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 by Jeffery Deaver X
The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

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

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Only one -- in the back, around the corner. To the right."

"Windows?"

"No."

"Hey," she called to Ausonio as she started sprinting. "Watch this door!"

"Got it," the blonde officer called and blew another breath into the victim's pale lips.

More thuds from inside as the killer beefed up his barricade; Franciscovich sprinted around the corner, toward the door the guard had told them about, calling for backup on her Motorola. As she looked ahead she saw someone standing at the end of the corridor. Franciscovich stopped fast, drew a target on the man's chest and shone the brilliant beam from her halogen flashlight on him.

"Lord," croaked the elderly janitor, dropping the broom he held.

Franciscovich thanked God she'd kept her finger outside the trigger guard of the Glock. "You see somebody come out of that door?"

"What's going on?"

"You see anybody?" Franciscovich shouted.

"No, ma'am."

"How long you been here?"

"I don't know. Ten minutes, I'd guess."

There was another thud of furniture from inside as the killer continued to blockade the door. Franciscovich sent the janitor into the main corridor with the security guard then eased up to the side door. Gun held high, eye level, she tested the knob gently. It was unlocked. She stepped to the side so she wouldn't be in the line of fire if the perp shot through the wood. A trick she remembered from NYPD Blue, though an instructor might've mentioned it at the Academy too.

Another thump from inside.

"Nancy, you there?" Franciscovich whispered into her handy-talkie.

Ausonio's voice, shaky, said, "She's dead, Diane. I tried. But she's dead."

"He didn't get out this way. He's still inside. I can hear him." Silence.

"I tried, Diane. I tried."

"Forget it. Come on. You on this? You on it?"

"Yeah, I'm cool. Really." The officer's voice hardened. "Let's go get him."

"No," Franciscovich said, "we'll keep him contained till ESU gets here. That's all we've got to do. Sit tight. Stay clear of the door. And sit tight."

Which is when she heard the man shout from inside, "I've got a hostage. I've got a girl in here. Try to get in and I'll kill her!"

Oh, Jesus...

"You, inside!" Franciscovich shouted. "Nobody's going to do anything. Don't worry. Just don't hurt anybody else." Was this procedure? she wondered. Neither prime-time television nor her Academy training was any help here. She heard Ausonio call Central and report that the situation was now a barricade and hostage-taking.

Franciscovich called to the killer, "Just take it easy! You can -- "

A huge gunshot from inside. Franciscovich jumped like a fish. "What happened? Was that you?" she shouted into her radio.

"No," her partner replied, "I thought it was you."

"No. It was him. You okay?"

"Yeah. He said he's got a hostage. You think he shot her?"

"I don't know. How do I know?" Franciscovich, thinking: Where the hell is the backup?

"Diane," Ausonio whispered after a moment. "We've gotta go in. Maybe she's hurt. Maybe she's wounded." Then, shouting: "You, inside!" No answer. "You!"

Nothing.

"Maybe he killed himself," Franciscovich offered.

Or maybe he fired the shot to make us think he'd killed himself and he's waiting inside, drawing a target gut high on the doorway.

Then that terrible image returned to her: the seedy door to the recital lobby opening, casting the pale light on the victim, her face blue and cold as winter dusk. Stopping people from doing things like this was why she'd become a cop in the first place.

"We have to go in, Diane," Ausonio whispered.

"That's what I'm thinking. Okay. We'll go in." Speaking a bit manically as she thought of both her family and how to curl her left hand over her right when firing an automatic pistol in a combat shooting situation. "Tell the guard we'll need lights inside the hall."

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.