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Tragedy . . . heartache . . . how much more can Tyler Montgomery and John Webster take? This missions trip, the “healing” one, has only added fresh layers of pain. Construction of an orphanage in Haiti’s northwest . . . yes. But a doomed rescue operation, human traffickers, human anomalies, extreme personal danger . . . risk of death? They hadn’t signed up for any of those.
Turning their backs on the crisis, however, is unthinkable, it’s just not who they are

270 pages, Paperback

First published March 30, 2016

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About the author

Mark Bierman

1 book47 followers
Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman's childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non.

Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this "country boy" to life in the big cities.

After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 50 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 18 books3,533 followers
September 25, 2021
Kidnapping is hard enough, but when it occurs in a foreign country, and the risk of violence and disease is über prevalent, what can two men with an already tragic past do to help the victim? But it gets worse... this isn't just 1 seven-year-old girl in Haiti, but an entire trade of human trafficking they need to conquer. In Mark Bierman's novel Vanished, the first I've read by him, he explores the psychological and physical aspects of what happens to a group of people involved and impacted by this horror. It's gritty, not very pretty (in a good way, I mean), and shocking.

Not my typical read, I found myself engaged in a tale filled with memorable characters and a frightening plot. Our protagonists are tricked/tested by someone, and it almost causes a far worse problem, but finally, they are on the trail of the people running this gang of human thieves. The poor child(ren) and mothers who've lost their babies to this horrific tragedy couldn't possibly suffer anymore, but the suspense ride Bierman brings us on shows that recovery will not be an easy path in Haiti. Men are tested, and past losses make acceptance of more death even harder.

The world is filled with nasty individuals. Some countries are truly in need of humanitarian help. And when people's lives are meaningless (or meaningful if they can be sold, to be honest) to the kidnappers, how can anyone stand by and permit this to happen? How much of this is reality? Probably most, based on Bierman's research and blog posts. He's captured the essence of the paralyzing fears in the families of the victim, but he's also shown readers a world they might never experience themselves.

Definitely a good read. Not something I would've picked up without seeing so many positive reviews. And I look forward to seeing what else this writer can bring to the table in the future.
Profile Image for Happy Booker.
1,154 reviews66 followers
August 13, 2018
Vanished is a story about two people John and Tyler, trying to retrieve a little girl who has been stolen and sold by human traffickers. The couple goes through many obstacles in order to find the girl. The race is on when the time is precious and the life a little girl is involved which makes this story very interesting to read.

The literature was easy to understand, and the pace was fast. I found the subject matter to be susceptible for a reader that may not necessarily have the heart to read such things. There is a risk of death, layers of pain, crisis, and dealing with the unthinkable as they navigate through the journey of finding this girl.

I particularly liked the cover of the book. The storyline may have not been novel, but the way it was written made you feel for the characters and unwillingly show emotion and keep hope for the little girl being found. I believe that displays good writing.

The concept of the storyline was appealing. The one thing that could improve the work was its character introduction. There were times where new characters were brought into the storyline but did not possess much backstory. This did not, however, affect the story itself and would have mattered if the book had a sequel.

I recommend this story to people that enjoy reading fiction stories that offer some light on sensitive topics.
Profile Image for Grace.
93 reviews17 followers
June 19, 2022
If you're looking for a fast-paced, action-fueled read about human trafficking then "Vanished" may hit the spot. The writing is solid, and the POV changes are smoothly executed.

There are many POV transitions, and this could have gone off the rails in less capable hands. But Bierman manages to keep the POV switches coherent and well paced. I found the overall reading experience highly absorbing.

