Vanished, A novel by Mark Bierman


Today I wish to take some time to promote my novel, Vanished. Now, I must be honest with you, I never thought I’d write a story about human trafficking

How it all began and why:

My father was a building contractor and had been to the impoverished nation of Haiti a number of times. He would assist with the construction of homes, churches, and a few other projects. His return meant amazing stories and disturbing photos of tiny shanties where families lived, in cramped quarters, without running water or electricity.  In fact, often, there were open streams of raw sewage that ran close to these squalid huts.

In October of 2010, my brother-in-law accompanied my father to decimated post-earthquake Haiti. Yes, you guessed it, another construction project.

“Oh, take a journal with you and write in it every day,” I instructed them. “I want to write an article for a magazine about your experiences.”

The pair dutifully completed their “assignments” and I was blessed with a plethora of information and colorful stories. That’s when the idea came for a book. Yes, but why Human Trafficking? Well, I have spent years working as a Correctional Officer and my mind instinctively wandered to the criminal element, I also enjoy reading action novels. I really believe, too, that this book was a therapy for me, to cleanse my mind of the negative experiences of working in a prison.

Please be aware that the book contains NO graphic violence or sexual deviance. I DO NOT create rape scenes, nor describe grotesque injuries or deaths.

A quick summary of Vanished:

Tyler Montgomery loses his wife to cancer and is grieved beyond consoling. His father-in-law, John Webster, cannot bear the loss of his daughter, both men are headed for self-destruction. When the opportunity for the mission trip arises, Trudy, John’s wife, convinces the pair to go. Though she grieves herself, she puts their needs first and believes this Good Samaritan experience will be a distraction.

They arrive in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, which is relatively untouched by the earthquake and find their host, a missionary named Steve Tracey. He drives them to Rescue Haiti Mission, their home for the next month. At dinner that night, they meet a lovely young woman named Mahalia, who takes in the Mission’s laundry, and her sweet seven-year-old daughter, Chantale.

All goes well for the first while, until Mahalia bursts into the cafeteria during dinner, proclaiming that Chantale has been taken, her cherished doll found abandoned on the road. A local search leads nowhere, and the police are unwilling to help. Even Steve tells them to accept that little Chantale is lost forever. The earthquake has created too many problems and these children are never found.

Unaccustomed to such atrocities, and reeling with the pain of their own loss, the two Americans develop a strong desire to do the right thing. Steve resists, at first, citing the dangers and fallibility of the undertaking.

One day, in a fit of frustration, Steve declares that Chantale is as good as dead. Mahalia overhears this and reacts strongly. She ignores Steve and approaches Tyler, the look of sorrow in her eyes is what he sees in the mirror daily.

Mahalia shoves a photo of her daughter, and the doll into Tyler’s hands. She locks eyes with him and utters the words that begin a terrifying journey into the underbelly of Haitian society.

“Don’t listen to him. He has given up hope for many things. You are a good man. I know you can do this. Please find her! Please find my baby!”

Yes, John and Tyler are loosely based on my kin, and yes, there are some facts and experiences they had that are incorporated into the story. However, the majority of it is fiction.

This book was written mainly for the purpose of drawing attention to the world-wide issue of Human Trafficking that is prevalent in EVERY country.

Fifty percent of the profits made from Vanished, are donated to a charity that helps victims of human trafficking.

I’ve composed a poem that speaks about Mahalia’s thoughts as she deals with her grief:

Chantale, little angel, my barren arms embrace the ghost of you; they’ve squeezed the shards of my shattered heart, since the day you were snatched away.

Blurred by the rain of constant grief, my soul’s eyes search this decimated land; baby girl, where’d you go to?

Pointed fingers accused me, for surely, I fed you to the mongrels; pay no heed, my precious child, to the evil lies they say.

Come back Chantale, the flowers you picked crumble in the vase; my will to live falls with each petal, fresh ones will die quickly, unless touched by you.

In feverish madness, I’ve commissioned strangers to the rescue, placed faith in two men, pure of heart but naïve to the ways of monsters; forgive me Chantale, for my options were few.

If to the cruelty you succumb, please climb on the Father’s lap, whisper your plea; a hug from Heaven in a rainbow’s hue.

Please check out the book trailer:

I wish to thank the professionals at 4WillsPublishing for creating such a wonderful trailer!

Vanished made the top ten list! Jan Sikes is a very talented author. Please visit her website.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about Vanished.

If you wish to purchase a copy, available in ebook and print format:      iBooks

Connect with Mark:

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I am also a member of  Rave Reviews Book Club a wonderful community of authors.









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Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark Bierman's childhood consisted of chores, riding horses, snowmobile races across open fields, fishing trips to a local lake, and many other outdoor adventures. He was also an avid reader of both fiction and non. Transitioning towards adulthood also meant moving from the farm and into large urban areas that introduced this country boy to life in the big cities. After a short stint as a private investigator, he moved into the role of Correctional Officer, working at both Millhaven Institution and Kingston Penitentiary, until it closed.

43 thoughts on “Vanished, A novel by Mark Bierman”

  1. Sorry, but English is a foreign language for me, so when it comes to literature and poetry in this language, I can’t say much because even blogging in English drives me quite crazy sometimes. This is not an easy language at a certain level, accompanied by American and Australian specialities. So I can only wish you much success with your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does sound like a gripping read, and I totally appreciate that you don’t feed those morbid voyeurs with graphic violence! Impressed with such a creative ‘book’ trailer … good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The story behind the story is interesting, Mark. I was curious about what prompted you to write this book. I am now even more intrigued since you have incorporated some facts and experiences. I realize most of the book is fiction. I look forward to reading this book.

    The poem is very poignant, reading with tears brimming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dark, strong, and intense, Bierman’s novel Vanished reminded me of James Clavell’s King Rat and is best paired with a dark chocolate, both just as fine.
    A no-mess, straight forward read that lingers long after you consumed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you did this post and described what inspired you writing this book Mark! I just downloaded my copy.

    I’m aware of the seriousness of the issue yet feel so overwhelming. We had a couple came to our adult fellowship class to present their mission and the projects. The have people on their team going to the rock concerts, at the end of the concert, they handed out some free gifts that have a link to their organization. The video showed the girls going to the concerts wearing from bikini nearly naked. They were drunk by the end of the concert and no clue where their cars are. There were enough predators waiting to give them a “lift.” So this couple and their organization have volunteers spread around and helped those girls to find their cars or do whatever.

    I was a volunteer counselor for six years. One client was a playmate of a gangster and I couldn’t believe the humiliation he put her through. She was drugged but lucky not to be worse than that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Miriam. I’m glad there are volunteers to spread the message and protect the vulnerable . Your years of being a counsellor were an eye opener, for sure.


      1. I wish to put some of the stories into books someday. One 67 years old ladies cried and laughed at the same time because she was happy to realized how she felt and how much she was wounded.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing what inspired you to write this book, Mark. I know it is a work of fiction, but I swear I had to keep reminding myself of that as I read it. You brought the story to life!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love knowing some of the background to your story and your father’s work there. Your book gives us a glimpse into a cruel world, and adding in some hope. What a perfect companion poem for the story. I really hope more people read your story, it’s a great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mark, you did a phenomenal job of showing the tragedy of human trafficking without being graphic. I admit I was reluctant to read the book at first because of the subject matter, but you handled the story in such a manner that kept me eagerly flipping pages. You delivered a thriller with a strong message, and an ending that brought awareness and hope.

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