Review: Vanish in Plain Sight by Marta Perry

26 May

Vanish in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
Harlequin/HQN (May 24, 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775767

Favorite Lines: “Lying in the military hospital, day after day, he’d had no choice but to accept the fact that he’d survived when the others had died. He’d made his plans. He just hadn’t anticipated how hard it would be to carry them out.” (p. 65)

A young mother VANISHES in plain sight…

Since she was a little girl, Marisa Angelo has been haunted by the image of her mother walking away, suitcase in hand, to return to her Amish roots. Marisa and her “Englischer” father never saw or heard from her again. Now Marisa has received a shocking call from police. Her mother’s bloodstained suitcase was found hidden inside the wall of an Amish farmhouse. Desperate for answers, Marisa heads to Lancaster County. But no one—not the police or Marisa’s tight-lipped Amish relatives—can explain what happened to her mother.

Only one man is as determined as Marisa to unravel the mystery— Link Morgan, the handsome ex-military loner who found the suitcase in the house he inherited from his uncle. Because both Link’s and Marisa’s family members are implicated in the decades-old disappearance. The secret lies somewhere in the quaint Amish settlements. But someone will do anything to ensure the truth remains hidden forever.

Vanish in Plain Sight is book two in Marta Perry’s Amish suspense series. The first book, Murder in Plain Sight, was released in December 2010. I did not read that book, but there were references to the events in the story in Vanish in Plain Sight. The references helped me understand the way the community of Lancaster County reacted to Marisa’s inquiries about the past. Vanish in Plain Sight is a stand alone despite being part of a series.

Vanish in Plain Sight is a nice introduction to the Amish community. Neither the hero or the heroine are Amish, but their everyday life comes into contact with the Amish of Lancaster County. Those interactions show the complex nature of the Amish and make the story so much more than a simple love story set in Pennsylvania.

The mystery about the disappearance of Marisa’s mother was neatly woven with the story of a Marisa and Link finding love. Neither is looking for a relationship, but each sees something within the other. Something they want to hold close, but aren’t sure if they are worthy of for vastly different reasons. Marisa grew up thinking that her mother abandoned her and Link is a traumatized veteran of the Afghanistan war.

What bothered me? I didn’t understand Marisa’s irrational fear of the Amish. Even after she explained “My grandmother said it was like a cult that wouldn’t let her (Marisa’s mother) go.” This is a grown woman who jumps and is often frozen just by the sight of an Amish person. She reacts much better as the story progresses, but I just don’t get it. It could be because I live in Indiana and have seen or interacted with Amish throughout my life. Regardless it irked the crap out of me.

Read this or Skip it? Read the book. It’s a suspense filled romance set in a small town where ♪♫ everybody knows your name. Sometimes you wanna go ♫ ♪♫ Okay, I got a little excited. But you get my point. Vanish in Plain Sight is a comfortable book which satisfies those looking for a roller coaster ride ending with a happily ever after.

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