Now, I must say that there is a lack of emotional resonance and character depth (including in the villain). Again, the focus is on the plot and action -- and "Vanished" is in its element here.
Profile Image for D.L. Finn.
Author 17 books277 followers
August 3, 2018
I knew the topic going into reading this fictional book: child trafficking. Mr. Bierman shows the reader the process, including how children are kidnapped from their families--or the worst when their families sell them into slavery. The poverty and greed that uses children…I have a hard time absorbing that and worried this would be a hard read for me, but it wasn’t. The storyline centers on two American men doing missionary work in Haiti. A young girl is kidnapped, and they start on a journey to find her. The story’s told through different characters, which held my interest as they became interwoven. The action is non-stop and I had a hard time putting it down. I was fully invested in the characters and had a range of emotions from joy to sadness. This is a book that can make you think about an unpleasant subject, while being a good fictional story that entertains. I can easily recommend “Vanished” especially if you love action and the depth of a thought-provoking subject put together.
April 23, 2016
I very much enjoyed reading this very well written book. The author has a unique ability to describe events wth imaginative yet concise terminology that makes a scene come alive. The story is an exciting and fast moving one, which very much holds the reader in suspense.
Profile Image for Jessica.
11 reviews
June 23, 2016
I got this book free from Goodreads giveaway. It is not the type of book I normally read, but I love how it captures your attention as soon as you open the book and you are transported to another part of the world. This is a hard to put down page-turner, so get ready for an emotional journey!
1 review
June 3, 2016
This was an excellent book. The book held my attention through out. At some points in the book I felt as if I was there. I would highly recommend this book if you like suspense. Well done Mark!!!!
Profile Image for Roberta Cheadle.
Author 16 books104 followers
December 27, 2019
This is a book about child trafficking, in this particular case, in Haiti, post the destructive earthquake of 2010. This topic is not a new one, but I thought the execution of this story was rather unique in its demonstration of the impact that child trafficking has on all the people involved, from the victims to their families, relationships between the abducted children, older people who have been in slavery most of their lives and external people who aim to rescue a particular child or children, if possible.

John and Tyler are two Americans who have come to Haiti as part of the volunteer relief programme post the earthquake. John is Tyler's deceased young wife's father and they have both come to Haiti seeking to exercise the demons resulting from Joy's death from pancreatic cancer. When the seven-year old daughter, Chantale, of the housekeeper where they are staying is abducted by child traffickers, they become embroiled in trying to find the child. It becomes a burning obsession for Tyler who believes it will help eradicate some of the guilt and pain he feels about his wife's death.

I liked the characters of both John and Tyler, they felt very real and came across as really nice and caring men. The one aspect relating to both of them that really stuck out for me is how real their behaviour and decisions were in this book. They both made some decisions that were impulsive and ill advised and they paid the price by ending up in difficult situations. There were no unlikely sets of circumstances that gave them an easy out of their self induced problems and their struggles were reasonable and gave the story a ring of reality and authenticity.

The conflict in the personality of supporting character, Janjak, also had a ring of truth. Janjak lived a hard life and has been in prison. He was most fortunate to escape prison with his life when the earthquake occurred and many of the prisoners died in their underground jail. Janjak needs money and is prepared to rob the privileged Americans, John and Tyler, but he is not prepared to commit murder. He also has a good heart and is grieved by the surge of child trafficking in his country and its surrounds. His pity for the children leads him to eventually helping John and Tyler on their mission to save Chantale.

There are a couple of side stories running through the book, including the story of a fifteen year old girl who has been in slavery for many years and manages to escape with a friend and is on the run. The circumstances surrounding the wife of the psychotic ring-leader of the child traffickers, who is herself an abducted child and is a slave to her husband and a social worker, called Violine, who tries to help John and Tyler with their mission and who has all sorts of unknown relationships.

This is a fast paced book, full of action and excitement, but with a heart rending underlying theme.
Profile Image for Sally Cronin.
Author 21 books142 followers
November 28, 2020
This book is a challenging read, not because of how it is written, but the subject matter. We tend to picture islands in the Caribbean as having sun swept sandy beaches, luxury accommodation and smiling faces of the inhabitants, happy to see tourists pouring into their paradise. However Haiti has had centuries of political, economic and social unrest and suffered devastating natural disasters. Following one such event, the earthquake in 2010, thousands of men, women and children were killed and many more thousands were left homeless. The population is left reliant on assistance from the outside world, including volunteers to help them rebuild. However, as well as the suffering caused by this natural disaster, there is an underlying evil that thrives on misery, and manipulates parents in dire straits, to offer up their children under the pretense of a better life.

Two Americans Tyler and his father-in-law John Webster arrive on the island following a tragedy of their own, with the loss of Joy, Tyler’s wife and John’s daughter from cancer. Hopeful that the physical labour of helping to construct an orphanage, will bring them both a measure of peace, they find themselves caught up in the violent world of the human traffickers preying on children in particular. From mines to plantations the trade in cheap slave labour is thriving, and it is manned by thugs with money the motivator.

