VANISHED by Danielle Steel


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 Like Belva Plain in Whispers (p. 326), Steel soft-pedals gauzy romance in a fairly tightly plotted story--set mainly in 1930's Manhattan and about a lady wildly unlucky in love who's forced to deal with crime--in this case, kidnapping. Like Plain's battered wife, Marielle once loved unwisely. Charles Delauney (fiery green eyes) and Marielle (her eyes were ``deep blue sapphires'') had met in 1926 in Paris, then went on to make a gloriously happy marriage--until that moment when tragedy overtook their small son in a drowning accident, as well as their unborn child as the pregnant Marielle attempted a rescue. Suffering from Charles's accusations and blame, Marielle ended up spending some years in a sanitarium. Now, back again in Manhattan, Marielle is the protected, secure wife of rich businessman Malcolm Patterson, a smooth gent who does a good bit of business with Nazi Germany, and her joy in an otherwise restricted life is four-year- old Teddy. It is the sight of Teddy that sends expatriate Charles (who returns from the Spanish Civil War and meets Marielle in the park) into a wild rage--and when, horribly, Teddy is kidnapped, into the slammer as a suspect. Throughout Marielle's ordeal--with terrible reminders of the Lindbergh case--FBI agent John Taylor offers a strong shoulder (and more); a feisty newspaper woman turns up important clues; a mobster named Louis the Lover turns up a heart of gold; and the rosy respectability of Malcolm's circle takes on a new hue. There will be a trial, a last-minute rescue, and, at the close, Steel trots out a nice man for Marielle. As for Teddy, not to worry. Okay, worry a little.... The smashing duds and digs are still there--plus the subject's predictable pull. (First printing of 1,000,000; Literary Guild Dual Selection for October)

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-30603-2
Page count: 312pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993


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