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Reviewed by Paul F. Johnson for Readers' Favorite
Disappearance by Julien Ayotte starts with a bang and quickly expands from there. The witness protection program, WITSEC, run by the U.S. Marshals Service, has had a stellar track record for forty-six years and has never lost a witness that chose to remain in the program. That is, until now. In a very short period of time, two witnesses were murdered and a third witness barely escaped. How could this happen? There has to be a leak in the U.S. Marshals witness protection unit with what must be a list of witness targets. Paul O’Malley, the director of WITSEC, knows something must be done, and done quickly. O’Malley turns to long-time ally and friend, retired FBI agent Harry Esten, to help identify the leak and stop the killings. Esten quickly identifies an assassin and then a former Marshal who is providing him with the names of victims. For O’Malley, the chase begins from the mid-west to the east coast, to Florida to Roatan, Honduras to find and stop the assassin and bring in the rogue former Marshal, and of course secure the witness list before even more bodies pile up.
This book caught and held my attention from the very start. The author has developed a strong cast of characters to include those that are smart, deadly, and believable. The plot is well conceived and shows how good, solid police procedure can lead to the evidence needed to help solve a case. The dialogue was very good and the ending well conceived. I truly appreciate the author telling a solid story without the use of excessive violence, sex and strong language. I really enjoyed this book. Nicely done.