In a desperate search across the mountainous interior of the country, and forced to form alliances with those they cannot trust, and in some cases with those wishing them violence, the two men seek one child among thousands. Their story runs in parallel with heartrending accounts of others who have been caught up in the trafficking, who seek to escape, often at the expense of their lives.

The author has created strong characters across the spectrum of good vs. evil, and the story maintains its pace throughout the book. The mission Tyler and John have undertaken hurtles towards a violent climax, and consequences that will need to be faced. A thought provoking thriller that serves as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in a kinder world.
Profile Image for D. Peach.
Author 22 books133 followers
January 31, 2020
This story kicks off the action on page one and doesn’t let up. In fact, when I was about ¾ of the way through, I needed to sit back, take a deep breath, and work the tension out of my shoulders. Bierman’s ability to write non-stop, intense, dangerous action is noteworthy. And though in many ways, I’d characterize the story as plot-driven, there’s some deep emotion when it’s called for.

And the story isn’t a picnic. Though the author maintains that it’s fictional, he also states that it centers on a very real and tragic situation – child slavery. Tyler and John are two likable Americans who team up with an anti-hero in Haiti. The story follows their attempt to rescue a Haitian’s young child from a mine worked by kidnapped children. The difficulty of this plan is skillfully complicated by cultural barriers, corruption, poverty, and, of course, the ruthless adults who treat children like disposable tools – use them until they break and then throw them away.

Even though the book is plot-driven, I felt connected to Tyler and John. It was hard not to feel for them and root for them when things weren’t going well (which was the whole book). In a way, they are ordinary men who, as things got worse and worse, had to keep remaking decisions about what they’re willing to sacrifice, including their lives. They give it their all and it was very heroic. I’d read more about the characters and will read more of this author. Recommended for anyone who loves an intense action-packed adventure/thriller.
Profile Image for Mae Clair.
Author 18 books555 followers
January 7, 2020
Although this is a work of fiction, it’s tragic to know the book is grounded in reality. Tyler and John take a mission trip to Haiti. Tyler is grieving the loss of his wife to cancer—who was John’s daughter. Son-in-law and father-in-law have a strong relationship, readily apparent from the start. No sooner do we meet them, however, than a child goes missing, abducted by slave traders. Many of the locals are ready to write the little girl off as lost, as child abductions are commonplace. Tyler takes a different stance, and John is soon in all the way.

What follows is a riveting search to save a life, and a grim look at the ugliness of human trafficking. There were parts of the book that made me squirm, others that brought inspiration and hope. Bierman makes atrocities clear without being graphic, yet the scenes are raw and powerful, the delivery intense. All of the characters are well developed, including secondary roles. The reader becomes enmeshed in the lives of many, the threads that tie various plot points together, expertly handled. Well written and polished, the story moves at a breathless clip and delivers a satisfying ending. Undertaking such a difficult subject is not an easy feat, but Bierman delivered social commentary and an engrossing story in a seamless package.
Profile Image for Sarah Hill.
Author 3 books24 followers
February 18, 2021
How far would you go to save a life?

I came across this book on Instagram and decided to purchase it when I saw half the proceeds from sales are donated to organizations that combat human trafficking.
I am so glad I didn't scroll past that post! This book kept a captive audience in me and my heart racing. In the beginning we find ourselves at a mission in Haiti where two Americans, John and Tyler have come to help with construction of an orphanage. While there one of the mission employees' daughter is taken. John and Tyler are unable to let it go without trying to find the little girl.
We are taken on a journey that tears open the curtains thrown over human trafficking and the heinous life those taken are thrown into. Along the way the Americans come across a handful of souls willing to risk their lives for one small child. Bonds are made. Lies are discovered, some forgiven and some that change the way we view others. As they zone in on where young Chantale may have been taken, the search becomes more dangerous and luck seems to be very thin. Will John, Tyler, Janjak and the few willing to help survive long enough to accomplish the rescue and escape or will their efforts be quelled and hidden from anyone ever knowing there was ever a rescue mission to begin with? You'll have to pick up a copy and find out!
Profile Image for S. Burke.
Author 9 books142 followers
February 19, 2019
My REVIEW: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A Riveting insightful and moving reading experience.

