THEN SHE VANISHED by T. Jefferson Parker


Roland Ford Series, Book 4

From the publisher:

What if the client who’s hired you can’t be trusted…and the woman you’re looking for doesn’t want to be found? With Then She Vanished, three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times-bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker delivers a new and pulse-pounding thriller.

Private Investigator Roland Ford has taken a job for a fellow Marine and a rising politician, Dalton Strait. Strait is contending with unexplained bombings of government buildings in his district…but that is not why he hired Ford. Strait’s wife, Natalie, has gone missing, leaving behind a cryptic plea for help. Strait has made many enemies during his time in politics–including some of his own family members–all of whom could be looking for revenge. But as Ford digs into the details of a troubled marriage, Natalie’s disappearance becomes more and more complicated.

Meanwhile, the bombings in the city intensify, with a mysterious group known only as the Chaos Committee claiming responsibility. Ford soon learns that the seemingly random attacks may be connected to the case he’s on–and suddenly, his hunt for a missing woman might decide the fate of an entire city.

Roland Ford is a private detective that has appeared previously in Parker novels. In the current book, he has been asked by a fellow ex-Marine to find his wife who has disappeared and feared kidnapped. Dalton Strait the man whose wife has vanished is currently in the midst of a political campaign and indicates that he does not have the time to properly dedicate to searching for his wife. Concurrently happening at the same time as Dalton’s wife’s disappearance is a series of bombings and threats by a radical group calling themselves The Chaos Committee. The group makes public announcements calling for an overthrow of all current government agencies and supporting their demands with shooting and killings of police officers in California: the locale of the story.

Appearing with the Chaos Committee’s demands are various glimpses of Natalie, Dalton’s wife in which she could either be a prisoner or could also be allied with the Committee. And to complicate matters even more, Ford begins to doubt that he can trust Dalton. The novel goes into the search for Natalie and also the activities of the Chaos Committee which seems to have relevance to the kidnapping. And, oh yes, looks like Roland Ford has found himself a love interest along the way. Busy man.

The problems I found with this novel are the constant conversations and descriptions of everything and everybody that really do get somewhat tedious to go through in reaching the conclusion. The action is noted rapidly and is over when more descriptions are thrown in taking the story from a five-star read which is the author’s norm, to one that is not at his level.

8/2020 Paul Lane

THEN SHE VANISHED by T. Jefferson Parker.  G.P. Putnam’s Sons (August 11, 2020). ISBN: 978-0525537670. 352 pages.



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