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They Disappeared

Cover of They Disappeared

They Disappeared

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A loving family, fracturing under pressure...

Jeff Griffin, a mechanic, and his wife, Sarah, travel from Montana to Manhattan to give their nine-year-old son, Cole, his dream vacation as they secretly face the heart-wrenching turmoil that has them teetering on divorce.

In the wake of their heartbreak, a mother and son disappear...

While sightseeing near Times Square, Jeff steps into a store to buy batteries for their camera--but upon returning to the street he finds that Sarah and Cole have vanished.

A frantic father searches for clues as time ticks down...

Battling his anguish and police suspicions, Jeff fights to rescue Sarah and Cole. He knows now that the love he and Sarah have is worth saving. But he could lose the chance to tell her amid growing fears that they have become entangled in an unfolding plot that could have global consequences.


A loving family, fracturing under pressure...

Jeff Griffin, a mechanic, and his wife, Sarah, travel from Montana to Manhattan to give their nine-year-old son, Cole, his dream vacation as they secretly face the heart-wrenching turmoil that has them teetering on divorce.

In the wake of their heartbreak, a mother and son disappear...

While sightseeing near Times Square, Jeff steps into a store to buy batteries for their camera--but upon returning to the street he finds that Sarah and Cole have vanished.

A frantic father searches for clues as time ticks down...

Battling his anguish and police suspicions, Jeff fights to rescue Sarah and Cole. He knows now that the love he and Sarah have is worth saving. But he could lose the chance to tell her amid growing fears that they have become entangled in an unfolding plot that could have global consequences.
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    New York City

    This trip is going to change us forever, Jeff Griffin thought as the jet descended into LaGuardia.

    He looked at his son, Cole, age nine, excited to be on his first plane and marveling at Manhattan's skyline poking through the clouds. Then Jeff glanced at his wife, Sarah, at her hand, her wedding ring.

    Until a year and a half ago, they had been living a perfect life in Montana, where Jeff was a mechanic and a volunteer firefighter and Sarah was a schoolteacher. They'd come to New York for Cole because he'd always dreamed of seeing Manhattan. It seemed like the best thing to do, given all that they'd been through.

    "It's always going to be hard for us, Jeff," Sarah had told him. "But we just can't give up."

    While Sarah lived in hope, Jeff couldn't help but think that this vacation to New York was a requiem for the life they once lived.

    The landing gear locked into position with a hydraulic thud.

    Jeff exhaled slowly and turned to Cole.

    "Wow, Dad, this is so great! I can't believe we're really doing this!"

    Jeff looked at Sarah. She gave him the promise of a smile and he held on to it, thinking that maybe, just maybe, he should reconsider.

    After their plane landed, the Griffins moved through the arrival gate and joined the rush of passengers heading to the baggage claim area.

    The air smelled like industrial carpet cleaner and pretzels.

    Cole was energized by the bustling terminal as they made their way to the crowds at the carousels. Sarah went to the restroom while Jeff and Cole got their bags.

    Jeff shouldered his way to the conveyor, plucked Sarah's red bag from it, then his own. Cole had followed him and hefted his backpack from the carousel. Sarah had bought a new one for him, for the trip.

    "Looks like the one." Jeff gave it a quick inspection, black with white trim and mesh side pockets. He glanced quickly at the blue name tag without really reading it; blue was the right color for the tag. Then he helped Cole get his arms through the straps.

    As they waited for Sarah, Cole tried counting all the carousels in their area but there were too many. He loved the blurring pace as people jostled to heave their luggage onto trolleys before wheeling them out through the main doors.

    "I wish Mom would hurry up, Dad. Can we see the Empire State Building from here?"

    "Maybe on the cab ride to the hotel--there's Mom."

    "All set." Sarah smiled, joining them.

    They left the terminal through the automatic doors.

    Jeff spotted a row of news boxes. They reminded him that the travel agent had mentioned that a major event would be taking place when they were to arrive. The headlines shouted about it. UN: Whole World in the City Again! said the Daily News. Tighter Security for World Leaders Means Gridlock for All! blared the New York Post.

    As they queued up for a taxi in the ground transportation pickup zone, they didn't notice that among the throng of arriving passengers, one man had taken an interest in Cole.

    He was in his late twenties, a slender build with wild blond hair. His face was void of emotion. He looked European, a youngish student bohemian traveler. As he walked by them, slowly and unseen, his attention locked onto Cole's bag.

    The man hesitated.

    The Griffins got into their cab. He stopped and watched, his face suddenly darkening with concern as they drove off.

    His backpack was black with white trim and mesh side pockets.

    It was identical to Cole's backpack.

    New York...

About the Author-
  • Rick Mofina is a former crime reporter and the award-winning author of several acclaimed thrillers. He's interviewed murderers face-to-face on death row; patrolled with the LAPD and the RCMP. His true crime articles have appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Reader's Digest and Penthouse. He's reported from the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, Qatar and Kuwait's border with Iraq. For more information please visit www.rickmofina.com
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    Harlequin
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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