Many authors shy away from the dark side of human behavior. Author Mark Bierman tackles it head-on. The breadth and depth of “Vanished” is astounding. The author's characterizations of the central protagonists bring them to life on the page. We as readers can see them, hear them and through the words of this writer we are granted an insight into both their dreams and their pain. Human trafficking will never be eradicated if we continue to close our eyes to its existence. I salute Mark Bierman for his ability to shine a spotlight on it, while also allowing us to see into the hearts and minds of those that rail against it, and take action to help save a child caught up in the horror.

The pacing is fast, it kept me turning pages, eager to discover the ultimate outcome. The author has drawn widely on his experiences as a private investigator to bring us a book that shines and is resoundingly believable throughout.

If you enjoy a moving, provocative and emotionally charged reading experience then this is an absolute must-read.
Profile Image for Lanie Mores.
Author 4 books74 followers
June 2, 2021
Last night I finished reading Vanished by Mark Bierman, and what a wonderfully written book it was. Action-packed from the get-go, I found my heart racing multiple times throughout the story, fearing what might happen next. The story follows two main characters, Tyler Montgomery and John Webster who, while on a missionary trip in Haiti, become involved in a treacherous rescue mission to save a kidnapped child. During their search, they uncover a dark web of greed, abuse, and human trafficking that will change their lives forever. This book is both entertaining and educational, as it brings awareness to the ongoing crises in the world of human trafficking. The plot is strong and well researched, the characters are interesting, with many layers. I strongly recommend reading this book if you enjoy adventures, thrillers, and well-written fiction!
Profile Image for Randall Krzak.
Author 7 books164 followers
September 6, 2019
I recently read Vanished by Mark Bierman. This is a thought-provoking story which is very relevant given the global push to end modern-day slavery. It's easy to become immersed in the helpless situation of those finding themselves alone and subjected to all kinds of brutality. Mark's characters, John and Tyler, head to Haiti to assist with the construction of an orphanage but before long, find themselves involved in the hunt for a missing child, Chantale.

Mark has done an excellent job in creating realistic characters and an intense plot. Readers will find themselves cheering on Tyler and John in the hopes they can rescue Chantale before it's too late. This is the first novel I've read written by Mark and it won't be the last!
1 review
July 10, 2016
I found the author not only was a great story teller, but the entire book was thought provoking. The part of the book I loved the most, was the author's ability to develop his characters. I genuinely loathed the antagonist of this book, and that was dues to the author's ability to portray the character so well!! This book is not only a book that makes you think about society, but its action packed and kept me up past my bedtime because I literally couldn't put it down!! Can't wait for more material from Mark, solid job.
Profile Image for Victorian Tea.
1 review21 followers
May 15, 2016
I was pleasantly surprised with Vanished. It is not normally the type of book I read but I am very glad I decided to give it a try. It piqued my interest from the minute I started it and my interest only intensified with the start of each new chapter. As with any good book I couldn't wait to see how it ended but then was left reeling from the emotions that it invoked. Well done Mr. Bierman! (less)
Profile Image for Jamin Melanson.
Author 2 books10 followers
August 1, 2016
Mark does a a great job with the plot and characters in Vanished. The terrors of Human Trafficking is a real threat in this world, and he does a great job portraying this evil in the book. As well, he implements a solid story through the eyes of Tyler and John. There were times I felt like I was one of them as they worked to rescue the kids from the clutches of the slavery. If you enjoy modern fiction, pick up this book. You will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Liliyana Shadowlyn.
2,147 reviews60 followers
August 30, 2016
A harrowing tale of love, loss, and redemption. Walk with Mark as he takes you on a twisting ride deep into the depths of humanity's depravity. This is not a light read, nor is it meant for those who wish to stay ignorant of the way things truly are in this world. A beacon of hope in all too often tragic world, 'Vanished' isn't afraid to tackle what many in more privileged countries consider taboo, even today.
Profile Image for William Henry Lassiter.
116 reviews16 followers
July 12, 2021
I finally got around to finishing Vanished and the only negative thing I can say is that I'm sorry I didn't read this earlier!
This was a powerful read about the controversial and real topic of human trafficking/child trafficking.
The story's backdrop is the island of Haiti.
Multiple characters tell the story as it unfolds to a exciting ending. The characters kept me invested to keep reading.
Great read overall. Fantastic work by Mark Bierman!
Profile Image for Rox Burkey.
Author 40 books102 followers
October 29, 2020
Author Mark Bierman crafts a fictional story focused on the horror of human trafficking of children. This is a relevant issue that occurs across the globe. Sadly, it helps illustrate greed, cruelty, exploitation, and corruption in an abhorrent way. Half the proceeds from sales of this book are donated to organizations that combat human trafficking.

