Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vanishing Act
by John Feinstein

Vanishing Act
John Feinstein
Grades 6 and up

From the author of The Last Shot, comes the next mystery surrounding Steve Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson, the inspiring journalists introduced to us in Last Shot. After covering and solving the mystery surrounding the NCAA Final Four Tournament, Susan Carol and Stevie move onto the US Open. Once again, they are thrust into a mystery surrounding a well-known tennis star from Russia. The Russian star is kidnapped in front of thousands of people but no one knows what happened to her. Will Stevie and Susan Carol be able to solve her disappearance when things just do not seem right or, will they be forced to accept what everyone else believes?

This book would appeal to those who like and those who do not like tennis. Thos who normally do not follow tennis will be able to follow the story without getting caught up in the details surrounding the matches. There is a bit more violence directed at Stevie (he gets punched in the stomach and ends up with a concussion) as oppose to what happened in Last Shot (held hostage at gun point). Still it is not too violent to where it throws the whole story out of sync. There are surprises along the way to help keep the reader reading. There is light romance involving Stevie and Susan Carol (flirting and a shared kiss at the end of the book) but not enough to where it is a main feature of the story.  Overall, I say this is a good read for those who like sports or wants a light suspense/mystery read. It may be a good book for those reluctant boy readers we have come in who need a book for a project for school.

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