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Without a Trace

(Rock Harbor #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  6,119 ratings  ·  451 reviews
From USA TODAY bestselling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble comes a riveting mystery that draws together a plane crash, a lost husband and son, a violent crime, and a mother and her search-and-rescue dog who will stop at nothing to bring the child home. It's been months since the crash. K-9 search-and-rescue worker Bree Nicholls knows the chances of finding her husba ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 8th 2013 by Thomas Nelson (first published 2003)
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4.11  · 
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 ·  6,119 ratings  ·  451 reviews

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There were numerous facets of this book that made it great to read - characters with longings and friendships that I could relate to, losses to overcome, and a mystery to solve. Plus, the analogy of the great "Hound of Heaven" really spoke to my heart. The author made that analogy come alive for me in a way it never had before. Oh - and then there's the whole "mom" thing, about how deep and strong that bond is. Plus, I enjoyed the setting in Michigan's U.P.

The only difficulty I had with the book
Ah, a very satisfying and twisty mystery in this one. I’d say this is one of Coble’s best efforts. I had a hard time getting into it, but past around the 40% mark I was fully absorbed in the story and I liked the Christian message as well. I have plenty of interest in the side characters and some ongoing questions about some incidents in the book that I’ll definitely be reading more in this series.
Without a Trace was a fun enough suspense novel, but not quite as engrossing as I'd like. I think that sometimes Coble's writing style just comes across a bit lack-luster for me, which is totally a matter of personal taste as I know she has many fans. The mystery itself actually did take me by surprise, as I was not expecting the culprit one bit. Bree is a bit of a weak character at the beginning, and I really didn't like how she let some of the other characters jerk her around. However, as the ...more
Andrea Cox
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
by Andrea Renee Cox

Without a Trace is a good mystery that featured search-and-rescue dogs, which is a neat thing I haven't seen much in fiction. I was disappointed that there was heavy emphasis on affairs, which is why I can't give this book five stars. A solid mystery with interesting characters. No expletives that I noticed, which was nice. I had noticed one in a previous Colleen Coble book, so I was hesitant about reading this one, but I'm glad it was chosen for me by a friend on Goodreads. I
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Solid suspense novel to begin the Rock Harbor Series. I especially enjoyed the aspects of the one year old cold case.
Justin Domnitz
Dec 15, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do you like reading about women who run away to the bathroom to cry over something silly? Do you like being introduced to a dizzying array of characters with no development that are impossible to keep track of? How about gender-bending names or dog names that could be people's names just to make it more complicated? You must love an interesting intro only to have to wade through chapters and chapters of nothing happening for any sort of follow up. Then, this is the book for you! The book has str ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lifetime resident of Michigan, The Rock Harbor series caught my eye. I've enjoyed other books by Colleen Coble, and enjoyed this first book in the series very much! Winning characters and a picturesque backdrop make this a great combination. The story moves along at a good pace, and although a bit predictable, the story was no disappointment. The term "nor'easter" was used a few times when describing a brutal winter weather phenomenon. This term is not pertinent to the Great Lakes region. An " ...more
Without a Trace is book one in the Rock Harbor Series by Colleen Coble. Bree was still grieving for the loss of her son and husband in a plane crash when mysterious her sister-law Fay died. At first Sheriff Mason Kaleva and ranger Kade Matthews through it was a hiking accident until Samson and Charlie found more of Fay's blood elsewhere. The readers of Without a Trace will follow the investigation into Fay's death and would be surprised with the conclusion of this book.

Without a Trace is the se
Book one in Colleen Coble's Rock Harbor Series sets up the town of Rock Harbor Michigan on Lake Superior and features Bree Nichols, a widow, whose young son and husband disappeared in a supposed plane crash. Bree is a member of Rock Harbor's Search and Rescue team along with her dog Samson.

The small town of Rock Harbor is full of all sorts of interesting, loveable, and sometimes evil people. Bree is obsessed with finding the wreck of her husband's plane to bring closure to her life so she can m
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
I really wanted to like this book. The characters were underdeveloped and God kept getting randomly dropped into the story. I kept picturing am episode of Scooby Doo with the stereotypical small town and characters that start bad and turn good and vice versa. At times there was a little suspense which is the only reason I didn't put it down before finishing.
Joanie Bruce
Yesterday, I reviewed the book, “The Butterfly Palace” by Colleen Coble. I gave it only three stars, mostly because of personal preference. However, since that time, I’ve read another book by the same author, “Without a Trace,” which is the first book of the Rock Harbor Series. Honestly, I have to tell you that I LOVED this book by Ms. Coble.

