Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
193 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As far back as she can remember, Cynthia has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother. She grew up reading books from Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick, among others.

It was Cynthia’s mother who inspired her to start telling—and writing—her own stories.

Ms. Fridsma’s writing career started after a handicap in 2014—she has a tremor in her right hand, numbness in the fingers, and pain in her wrist. She had to give up her other creative outlets, such as photography, computer programming, and gave up on juggling, so focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t do.

Besides writing, she sometimes plays guitar—in Jimi Hendrix style.

Cynthia lives with her husband and pet rabbit Max

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite

When I saw this book's cover and read the story blurb, I immediately thought of Alfred Hitchcock meets Rod Serling in Vanished by Cynthia Fridsma. What does Alex Gibbon missing without a trace, the charred dead body found in a car, the word Dreamscape written on the basement wall, and the floppy disk marked SCR4000 all have in common? What secrets does the disk hold? Are all of these things linked to a terrorist attack, radiation, or something more sinister? This book has all the answers and so much more. It's where the metaverse meets virtual reality and the Matrix. Wow, can you imagine all this rolled into one book? Cynthia has been able to cleverly marry these concepts together to create this intriguing book that I'm sure you will cherish. Let's sit down and watch this movie together, I mean, read this book together.

As I read this book, I began to see a movie unfold as Cynthia clearly laid out the story from the setting and characters to the plot; the right recipe that creates a fingernail-biting, edge of your seat movie, I mean book. Yes the book, Vanished by Cynthia Fridsma, is fierce. I can see it as a movie played out by some of my favorite actors. Just when you think you've figured something out, there's yet another twist as Cynthia weaves the characters throughout the plot. I know that you're curious and that the suspense is eating at you but I don't want to be responsible for a spoiler alert. I think I've said enough. But if you want to find out how this story unfolds, run and get a copy now, and grab a group of your friends to join you. You can thank me later. Enjoy!

Pikasho Deka

Vanished is a sci-fi mystery thriller by Cynthia Fridsma. Rose Gibbon's husband, Professor Alex Gibbon of Boston University, disappeared two years ago while working on a highly classified project. When she sees Alex's car on the news, she hopes to get the closure she had been searching for. Meanwhile, Medical Examiner Natalie Principal arrives on the scene where Alex's car was found, which has a burned body inside. Suspecting it to be a case of terrorism, Natalie notifies the ATU. However, Natalie doesn't realize that she has unwittingly embroiled herself in a far larger conspiracy involving an advanced AI interface that consumes people's consciousness and renders them lifeless. To solve the case, she must now rely on her friends from ATU and Nightbird - a covert organization that deals with X-File cases. Mortal danger follows Natalie and her friends.

Cynthia Fridsma weaves a fast-paced yarn with sci-fi elements that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The plot is completely unpredictable, with twists and turns every few pages that keep you guessing as to what's coming next. Fridsma uses a multiple point of view narrative, which gives readers access to all the different factions involved in the story. Due to the plethora of characters and the plot-driven nature of the account, not every character gets enough page time. All the major players are well-developed, with defined traits that explain their motives and actions. I enjoyed reading Vanished. If you're looking for a neo-noir thriller with an unpredictable plot, it is the book for you.

K.C. Finn

Vanished is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy and action subgenres and is part of the Nightbird series. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by Cynthia Fridsma. The book follows Rose Gibbon who is in the process of selling her home two years after her husband's disappearance, only to have a break in the case suddenly appear when his car is found abandoned in Boston. As the medical examiner, Natalie Principal inspects the scene, where all the evidence points to radiation and the potential threat of terrorists releasing a dirty bomb. As she races to find the truth, Natalie falls deeper into a web of conspiracy that puts her and everyone she cares about in danger.

This book was an exciting page-turner from the word go, with the author expertly moving between several different characters and their storylines to keep readers off-balance. Cynthia Fridsma layers a complex mystery for her readers then deftly has her engaging protagonists guide us through it. The resulting narrative is dynamic and not to be missed as readers are taken on a rollercoaster of twists and turns until they arrive at the satisfying and impossible to predict conclusion. This is a story full of fresh and original ideas that set it aside from others in the genre, not just using every trick to build tension but writing a whole new book of tricks. Vanished is an outstanding work of suspense and excitement that I highly recommend to all readers.