Haiti, as a location, might have you romanticizing about the Caribbean islands, though it has a long history of violent crimes. The setting is excellent for this story. Author Bierman grabs you right off the bat and keeps you connected with the non-stop action.

An atheist, Janjak scoffed at the supernatural designation. Raven may have been a sadistic carnivore, but he was just a man. One who treated his prey with feline cruelty.
Frantz began to sob. Now ashamed, Janjak let him up. Frantz scurried away.
A gravelly voice chased him, “I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to play! Heee! Haa! Haaa! Haaaaa!”
Nauseous, Janjak turned away. The laughter became thunderous. The building shook. The scene exploded into chaos. For an instant, he almost believed Kalfu existed. What’s going on? A quick glance around revealed three hundred men in the tennis court sized room running amok. They crashed into one another and tripped over debris. The fallen were trampled.
Janjak froze. A section of roof collapsed with the reverberating sound of discordant kettle drums, crushing Raven. Red blood flowed from the corpse. Raven was human.

This natural disaster sets off a chain of events that bring two Americans, Tyler and John, to help with the relief efforts. Tyler’s wife and John’s daughter, Joy, recently died from pancreatic cancer, and both men thought the giving to the Haitian community would be therapeutic for their grieving process. These two characters were relatable throughout the story, with their actions making each situation more believable.

When Chantale, the seven-year-old of the housekeeper, where the men are staying is kidnapped, Tyler becomes consumed with finding her. John and Tyler both focus on finding the girl but uncover more slavery and despicable human suffering than they ever imagined. Unlikely support for them comes from Janiak, the escapee from prison, who started out wanting to rob the men but showed he possesses a heart.

Author Bierman does an excellent job of showing all the sides of people, families, communities, and evil due to human trafficking. This dramatic, action-packed, suspenseful, and overwhelmingly sad look at humanity’s dark side was impossible to put down. In many places, it made me cry, and still, I had to finish. I highly recommend this book for adults who want to understand this terrible problem and the plight of so many. Mark Bierman should be commended for writing a bold story in such a creative way.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Gauffreau.
Author 5 books47 followers
July 18, 2021
Mark Bierman‘s novel Vanished opens in a Haitian prison with a game of cards turned violent, followed by an earthquake. The chapter ends with the escape of a prisoner who will play a pivotal role in the novel.

Enter young widower Tyler and his father-in-law John, two Americans newly arrived to help build an orphanage for the beleaguered island. No sooner do they get settled at the American-sponsored Rescue Mission than the young daughter of one of the Haitian staff is kidnapped.

When Chantale goes missing, the Rescue Mission organizes a search of the surrounding neighborhood. The search comes up dry, and the leaders of the Mission take it no further, resigning themselves to Chantale’s all-too-common fate. Attempts to enlist the aid of social work agencies are also unsuccessful. Tyler and John decide to find Chantale themselves.

At the same time, they are well aware of the enormity of what they’re facing. If the problem of child slavery is so great that you can’t save all the children, should you even try to save just one? What about all the other children? John in particular struggles with this question as the violence escalates later in the book.

The narration employs alternating points of view, including the kidnappers’, to advance the plot and build tension.( The third person narrator’s use of passive voice--when a sentence begins with the object of the verb, and the subject is not stated--made the action a little hard to follow in places.)

I was struck by the lengths to which Tyler and John would go to save Chantale, a little girl they didn’t even know. Equally striking were the lengths to which the kidnappers would go to prevent them from doing so. As a skinny, terrified little seven-year-old, she has negligible value as a manual laborer--yet the fight to save her is violent, bloody, and protracted.

In the Afterward, Bierman explains that he wrote the book to raise awareness of human trafficking. He chose Haiti as a representative location because his family had been on missions there. Even as I was reading it, the book raised the question in my mind of what form of writing is most effective to call attention to a serious social problem: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, investigative journalism?

