Tyndale, Jul 2008, $12,99
Three people experience the most frightening event in their lives when they are doing ordinary things until a strange storm with odd lights appears without warning. They become unconscious; when they awaken they find no one in sight.
Former model Helen Krause had just been turned down for an assignment and her son informed her he is moving to New York. Mechanic Mitch Kent planned to propose to his girlfriend. Attorney Conner Hunter has his daughter Rachel for the weekend. This trio separately realizes they are alone until they meet and compare their experiences. Each hears shadows whispering and soon believes they are under surveillance of sorts. Soon they conclude that the observers want to separate them and keep them from meeting others, but do not know why, who they are, and what happened to everyone else.
Readers will understand why this is the winner of the 2006 Operation First Novel contest, Each of the key characters has issues that they kept pushing off hoping to ignore; which proves prophetic as the VANISH supersedes their seemingly minor previous problems. The threesome are in many ways similar yet distinctive and fully developed as they wonder how they landed in the Twilight Zone; the truth will shock the audience as Tom Pawlik provides a strong thriller.