Excerpt from The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Vanished Man

A Lincoln Rhyme Novel

by Jeffery Deaver

The Vanished Man
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2003, 416 pages
    Jun 2004, 560 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

He straightened up, considering what else he might do to the still form in front of him.

"You're sure it was screaming?"

"Yeah....No," the security guard said. "Maybe not screaming, you know. Shouting. Upset. For just a second or two. Then it stopped."

Officer Diane Franciscovich, a portable working out of the Twentieth Precinct, continued, "Anybody else hear anything?"

The heavy guard, breathing hard, glanced at the tall, brunette policewoman, shook his head and flexed and opened his huge hands. He wiped his dark palms on his blue slacks.

"Call for backup?" asked Nancy Ausonio, another young patrol officer, shorter than her partner, blonde.

Franciscovich didn't think so, though she wasn't sure. Portables walking the beat in this part of the Upper West Side dealt mostly with traffic accidents, shoplifting and car theft (as well as holding the hands of distraught muggees). This was a first for them -- the two women officers, on their Saturday morning watch, had been spotted on the sidewalk and motioned urgently inside by the guard to help check out the screaming. Well, upset shouting.

"Let's hold off," the calm Franciscovich said. "See what's going on."

The guard said, "Sounded like it was comin' from 'round here somewhere. Dunno."

"Spooky place," Ausonio offered, oddly uneasy; she was the partner most likely to leap into the middle of a dispute, even if it involved combatants twice her size.

"The sounds, you know. Hard to tell. You know what I'm sayin'? Where they're coming from."

Franciscovich was focusing on what her partner had said. Damn spooky place, she added silently.

Seeming miles of dim corridors later, finding nothing out of the ordinary, the security guard paused.

Franciscovich nodded to a doorway in front of them. "What's through here?"

"Be no reason for students t'be there. It's only -- "

Franciscovich pushed the door open.

Inside was a small lobby that led to a door labeled Recital Hall A. And near that door was the body of a young woman, trussed up, rope around her neck, hands in cuffs. Eyes open in death. A brown-haired, bearded man in his early fifties crouched over her. He looked up, surprised at their entry.

"No!" Ausonio cried.

"Oh, Christ," the guard gasped.

The officers drew their weapons and Franciscovich sighted down on the man with what she thought was a surprisingly steady hand. "You, don't move! Stand up slow, move away from her and put your hands in the air." Her voice was much less firm than the fingers gripping the Glock pistol.

The man did as he was told.

"Lie face down on floor. Keep your hands in sight!"

Ausonio started forward to the girl.

It was then Franciscovich noticed that the man's right hand, over his head, was closed in a fist.

"Open your -- "


She went blind as a flash of searing light filled the room. It seemed to come directly from the suspect's hand and hovered for a moment before going out. Ausonio froze and Franciscovich went into a crouch, scrabbling backward and squinting, swinging the gun back and forth. Panicked, she knew the killer had kept his eyes shut when the flash went off and would be aiming his own weapon at them or charging forward with a knife.

"Where, where, where?" she shouted.

Then she saw -- vaguely thanks to her frizzled vision and the dissipating smoke -- the killer running into the recital hall. He slammed the door shut. There was a thud inside as he moved a chair or table against the door.

Ausonio dropped to her knees in front of the girl. With a Swiss army knife she cut the rope off her neck, rolled her over and, using a disposable mouthpiece, started CPR.

"Any other exits?" Franciscovich shouted to the guard.

From The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver. Copyright Jeffery Deaver 2003. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher, Simon & Schuster

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.