Vanishing Act : Jane Whitefield

  • by Thomas Perry
  • Narrated by Joyce Bean
  • Series: Jane Whitefield
  • 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jane Whitefield is a Native American guide who leads solitary outcasts through hostile territory to escape the vengeance of their enemies. But the shaded forest paths her Seneca ancestors might have followed on such missions have all been converted to superhighways, and now the safest way stations are crowded urban buildings that offer the camouflage of anonymity. Still, the supply of runaways - and the need for a woman who will take great risks to save them - have never been greater. Jane knows all the tricks; in fact, she has invented several of them herself in the ten years she has been teaching fugitives to live with new identities. Many of her clients have been innocent people whom the institutions of society have been too slow and cumbersome to protect, but an increasing number have been like the gambler Harry Kemple: people who aren't especially admirable but who aren't bad enough to deserve to die prematurely. Jane opens her door to find in her house an uninvited visitor named John Felker, the latest to run to her for sanctuary. Felker is not like the others Jane has helped, and everything about him is disquieting. He doesn't even know whom he is running from - only that whoever is framing him as an embezzler has already circulated an open contract in the prison system for his death. Maybe his problems began years ago, when he was a policeman; a good cop makes an enemy with each arrest. But perhaps he is still a policeman and has invented precisely the right story to entrap Jane. Or perhaps he is something even worse. The unexpected guest draws this exceptional woman into an adventure of mystery, love and sacrifice, betrayal and vengeance, and propels her on a pursuit that takes her from the night streets of Los Angeles and Vancouver to the dark, unexplored regions of her own mind.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Book - 4 Stars; Narration - 3 Stars

My gripes first - the second half of the book is marred by sloppy auditory editing. Sections are repeated which detracts from being engrossed in the tale. The narrator, Joyce Bean, barely makes my score of average; her reading is pretty flat. Now on to the good stuff - the book itself. I read this one as a response to Audible's offer of affordable first-books-in-a-series. I'd probably never have read a Thomas Perry novel had it not been for the opportunity offered at a discount price. That said - I will be reading the next Jane Whitefield novel in the series. I found the protagonist interesting, although not terribly believable, but it is fiction after all. I don't have to think everything that happens in a novel actually could happen in real life. That's part of the entertainment. Give this book a try if you're looking for something a little different than the typical mystery - and if you like your main character to be a capable woman.
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- Cathy

What a difference a narrator makes

What would have made Vanishing Act better?

This is the 5th Thomas Perry audiobook I've listened to, and it is the first I didn't love. This isn't his best story, there are some shoddy editing errors (shame on Audible, I expect better), but the real problem was the narration (see below).

Would you be willing to try another book from Thomas Perry? Why or why not?

Of course, every Thomas Perry book I've read or listened to has been good, and several were excellent.

What didn’t you like about Joyce Bean’s performance?

I understand the choice of a female narrator considering the sex of the protagonist, but I can't help but imagine how much better this one would have been with Michael Kramer, who narrates other Perry novels. Joyce Bean can do the sensitive, intellectual side of Jane Whitefield, but reads dramatic scenes distinctively un-dramatically. A bigger problem is that she absolutely cannot do men's voices. I dreaded every conversation with a man because her voice became so grating. Finally (and this is not Joyce Bean's fault), there are a handful of repeated lines in this production. By far the most I have ever heard in an audible audiobook.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The story was fine. What you would expect from Thomas Perry. I state this caveat because I have to say my biggest reaction to the audiobook was disappointment.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-28-2009
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio