TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
For everyone who loved author John Feinstein's "Last Shot" — and for mystery fans, sports fans, boys, girls, and just about everyone else — here comes Feinstein's latest sports-oriented mystery, "Vanishing Act." Young sportswriters Susan Carol Anderson and Stevie Thomas are back, this time covering the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing, Queens. When a teenage Russian phenom disappears on her way to a first round match, Susan Carol, Stevie, and their journalist mentor, Bobby Kellaher, start digging into the story. The group distrusts the official account, that Nadia Symanova was kidnapped by Russian operatives as a means of ensuring that she won't become a U.S. citizen. Susan Carol's uncle, rising sports agent Brendan Gibson, also seems involved in the Symanova case; Stevie catches Brendan in a lie about signing one of Symanova's rivals, and, later, both Stevie and Susan Carol see Gibson having dinner with Symanova's oily agent, her supposedly distraught parents, and a movie producer.
This book should grab most reader's attention and then, if you're like me, it won't let go! The plot rolls along quickly, there are real surprises and danger, lots of tennis figures (Andy Roddick, announcers Bud Collins and Mary Carillo) make cameo appearances, the tennis action itself is compelling, and the mystery of Symanova's disappearance is more complicated than it first appears. Just as importantly, Stevie and Susan Carol — friends who could maybe become more than friends — are smart, funny, capable, and daring, yet they still act like real thirteen year-olds.
Both boys and girls should find a lot to like in this exciting, enjoyable read.