Robert Crais


"..very well written and comes highly recommended"


When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing adult daughter, she isn't afraid, even though she's received a phone call asking for ransom. She knows it's a fake, that her daughter is off with the guy Nita will only call “that boy,” and that they need money: 'Even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them.'

But Nita is wrong. The girl and her boyfriend have been taken by bandits who prey on other bandits, border professionals who prey not only on innocent victims, but on each other. They steal drugs, guns, and people – buying and selling victims like commodities, and killing the ones they can't get a price for.

Elvis Cole and Joe Pike find the spot where they were taken. There are tire tracks, bullet casings, and bloodstains. They know things look as bad as possible. But they are wrong - it is about to get worse. Going undercover to find the two young people and buy them back, Cole himself is taken, and now it is up to Joe Pike to retrace Cole's steps, burning through the hard and murderous world of human traffickers to find his friend. But he may already be too late.

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I have greatly enjoyed Crais' previous Cole/Pike novels but had found that the most recent ones, whilst easy to read, had lost their edge a little. 'Taken' brings Crais back to his best and delivers a story that is fast paced and one that I was unable to put down. Maybe at times it was aimed more at the American market with some of the language and dialect used it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story. I would like Crais to let the reader get to know Cole and Pike more - their history, childhood, personal lives, but there is also the saying less is more and a lot is said about the relationship between the two friends without the need for words. But I feel some background on the two men would help build these characters even more. 'Taken' is told over various timelines and from different peoples' perspectives and was easy to follow. 'Taken' is the best Crais book I have read for some time and I had to read it in one sitting. No real major twists or thrills as such, just a fast pace book filled with great characters, that is very well written and comes highly recommended.

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