VANISHVanish, by Tess Gerritsen, kept me on the couch, the treadmill, the car – wherever I was – turning the pages from the minute I began it until the last page.

I was drawn immediately to find out who Mila was, and to know more about her journey – about the day she lost her innocence, the same day her dreams died. The dreams of a young girl that were crushed by the men in the van, the men who had promised the world and then stripped away all dignity in one fell swoop, as Mila stood naked, shivering, calling to her friend who had just been brutally raped – calling to her friend as she ran, screaming out as her friend was downed – a bullet in her back – leaving her behind on the desert floor to be consumed by the elements. My heart bled because I have heard of such stories.

The story then moves on to talk about the lives of those who become entwined in Mila’s world. The first person is Maura Isles who has finished her autopsies for the day and is ready to head home. She remembers something she forgot in the autopsy room, so heads there to retrieve it. It is then she hears and sees something strange – there is a sound coming from one of the body bags, and she thinks she sees a movement from within it! To Maura’s surprise, the young woman in the body bag is still alive. Maura calls 911, and the young woman is saved. But it does not end there, of course … the young woman appears terrified and the medical team has a difficult time tending to her.

The next day, Maura thinks to pop in and check on the young woman. When she enters her room, there are two men in there – one appears to be a security officer, the other is dressed in hospital garb – presumably a doctor. But what happens next terrifies Maura! A gun goes off – the security guard staggers away from the bed and lands on Maura. By the time she manages to free herself, the doctor, and the young woman are gone!

In the meantime, Detective Jane Rizzoli is in court and she ends up having to take down the defendant – thing is, Rizzoli is very pregnant, and her water breaks. She is rushed to the hospital and ends up in the same place where the young woman has taken refuge. Jane becomes a hostage.

Jane’s husband, Gabriel Dean, is an FBI agent, and he is furious that his wife is trapped inside and that the police are thinking of sending in the SWAT team. Things begin to get out of control – all sort of government agencies come in trying to take over the operation …

I am already saying more than enough … I really don’t want to give away anymore of the story … but I will say this … the young woman who took the hostages was not Mila, but the words she whispered to Detective Rizzoli were, “Mila knows.”

What is it that Mila knows – she knows the truth of what happened one fateful night. For you to discover the same truth, I recommend you read this book. “Vanish” will not disappoint you!