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Vanishing Act: Mystery at the U.S. Open

Review

Vanishing Act: Mystery at the U.S. Open

Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson got their "fifteen minutes of fame" after helping to unravel the Final Four mystery involving the blackmailing of Minnesota State University's star player, Chip Graber. Remaining good friends, they keep in touch over email and IM all the time. When Susan Carol tells Stevie she'll be covering the U.S. Open for her local sports paper, she convinces Stevie to come along. Stevie contacts Bobby Kelleher, the Washington Herald columnist who mentored them during the Final Four, and sure enough Kelleher has a job for Stevie too. They're off to New York City, but little do they know what they'll have in store for themselves.

Right before her anticipated first game, young Russian phenom Nadia Makarova goes missing and immediately Stevie and Susan Carol find themselves trying to unfold another mystery. And yet again, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Who are Nadia Makarova's kidnappers? Why does Susan Carol's agent uncle, Brendan Gibson, seem like he's right in the middle of this? Plus, what does this mean for up-and-coming new U.S. tennis star Evelyn Rubin, who is smashing her way through games and scheduled to play Makarova?

VANISHING ACT is John Feinstein's follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, LAST SHOT. The author, a political and sports reporter for the Washington Post as well as Sports Illustrated and National Sports Daily, has written many bestselling sports-related books. In his second effort Feinstein continues to succeed, mixing real-life sports personalities like Bud Collins and Andy Roddick into the fictional world. Feinstein also reveals a behind-the-scenes look at sports agents that doesn't portray them in a very good light.

Like his previous effort, VANISHING ACT provides an almost nonfiction-like look into the professional tennis world and the U.S. Open while mixing elements of a fiction mystery novel. Readers will be happy to see the return of Stevie and Susan Carol, who have clearly grown as friends. (And Stevie's constant eating of hamburgers and pizza in an effort to grow taller is pretty humorous too.) VANISHING ACT is a fast-paced story that whizzes by like a powerful serve. It's a fun read for anyone interested in tennis or mysteries, or both.

Reviewed by Kristi Olson on August 11, 2015

Vanishing Act: Mystery at the U.S. Open
by John Feinstein

  • Publication Date: April 8, 2008
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling
  • ISBN-10: 044042125X
  • ISBN-13: 9780440421252