic characters, etc.

I liked the protagonist, Nick Heller, and his background and motivations were nicely woven into the story line. There were surprises, and I like Nick's casual, sarcastic voice. I like that he came from a wealthy background, but he
...more
Jason
Jun 27, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing
Nicke Heller has arrived, and if you're smart you'll stay on his good side. A great character, an intricate plot that keeps you guessing until the very end. Can't wait for more adventures!
Clark
Aug 02, 2016 Clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, audio-book
Not as good as Nick Heller #3 (Guilty Minds), but a good read and still worth 4 Stars
SueEllen
Dec 08, 2014 SueEllen rated it it was ok
My first Joseph Finder novel and I was not impressed. The intrigue started out quickly but became easy to put down. I liked the protagonist, Nick Heller. His character’s background and sarcastic tone are what kept me going through the beginning of the book. However, I was distrustful of the victims from the beginning especially the female character. I do not enjoy reading about women who seemed to do everything possible to make their situation worse…well, except Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum ...more
Daniel Rudge
Oct 25, 2014 Daniel Rudge rated it it was ok
I know that Joseph Finder has won awards for some of his previous books. However, this book was just so frustrating to read I couldn't give it a very good rating. On the one hand, the books opening ensures that this will be a pulse pounding thriller. A man, Roger Heller and his wife Lauren have just finished dinner at a Georgetown restaurant. Roger has forgotten his keys at the restaurant and goes to retrieve them. His wife is brutally attacked and just before she passes out Roger is heard to sa ...more
Joe
Jun 10, 2014 Joe rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
After eight stand-alone books, and at least to this reader, a steady decline with each subsequent release, this author has started a series with Vanished and has hit rock bottom. The protagonist, Nick Heller, is ex-Army Special Services now working in the private sector. Nick is a very obvious and unfortunately, a very poor caricature of Lee Child’s protagonist Jack Reacher.

While Reacher is a loner, Heller works alone until he needs help. Then he picks up his cell-phone, and much like reaching i
...more
Carol
Dec 21, 2014 Carol rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dolly Anderson
Jun 04, 2016 Dolly Anderson rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: spy thriller fans
Joseph Finder has recently had his 3rd book featuring 'Nick Heller' published. It is called "Guilty Minds". It is currently gathering rave reviews. Therefore, I didn't want to jump right in with book #3, and decided to start with the first book in the series 'Vanished' .

Nick Heller ~ is a high power investigator, a special forces intelligence 'private spy' who specializes in digging up secrets others would rather keep hidden. In Vanished, Nick Heller, was contacted by his nephew to help. H
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Patricia
This first entry in Finder’s Nick Heller series is as impressive in what it is not as in what it is. To begin with, this mystery is not a romantic suspense. There is no female counterpart to our male protagonist, no girlfriend or male partner in the background, not a single sex scene, not even a kiss. Next, while the setting for most of the action is Washington, DC and its Maryland suburbs, the story is about corporate espionage, not political intrigue. And finally, our protagonist has a lot of ...more
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Wow!! Great!! 8 42 Dec 17, 2011 06:59AM  
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Joseph Finder’s plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer, and winner of the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for BURIED SECRETS (2011), winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for KILLER INSTINCT (2006) and winner of the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller for COMPANY MAN (2005).

Born in C
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More about Joseph Finder...

Other Books in the Series

Nick Heller (3 books)
  • Buried Secrets (Nick Heller, #2)
  • Guilty Minds (Nick Heller #3)

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“Mrs. Heller, I’m Dr. Yurovsky. Can you hear me?” Lauren considered replying, then decided not to bother. Too much effort. The words weren’t coming out the way she wanted. “Mrs. Heller, if you can hear me, I’d like you to wiggle your right thumb.” That she definitely didn’t feel like doing. She blinked a few times, which cleared her vision a little. Finally, she was able to see a man with a tall forehead and long chin, elongated like the man in the moon. Or like a horse. The face came slowly into focus, as if someone were turning a knob. A hooked nose, receding hair. His face was tipped in toward hers. He wore a look of intent concern. She wiggled her right thumb.” 1 likes
“I turned back to the monitor. The beefy guy in the hooded sweatshirt said something to Roger, then turned around, and I got a full-on look at his face. No one I recognized, but he was a type—Neanderthal forehead, deep eye sockets, simian features. He could have been any one of a dozen guys I trained with in Special Forces and who washed out before the end. One of those blank-faced muscle-bound cretins who think they’re tougher and smarter than they really are and usually end up working as mall cops.” 0 likes
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