Vanguard, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
ohn Brice is about to achieve his long awaited dream; the one time Internet geek's company is only hours away from going public and making John a billionaire a few times over. But all the money in the world cannot change the events that are about to shatter his and his family's lives. His young daughter Gracie is kidnapped in broad daylight during a well-attended soccer game. High-powered attorney Elizabeth Brice knows the grim statistics for finding kidnapped children alive, and demands the FBI take over the case. But as hours, and then days pass with little or no clues or a single demand from the kidnappers, hopes of finding Gracie quickly begin to evaporate.
en Brice is certain that his beloved granddaughter is still alive. The former Green Beret lives in self-imposed exile in Arizona where by day he constructs furniture for tourists and by night, he drowns his horrific memories of the Vietnam War in endless bottles of whiskey. Once he learns of Gracie's kidnapping, Ben heads to Texas to support his estranged family as well as do a little investigating of his own. He soon finds various clues that the FBI had missed. Even so, Ben knows it's already far too late - the Feds can't spend anymore money or manpower searching for a child who their statistics claim had probably been killed three hours after her abduction. Now Ben Brice must resurrect all the formidable skills he's spent years trying to repress, for he knows he's Gracie's last hope. So begins a race against time to locate her, while the former warrior confronts many secrets and ghosts from his own dark past.
is much more than just a child in jeopardy story. Mark Gimenez not only gives readers crackerjack plotting, captivating style and adrenalin-laced pacing, he injects deep insight into all his characters, from shattered father John, to his tightly controlled wife Elizabeth - and how Gracie's kidnapping forever changes their lives. The story, however, really belongs to Ben Brice, whose search for redemption propels this gripping and emotionally complex thriller to a surprising and thoroughly satisfying conclusion. If there's one thriller you read this fall, make it
- it's impossible to put down.
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