It would be hard to imagine a worse day than the one faced by Boston medical examiner Laura Isles: a corpse in a body bag opens its eyes, quite alive some hours after having been pronounced dead. The erstwhile deceased is shuttled quickly to a nearby hospital, where she rewards her saviors by relieving a security guard of his gun, coolly shooting him to death and then taking a host of hostages. FBI agent Gabriel Rizzoli knows only too well the dangers faced by the involuntary detainees, and the situation is worsened immeasurably with the discovery that his pregnant wife is among them. This, then, is the setup for Tess Gerritsen's taut new thriller, <B>Vanish</B>. Nowhere is the book more effective than in its brief but riveting first-person vignettes featuring a young refugee from Belarus known only as Mila, lured by dreams of life in America, then sold into sexual servitude by her so-called guides. Adroitly cutting back and forth among captor and captive, cop and reporter, Gerritsen spins a tale of high-stakes political intrigue, the horrors of modern-day slave trading and the duplicity of ostensibly upstanding citizens. No mere rehashing of SWAT team antics, <B>Vanish</B> takes the tried-and-true hostage tale to the next level.

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