The Disappearance of Grace by Vincent Zandri
ASIN: B0099C5UFU (Kindle)
Publication date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Stonehouse Ink
Now you see her. Now you don’t.
Captain Nick Angel has finally made a separate peace with the war in Afghanistan. Since having been ordered to bomb a Tajik village which resulted in the death of a little boy of no more than two, he’s been suffering from temporary bouts of blindness. Knowing the he needs time to rest and recover from his post traumatic stress, the US Army decides to send him to Venice along with his fiancee, the artist, Grace Blunt. Together they try and recapture their former life together. But when Grace suddenly goes missing, Nick not only finds himself suddenly alone and sightless in the ancient city of water, but also the number one suspect in her disappearance.
A novel that projects Hitchcockian suspense onto a backdrop of love and war, The Disappearance of Grace is a rich, literary thriller of fear, loss, love, and revenge. From the war in the Afghan mountains to the canals of romantic Venice, this is a story that proves 20/20 eyesight might not always be so perfect and seeing is not always believing.
Nick Angel is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He knows that the stress is directly related to his last mission in Afghanistan. The psychological and emotional stress is causing a physiological response, transient blindness. His stress is also causing stress on his relationship with his fiancée, Grace Blunt. Nick loves Grace and he knows that she loves him in return, but their reunion is not without its own stress . . . namely Grace's infidelity. But they are both willing to work through the stress and place more of an emphasis on their love for one another. The stress is cranked up a few notches when a somewhat nefarious character, the man in the overcoat, seems to follow them around Venice. His constant appearance puts Grace on edge and Nick is unable to soothe her anxiety. And then Grace disappears. The police and the US Embassy don't seem to be mounting much of an investigation as they feel that Grace probably just walked away. Nick's off-and-on vision doesn't help the situation. No one seems to believe Nick's assumption that the man in the overcoat has taken Grace, except Giovanni the waiter. Who is the man in the overcoat? What do the phone calls with the repeated message "I See" really mean? Can Nick get the authorities to take him serious in time to save Grace? Will Nick's vision ever fully return?
The Disappearance of Grace is about more than the purported abduction of Grace. Grace Blunt disappears along with Nick's peace of mind. His peace and inner "grace" are in constant turmoil by the actions taken during his last mission in Afghanistan as much as by the disappearance of his fiancée. Given the fact he cannot rely upon his vision for prolonged periods of time, he must rely upon the kindness of strangers, such as Giovanni. The story takes a few psychological twists and turns with the "visions" Nick has while dreaming. Each vision reveals more and more about his feelings about Afghanistan and his love toward Grace. The characters and the action are very believable and there are just enough layers to the story to keep you guessing until the end. The Disappearance of Grace is a quick read and one that I can recommend for readers that enjoy psychological thrillers.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the author via Partners in Crime Tours. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."