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Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry

Vanishing Act

by Thomas Perry

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I felt I had to give Thomas Perry another chance. At the same time I felt I had plenty of reason not to. Despite a glowing-but-carefully-worded introduction by Michael Connelly to Perry’s first book, The Butcher’s Boy (Random House, 2003), it remains the only novel--off the top of my head--that I’ve rated 2 Stars. In fact, I found the introduction much more interesting than anything that followed it. But I closed the review with: “. . . there is something here. I find myself wanting to read more. Neither can I deny I was disappointed.” Perhaps that’s the reason I jumped to Perry’s sixth book, the first in the acclaimed Jane Whitefield series. I was greatly rewarded for doing so.

Jane, who lives in upstate New York near the Canadian border, is half Seneca Indian by blood and completely so in spirit, at least as much as the modern world will allow. Perhaps that is why, when it comes to her life’s work, she thinks of herself as a guide. She helps people disappear. Not criminals, unless there is a greater good involved, but decent people who are forced by circumstances to give up their lives as they know it. She works unofficially, without government knowledge, and has access to an extensive network of people who work outside the law. She fits among them, a thorough professional playing her part. Unfortunately, not knowing this would be her calling, she was sloppy in the beginning and now too many people not only know of her existence, but actually know her physical address. A man suddenly showing up at her house and referencing a previous, successfully-relocated “client” begins our introduction to Jane.

What follows is a mix of Indian lore, Jane’s skill at her profession, and pursuit from those trying to kill the man she is attempting to help. A murder results when things go wrong, and though the killer is obvious I believe that was always the author’s intention because he never makes Jane look stupid, not an easy thing to avoid when the reader knows more than she. Eventually it comes down to a one-on-one confrontation, which Jane can only win because of who she is and what she believes. It reaffirms everything we’ve come to know about Jane and her world. Nothing can be more satisfying than that. ( )
  JohnWCuluris | Oct 2, 2016 |
I had a difficult time getting beyond the surface with this book; it just did not draw me in. Not fond of the main character, Jane. Characters are supposed to make you care what happens. This character lacked the depth to do so. Also, the narrator was not able to do a believable male voice. Her male voices were the kind that really irritate one's central nervous system....awful. Not sure wether or not I will continue with his series....may give it one more chance, maybe not. ( )
  briellenadyne | Feb 12, 2016 |
Audio- i guessed who was the bad guy pretty quickly. Didn't she get that there where just too many questions ? Well surprise, surprise, that wasn't the big mystery. The real mystery comes after we know who and then why. ARGUH, I was on the edge of my seat screaming for her. The pacing of the book, the action, the intrigue- all top notch mystery.
Jane Whitefield, a Native American type of guide, a strong independent women, steeped in her families traditions. She thanks her ancestors,she thinks of the lessons taught to her, and uses them in her everyday life. I loved the Native American heritage that she respected and remembered. She brought her tribes history with her and did not sway from who she is to fit. Her fight to right what was done is dangerous and she never thinks to quit, this path is to the death.
Excellent narration - I will continue on with the series. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
Jane Whitefield, a Senecca is a guide who helps people escape those pursuing them. A man she is aiding, John Felker, is not who he says he is. There is tension and action in this book as well as a splattering of Senecca life. This is a great read and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
1 vote lewilliams | Nov 5, 2015 |
Intro to a great series of books. Alot of Indian lore. ( )
1 vote sberson | Jul 22, 2015 |
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There is nothing in which these barbarians carry their superstition to a more extravagant length, than in what regards dreams...in whatever manner the dream in conceived, it is always looked upon as a thing sacred, and as the most ordinary way in which the gods make known their will to men.

For the most part, they look upon them either as a desire of the soul inspired by some genius, or an order from him; and in consequence of this principle, they hold it a religious duty to obey them; and an Indian having dreamed of having a finger cut off, had it really cut off as soon as he awoke, after having prepared himself for this important action by a feast...

The affair becomes still more serious, should any one take it into his head to dream that he cuts the throat of another, for he will certainly accomplish it if he can; but woe to him, in his turn, should a third person dream that he revenges the dead.

Pierre de Charlevoix,
Journal of a Voyage to North-America,
For Isabel

With love to Alix and Jo
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Jack Killigan used the reflections in the dark windows to watch the woman walk quickly up the long concourse, look at her high heels so she could take a few extra steps while the escalator was carrying her down, and then hurry around the curve so she could step onto the conveyor.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804113874, Mass Market Paperback)

--The New York Times
Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads people out of the wilderness--not the tree-filled variety but the kind created by enemies who want you dead. She is in the one-woman business of helping the desperate disappear. Thanks to her membership in the Wolf Clan of the Seneca tribe, she can fool any pursuer, cover any trail, and then provide her clients with new identities, complete with authentic paperwork. Jane knows all the tricks, ancient and modern; in fact, she has invented several of them herself.
So she is only mildly surprised to find an intruder waiting for her when she returns home one day. An ex-cop suspected of embezzling, John Felker wants Jane to do for him what she did for his buddy Harry Kemple: make him vanish. But as Jane opens a door out of the world for Felker, she walks into a trap that will take all her heritage and cunning to escape....
"Thomas Perry keeps pulling fresh ideas and original characters out of thin air. The strong-willed heroine he introduces in Vanishing Act rates as one of his most singular creations."
--The New York Times Book Review
ONE THRILLER THAT MUST BE READ . . . .Perry has created his most complex and compelling protagonist."
--San Francisco Examiner

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:32 -0400)

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Jane Whitefield, a Native American woman whose job is to help people disappear, uses her expertise to assist those looking for a new identity, until she is confronted with a new client, John Felker, who is not what he seems.

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