A nameless, beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. An apparent suicide, she lies on a gurney, awaiting the dissecting scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles. But when Maura unzips the body bag and looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.
Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where with shockingly cool precision, she murders a security guard and seizes hostages . . . one of them a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli.
Who is this violent, desperate soul, and what does she want? As the tense hours tick by, Maura joins forces with Jane’s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to track down the mysterious killer’s identity. When federal agents suddenly appear on the scene, Maura and Gabriel realize that they are dealing with a case that goes far deeper than just an ordinary hostage crisis.
Only Jane, trapped with the armed madwoman, holds the key to the mystery. And only she can solve it–if she survives the night.
Continuing with my plans to catch up on the Rizzoli and Isles series I started Vanish with high expectations. Those were definitely fulfilled as I managed to read it in about 3 hours. I was so engaged in the reading and so keen to know what happened next that I just kept going at it...
As usual Gerritsen opens the story with a chapter that will only make sense later in the story. The summary above gives a good idea of how the story starts and those scenes are fast paced and so well described that I could see it happen in my mind.
I had already guessed hat Rizzoli wouldn't have just a regular, predictable, "going into labour and calmly having her baby" kind of delivery as she does everything the hard way, but being taken as hostage while you're already in labour does top every other birth description I've read before.
While her husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, does his best to find a peaceful solution the police seem more interested in taking down the potential terrorists and when different intelligence agencies enter the scene Gabriel can't help wondering what this is really about. That they eventually put everyone to sleep to control the scene but still kill the kidnappers does leave Jane and Gabriel even more curious. Besides Jane can't help but thinking about the woman's dying words to her: Mila knows...
What follows is Jane and Gabriel's investigation about what the kidnappers really wanted and why were so many people interested in killing them. To add to it Jane is having a difficult time adjusting to motherhood and to her newborn baby, Regina. I think every mother can relate to those stressful early days when you really don't know what you're doing while wanting to do the best for your baby. I really enjoyed seeing Jane go through all those feelings that so many new mothers experience but that most people just don't talk about.
Unlike the previous books, here we get to know a lot more about Gabriel Dean. It was actually good to know more about what made him fall for Rizzoli and see their interaction as a couple but I missed having a bit more of Isles. I did like how they followed the clues and unraveled what had happened and why, but the end felt a bit too abrupt. I also think we should have got to know the good guys and their motivation a bit better. In the end I kept worrying that they might actually be bad guys in disguise... I guess conspiracy theories as the one we have here just make me question everything and everyone to exhaustion.
In the end this was a really good read, and certainly a fast one, but it wasn't as memorable to me as The Sinner which is still my favourite in the series.