Tuesday, April 16, 2024

THE VANISHED by Cara Putman, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay


Highly interesting and absorbing from page one. This is my kind of book.

Janae, a lawyer, and Carter, a museum director, tackle the problem when two paintings exhibited in the Elliot Museum could belong to a Jewish WWII survivor.

This was a fascinating story told from the perspective of a museum being on the defensive in a very complex situation. There was a lot of legalese, but it was efficiently and effectively explained, thanks to the expertise of the author, who is a lawyer. You could tell that a lot of research went into this book. I was looking up the paintings in question to see if they really existed.
There was an underlying faith thread that seemed to underscore the way the main characters behaved and how they made their decisions to do the correct thing. This contrasted with the convoluted thinking by the villain.

Along with the conundrum of the paintings, there is more mystery, some family issues and a budding romance. The premise kept me turning pages and and wanting to read more stories in subsequent books in this series. 

A stunning offering from an accomplished author.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author via NetGalley. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are mine alone.* 5 stars and an underlying faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
Janae Simmons left the small town of Kedgewick, Virginia, ten years ago to pursue her legal career and never looked back--until a professional mistake leads her to her grandmother's historic carriage house and to the town where her past threatens to find her. The quiet streets echo with her grandfather's sterling reputation, one that conflicts with fresh questions that claw at Janae, launching her on a reluctant journey to unearth his secrets. When her new job at a local law firm doesn't live up to expectations, she wonders if coming home was the right decision.

Carter Montgomery starts his art preservation career with the only job he can get--director at the Elliott Museum of Art. At least Kedgewick is a nice enough town to provide him and his nephew with a safe place to grieve the loss of Carter's sister. But Carter's calm days disappear when an elderly woman claims two paintings in the museum's collection were stolen from her family during World War II.

Carter enlists Janae's help to unravel the legal labyrinth of art ownership, and the peaceful facade of Kedgewick morphs into a hot bed of secrets. When an attorney turns up dead and Janae uncovers another painting, what began as a simple legal issue spirals into a race against time. As the web of intrigue tightens, the duo must confront a looming question: What dark truths lie beneath the surface, waiting to be exposed? 

Kregel Publications, April, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audio. 


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