The intent with choosing fiction is to give a particular social problem a human face in the form of living, breathing people the reader can care about. On the other hand, particularly when a writer is very passionate about his cause, there is a risk of authorial intrusion into the story. I am gratified to report that Bierman does not sacrifice the characters or the plot to serve his cause, as worthy as it is. Vanished is a compelling read from beginning to end; at no time did I leave the story.
Profile Image for Catherine Hamilton.
Author 2 books53 followers
March 29, 2021
Vanished by Mark Bierman

Everyone has heard of the horrors of modern-day human trafficking. We have perhaps even conjured images in our mind when we see a child who seems to be too far ahead of his mom or dad at the park! But who knows the parent of child who has been kidnaped?

Bierman changes all this in “Vanished!”

Characters Tyler and John have both suffered recent loss, and are willing to risk life and limb to spare a Haitian woman the same pain. But why are they willing to look for a little girl who has vanished into thin air?

Well—you’ll learn why when you read this action-packed adventure novel. I’ll give you a hint, these guys believe that any child’s life is worth fighting for! No more spoilers! Except to say that the setting is the exotic Caribbean island of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake has devastated most of the island.

The island’s problems with human trafficking started long before the coming of the earthquake. An attitude of tolerance toward the problem shocks the protagonist, his friends – and the reader.

So, when Tyler and John face the evils of human trafficking head on, I was right there with them. This is a heart-stopping read that brings to life the horror of modern-day slavery, and the sad truths about any nation willing to look the other way. Is this a problem that is unsurmountable? Will Tyler and John give up? And to what lengths will these men and their unlikely “friend” go to save one little girl?

Witness the dark secrets that are kept about human traffickers in this debut novel!

Rich in detail! Riveting! I recommend it to lovers of action adventure fiction that sheds light on real-life criminals, especially those who traffic children.

Profile Image for Erik McManus.
302 reviews291 followers
June 15, 2018
This book was very interesting. Every scene moved quickly but it kept the plot moving along and it made it so that the storyline never really had a dull pause. It’s funny because one of the main characters is named John Webster and I actually know a John Webster 😛

The book brings light to a huge issue. Human Trafficking. It is such a big problem in 3rd world countries and it’s brutal because a lot of the human trafficking is children that are stolen or kidnapped off the street and thrown into slavery. In this book, the main characters are trying to save a young girl who has been kidnapped and put into slavery. So many people would turn a blind eye to it and say that there is no hope and she is gone but not John and Tyler. They go through a lot to find this girl and see unimaginable things that are genuinely upsetting but very real. There are a lot of cool characters introduced along the way and the story is told from all different perspectives that intertwine by the end.

The only thing I didn’t really like about the book was that there are some characters that are introduced and it seems like there will be more to them but then they are just dropped and out of the story, never to be heard of again. It only happened with one or two characters but I would have liked to hear more about their part in the whole thing.

Overall, it was an action-packed adventure that will have you on your toes from start to finish.
Profile Image for Teri.
Author 5 books143 followers
January 21, 2021
I have a difficult time reading about cruelty of any kind toward children or animals, so I knew going in parts of this book would be a challenge for me. It’s a horrific reality that human trafficking exists in this day and age and is quite common in some areas. So common that when a young girl is abducted by slave traders in Haiti, very little effort goes into trying to find her. Tyler, grieving the death of his wife, and his father-in-law, John, are shocked at the lack of response and vow to find the girl and return her to her mother no matter what. With two Americans in an unfamiliar country taking on such an incredibly dangerous task it won’t be an easy quest. Who can they trust? Where do they even start?

I’d be lying if I said this is an easy read – it’s absolutely not. Tyler’s and John’s journey is filled with obstacles and dead ends, harsh truths, unsavory characters, and violence. Even when their own lives are in danger, neither is willing to abandon their search for this child. The subplots are just as compelling and tragic. Although it portrays very real atrocities that occur far too often, this story is also full of hope and inspiration. There is still good in the world and people who are willing to go to battle against evil.

