Book Review: Vanished by Liza Marklund

Vanished by Liza Marklund
Genre: thriller
I got this book: for review from the publishers, Transworld
First Published: 2000 (English edition February 2012)
I read this in: English, the original language is Swedish (Paradiset)
Number of pages: 304
Rating: 5/5


Vanished: What it is About

Annika Bengtzon is a copy editor at a newspaper in Stockholm. Her colleagues are working on a double murder that happened in the harbour. Annika hasn’t got much to do so when gets a call from a woman who wants to meet a journalist to talk about her Paradise Foundation, she agrees to meet her.

The Paradise Foundation, it turns out, is set up to help people change identity and leave no traces behind of their old identity (for instance, because they have been threatened and the police can’t do anything about it). When Annika comes across a foreign woman called Aida who was present at the harbour murders and escaped death herself, she puts her into contact with the Paradise Foundation to help her stay away from her pursuer.

But is the Paradise Foundation all that it seems? Annika researches the foundation in more detail and is assisted by a council employee who is also doubtful about them.

Endangering her own life, Annika manages to get to the bottom of the Foundation’s work, and in the meantime also finds out about the murders in the harbour.

Vanished: What I thought

5 stars (out of 5) There is a lot going on in Annika’s life: a mysterious organisation that she wants to investigate, her work: because she is really a copy-editor she shouldn’t be out and about interviewing people, there is the disappearance of Aida, Annika’s grandmother is ill, and she has a bit of a love affair.

But it’s not too much to keep track of for the reader. In fact, the balance of working life and home life makes the story feel quite realistic, especially the love interest. Some of the details to do with the Paradise Foundation and the missing woman were less realistic. But as it made a nice story it didn’t really matter.

This story is set at a time earlier than The Bomber which I read last year. In that book, Annika is a more senior journalist and married with children. In Vanished she is single and living in rather poor housing. As I didn’t remember the details about her husband in The Bomber, the relationship-part of Vanished was still a good read, I had no idea whether the man in question was the same as her husband in the next book, and whether the relationship would last in the long run.

For me, Marklund’s book are fast and satisfying reads. I like it that the books (there are more in the series) have the same protagonist. With only the background story (her home life) developing through the series, you can easily read them out of order because the main story in each book, the thriller, is finished when the book is finished.

About Judith
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12 Responses to Book Review: Vanished by Liza Marklund

  1. Zee says:

    The first couple of books in the series about Annika were actually published “out of order”. The bomber was published before Vanished which is why they can be read out of order.

  2. bibliosue says:

    I think I will give Liza Marklund another try. This book has an intriguing premise.

  3. Nadine Nys says:

    I guess I will have to remember this author when I am in the mood for reading a thriller. Thanks Judith.

  4. Ellie says:

    I must say I struggled reading these out of order. Like you I read The Bomber first and I was hoping Vanished would go back to the very start. Took me ages to work out what had or hadn’t happened yet! I did prefer this one to The Bomber though.

  5. Carole says:

    Great review. I’ve read both Vanished and The Bomber, both courtesy of Transworld and loved them both. I’ve read Prime Time and Exposed too, both of which I thought were excellent. Exposed is the first book chronologically, but not the first one written, and I’d recommend reading it first if possible. It was a particularly thrilling read, I thought.

    Love this blog. I’m going to explore it now and see what other reviews there are 🙂

  6. I love the idea of a heroine who’s a copy editor. But I find it hard to believe a newspaper copy editor would ever not have enough to do! Have you ever met a newspaper sub? Stupid working hours!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Kate, I can’t remember how she could have the time for another assignment. I think all the journalists were out on jobs and she was the only one left to pick up the phone. Something like that. 🙂

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