Monday, June 22, 2009

CSSF June Blog Tour - Vanish

By Tom Pawlik
Published at Tyndale

About the book
Three strangers each encounter the same mysterious storm and awake the next day to find that everyone else has vanished. There's Conner Hayden, a successful but unscrupulous trial lawyer who has forsaken his family for his career; Helen Krause, a middle-aged model struggling to come to grips with her fading beauty; and Mitch Kent, an enterprising young mechanic unable to escape a past that still haunts him. Afraid and desperate for answers, their paths eventually cross and they discover they are being watched. Elusive and obscured in shadows, the "observers" are apparently forcing them to relive vivid hallucinations of events from their past. They discover a mute homeless boy in tattered clothing and believe he may hold the key to the mystery, but the "observers" soon become aggressive and the four are forced to flee. When the boy disappears, the four decide to head from Chicago to Washington, D.C., in search of answers...and more survivors. Winner of the 2006 operation first novel contest, Vanish is a nonstop suspense thriller in the vein of Ted Dekker.

Who is Tom Pawlik?
Tom Pawlik has a BA in communication and works in the marketing field. He has also been active in Christian teaching, youth work, and music for over 20 years. His first novel, The Way Back, took second place in the 2004 Operation First Novel contest run by the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, in association with Tyndale House Publishers. His second novel, Vanish, won first place in the 2006 contest. In addition to writing fiction, Tom is also an accomplished songwriter and musician who writes and records at his home studio. He and his wife, Colette, live in Ohio with their four children and one large dog.
Tom Pawlik’s Web site -
Tom Pawlik’s blog -

My Thoughts
Mysterious disappearances. Survivors. Weird creatures. A quest for finding other survivors and living… with an unexpected twist at the end. This novel reminds me of the TV series The Twilight Zone. Remember that one? I used to watch it when I was younger – not sure if it were the reruns from the original series or simply the first revival of the series back in the 80s. I just loved how each episode had its own twist and never what I would have thought about. I can hear the series music as I write this – hear it here. As you can read, this novel reminded me of the Twilight Zone.

You must guess that I enjoyed reading Vanish by now. Anyone who loved the Twilight Zone would love this novel I think. It’s mysterious enough to keep you on the edge of your seat this whole time. You question many things during the reading. Are they aliens? Is this an alternate universe? What happened to the rest of the people? What is going on? And you arrive at the end of the book with a conclusion you would not have thought of.

I enjoyed reading this book and discovering a new author. You can sense that he thought about his characters a long time before putting his ideas on paper. He is exposing the difference between life and death and how our own spiritual life would affect our ultimate destination. Personally I would never have thought of writing about this while using a twilight zone type of analogy but I am sure glad that Tom Pawlik did. It makes you think about your own life decision and your relationship with God. Ultimately, the decision of believing in Him is our own. Have you made yours? If so, do you believe or do you dismiss Him? Think carefully about it if you haven’t decided yet. It’s a matter of life or death. Literally!

The way the book finishes, it made me wonder if there will be a sequel to it. Well after a bit more digging, I realized that it is the case. The author has a sequel – published in June 2009 – titled Valley of the Shadow. I’m looking forward to read the sequel someday!

In the meantime, if you want to grab a copy of this novel, you can go to any bookstore and ask for it or simply order it online at or It can also be found at!

1 comment:

  1. Comparing Vanish to The Twilight Zone is appropo, I think! What a thrilling story. And yes, it was thought-provoking in the end as well. Great post, CLB.