The author does a wonderful job dealing with such a tragic topic, and it’s clear the novel was thoroughly researched. Vanished is incredibly thought-provoking and will leave a lasting impression.
Profile Image for Jan Sikes.
Author 24 books158 followers
July 4, 2019
This is a very well written book that, even though it is fiction, gives a bird's eye view into the horrors of human trafficking and child slavery. The story is set in Haiti and Dominican. Two American men, Tyler and John, take an opportunity to go on a mission trip to Haiti. Each are looking for an escape from their fresh and raw grief. Tyler, having lost his wife, Joy, to cancer, and John, who was Joy's father, need to find some closure to their loss. What better way than to help with a mission in an impoverished country? But, what they encounter is beyond anything they could have ever imagined. Their mission changes from one of helping bring Christianity to lost souls, to one of trying to save a small child from a life of abuse and horror. The characters throughout this book, help deliver the story in such a way that the reader is drawn into their lives, into their fight for survival, and into their hope for escape. This is not a book for the squeamish or faint of heart. It exposes the raw evil, greed and inhumane acts that do occur on a daily basis, even in today's advanced societal state. My hat is off to this author for having the courage to tackle such a hard subject and for the way he wove the story in and around the different characters. If you like heart-stopping drama about real happenings, you will enjoy this book from indie author, Mark Bierman!
Profile Image for Victoria Ray.
Author 9 books99 followers
July 22, 2020
Vanished is a tough book to read but at the same time an exciting story and important theme. The author, Mark Bierman, has done a great job of blending the hard facts of life in Haiti with fast thriller-alike actions and believable characters. The novel starts with a description of the earthquake in 2010 and continues with the arrival of Tyler, John, Samantha, and Peter in North West Haiti, where a child/girl is vanishing from the local Rescue Mission.
As I read the book about hard (often depressing or gruesome) adventures of John and Tyler, it horrified me to consider that the young children like Chantelle were violated in all parts of the world at that very moment…
The book Vanished is rich in detail, and the author did a great job with the research or/and observations. The plot is well described: relationships, heartbreaks, hate, greed, family, love. The author’s ability to capture the nuance of human relationships in all their complicated forms was true to life yet felt like a very unique, new perspective.
Overall: phenomenally engaging, highly-suspenseful, dramatic, realistic… you can almost see how evil is hiding behind the faces of real people. There’re plenty of surprises in this book! It was hard to put down, and I find myself thinking about the plot and story a lot. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Jacquie.
Author 89 books809 followers
April 26, 2021
An edge of your seat page-turner!

Tyler Montgomery and his father-in-law, John Webster go on a bonding mission to Haiti after the death of Tyler’s wife. Both men are suffering and hope helping in the building of an orphanage will bring them some peace. But, not long after they arrive, a young girl disappears from the mission and, after learning the law will do little to find her, undertake the search themselves.

The child- only seven years old- has most likely been taken by child traffickers, which angers and disgusts the men. As the search continues, Montgomery and Webster learn how prevalent trafficking is in third world countries. Often, parents themselves send their children away in order to give them a better life; instead they face slavery and sexual exploitation.

Faced with language barriers, mistrust, and violence at every corner, it will take these men strength and dedication to save little Chantele. At times I found Tyler to be overly impulsive- especially in a strange country- and it got them into some nasty situations, but he did it with a kind heart.

This is not an easy read, but I believe it’s an important one. If we don’t face the tragedies in this world, there is no hope of fixing them.
Profile Image for Patricia Furstenberg.
Author 56 books97 followers
June 1, 2020
Bierman’s novel Vanished reminded me of James Clavell’s King Rat. Much like Clavell, Bierman reels in the reader from the first chapter. The book blends the reality of everyday life in Haiti with the race of finding a missing child believed to be abducted by slave traders.
Bierman will not allow you to shield your eyes from the reality of human trafficking. What he does wonderfully and makes this book worth a read is getting the reader to root for the two main characters, as well as for those oppressed. You will be drawn into their lives and hold thumbs, prying for a happy ending.
Modern fiction at its best, shining a spotlight on the tragedy of child trafficking. A book with a powerful and important message.
Profile Image for Joshua Grant.
Author 15 books237 followers
December 5, 2018
Mark Bierman does a fantastic job holding your attention all throughout his thrilling novel Vanished. Set in real events, Vanished begins with a prison break during the 2010 Haitian earthquake and never lets up from there. Bierman’s characters are realistic and likeable and the plot always has an interesting twist to bear. A wonderful thrill ride, especially for any world travelers out there!
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