What I liked: A Question is raised at the beginning of the book: whether Bree Nichols will find the place where the plane containing her husband and son ha
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I kept checking to make sure this really wasn't the second book in the series. The description leads one to believe that the plane crash occurs in this book. How am I, the reader, supposed to relate to Bree when I know nothing of her relationship with her son and husband? There was no character development, and the plot was so obviously predictible. Bree's overly calm encounter with Rachel at the end of the book would never have happened in real life. This is the first one of Colleen Coble's boo ...more
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story was interesting, but I found it fairly predictable. This was Christian fiction, which was not identified anywhere in the description that I bought it from; it was represented as a mystery. While this did not necessarily bother me, it came off as a little preachy. The main character's sudden transformation from a non-believer to a believer was a little over the top and unbelievable.
April Jones
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good story. Nice plot. Not overly predictable. The characters were pretty well-developed. It kept my interest, but it was not un-put-down-able.
Ronda  Tutt
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great christian story that keeps your wondering through out the whole book. It was a great mystery finding out what happened to Bree's husband and her son. The book kept your interest by giving you ideas of several options of what could of happened to her family with all the twist and turns - starting out with knowing that her husband and son were in a plane crash but didn't know where the crash site was. With the help of her search and resue dog "Sam" and the help of her family and ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Colleen Coble's book A Cry in the Night and was so drawn into the storyline I had to go looking for the rest of the series. Without a Trace is the beginning of this multi book series and it is quite a story. The main character Bri is struggling through life after loosing both her husband and young son in a plane crash in which the wreckage and remains are still unrecovered. Bri continues to make a life for herself in the small community of Rock Harbor using her search and rescue skil ...more
May 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book along with my book club - it was a decent book. Though the plot was interesting, there was a lot of stilted conversation and unnatural development of relationships between characters. I was wondering if this was one of the firs series that Colleen Coble wrote, because on other books I've read by her, the plot and character development seems a little better. All in all, it was an entertaining read and I am planning on reading the other two books in the series now that I've read t ...more
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happened across this book by fluke at a local book store that was clearing a bunch of paperback novels out. I enjoy novels set in more remote locations like this one is, set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which is what drew me into this book.
Although I don't consider myself religious is anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've currently read two of the Rock Harbor Mysteries.
A good mystery that kept my interest yet the characters weren't developed enough for me to remember who was who and who was related to whom. And there were some elements of the story that were a bit unbelievable, thus only 3 stars. Not interested enough to read the rest in the series.
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Way too predictable. Coming off an amazing book by Tana French so maybe I'm being too hard on Coble. The sophistication of the plot, character dev and writing is just too simple. Lots of great reviews for this book but doesn't seem worth the time. Probably a good series for early teen girls?
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. While it had kind of a slow start without much on-the-edge-of-your-seat adventure, I enjoyed the easy start in this book because I was able to get to know these characters. I quickly grew to love Anu, Bree, Naomi, and Kade. Don't let the easy start fool you, though, this was a great, suspenseful book, especially as you reached 3/4 of the way through the book.

What I Liked: Colleen Coble did a fantastic job weaving this story. The end shocked me because the culprit who
Vikki Vaught
3.5 stars
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a good book! I laughed, I cried, I smiled... Definitely a book I couldn't put down!
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, christmas
Bree Nichols and her German Shepherd mix dog, Samson, are a Search and Rescue (SAR) team in Rock Harbor, a small town on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She has been looking for the small plane that went down with her husband and four year old son for a year. She knows that she needs to let go of the search, accept their deaths, and get on with living, but a part of her just can't stop searching for the missing plane. Then a woman who tells Bree that she saw an airplane seat ne ...more
Teresa TL Bruce
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYone
Bree Nichols and her German Shepherd mix Sampson are part of a K-9 search and rescue team in the rugged wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Her best friend Naomi, and Naomi's dog Charlie, join her as they track and find hunters and lost children. But there is MUCH more to this story.

For the last year Bree has also searched for the missing plane that went down with her husband and four year old son. As she wrestles with her own and her in-laws' desire for closure, she finds it harder to let
Mrs. Doglvrs
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
It's official -- I love everything Colleen Coble writes!
This great thriller, an amazing start to a 4 book series, takes place in the wonderful wilderness that is Michigan's upper peninsula.

Bree & Naomi along with their dogs Samson and Charley are the town of Rock Harbor's personal Search & Rescue team.
The story starts out with them finding 2 lost children, who have been helped by a "witch in the woods" and her son.

As it turns out, Bree's husband and young son have been lost in the same
Search and Rescue in Northern Michigan... right up my alley.... what's not to like?

Actually, as the book progressed the religion/Christianity stuff got a bit pushy for me. I have my beliefs, don't really enjoy bible study in my fiction reading.

Unfortunately, this is a series I looked forward to reading, but I began the second book and will not finish it because the religious theme is strong right from the start.
Dec 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be the best book I've ever read!! I fell in love with the characters, and enjoyed the intrigue of a good mystery, as well as the heartwarming tales of family and friends woven throughout. I am immediately starting book two in the happy that my relationship with these characters doesn't end with this book!
This is the first book of the Rock Harbor series. What I liked most about this book is that it ties in both mystery and faith. Throughout the series you see how Bree's faith develops. The book also contains moments of sadness, grief, happiness, and suspense. I got pulled into the book & characters and never wanted to put the book down. This is what led me to read the rest of this series.
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Christian Book Gi...: Without a Trace by Coleen Coble 6 15 Nov 28, 2014 07:42AM  

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USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.

Other books in the series

Rock Harbor (6 books)
  • Beyond a Doubt (Rock Harbor #2)
  • Into the Deep (Rock Harbor, #3)
  • Abomination (Rock Harbor #4)
  • Cry in the Night (Rock Harbor #5)
  • Beneath Copper Falls (Rock Harbor #6)
“Men were as plentiful as salmon, but a best friend was a freshwater pearl.” 1 likes
“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears. —“The Hound of Heaven” (FRANCIS THOMPSON, 1859–1907)” 0 likes
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