Have never read anything by this author before - Tom Pawlik, but the cover said "fans of Dean Koontz or Ted Dekker will appreciate Pawlik's debut novel, VANISH."
Well, I didn't have the debut novel, I had "Valley of the Shadow" and I used to really like Koontz's writing (especially liked his LIGHTNING and its treatment of time travel) and I am a big fan of Ted Dekker's writing when it comes to Christian fiction and a bit of Christian science fiction.
The title of this novel comes from Psalm 23:4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" NIV. Odd that this verse is so familiar, but I never wondered or thought about 'the shadow' of death. In fact I had remembered it as "thought I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil" - I had dropped shadow off completely. Well, no more.
Pawlik had done an incredible job of providing a believable "valley of the shadow of death" and in doing so took me to book-world. For those not in the know, book-world is where you go when reading a book and the world around you dissolves and the world in the book becomes the real world - for at least a little while.
I recommend this book even though at times it jumps too often or suddenly from the "valley of the shadow" to one of two locations in the world we live in. I have to mention two powerful scenes, that stick with me still.
Number 1, the vision he presents of humans as they leave their bodily forms behind and "move" to join Jesus in heaven. Number 2, which makes number 1 possible, of one of the characters laying his hate, anger, and inability to forgiven at the foot of the cross. I wish I could say more about both, but I do not wish to give too much away.
Read it and enjoy your trip to book-world.