I am a big Robert Crais fan and was really looking forward to this one. I thought it was going to be another Joe Pike novel, but it was split between Joe and Elvis Cole. I found that, because it was told from both points of view, it lacked a little depth. The story was still good, but I missed the more personal reflections of Elvis or of Joe. Also, it was a bit more violent than usual. The first Elvis novels were really funny. I think Crais needs to go back to that style and lighten up a bit.
Crais is one of my favorite authors and this book does not disappoint! I group the series into three parts: books 1 through 7 (Indigo Slam), 8 through 12 (Chasing Darkness), and 13 (First Rule) to present. The books in the second part tend to be my favorites with Watchman being my overall favorite. This book is the best in the third grouping. Taken is the 15th book in the series and continues to build on previous themes, like John Stone.
The book moves fast, with time running out for Cole and the two kids he's trying to protect. The book does make an odd jump near the beginning that threw me at first - it jump forward in time after Cole has been taken, then jumps back, so be aware that's coming.
Luke Daniels is my favorite Cole/Pike narrator and he continues to do an excellent job in this book.
Joe Pike - no nonsense tough partner.
He brings out the characters traits really well.
It was hard to put down. You were kept on the edge of your seat hoping the kids would be rescued safely.
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I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
Twenty years ago, Robert Crais introduced two very entertaining characters: the wise-cracking, self-deprecating Elvis Cole ("the world's greatest detective") and his pal Joe Pike. Pike has always been cartoonish, an ex-Marine who has two red arrows tattooed on his deltoid muscles, pointing forward. Pike grunts few words, is mostly invisible, but always helps Cole solve the case. This sounds a little like Robert B. Parker's Spenser and Hawk. Initially the humor was fresh and Crais seemed to be a modern day Raymond Chandler. The material managed to stay fresh for a long time. For several years Crais introduced Lucy Chenier, a woman from New Orleans with a son, who established an interesting love life for Cole. However, it seems to me that Crais is now running out of material. "Hostage" was clearly made for the movies, and "Taken" is a complex jumble of Syrians, Korean and Mexican gangs, and a new character who is even more of a caricature than Pike, John Stone. This guy is so macho, speaks nine languages or something, works as a mercenary, and can apparently jump over buildings in a single bound (not really, but even so...). Two guys like this is one too many. In the past I could not imagine putting down a Crais novel in the middle, but with this one, I did. Crais is hyping up the violence and simultaneously running out of humor, sadly. Maybe he is in a rut and should create a new character. In any case, not good. Cole is no longer the world's greatest detective.
Loved the narrator for this book. Thought his voicing of different characters were spot on.
The thing I hated most about this book is that it ended and I have to wait another year for Crais to write another book. Like every book of his ( I have listen or read them all) Crais' characters of Cole and Pike make you want to believe that men like that exist.
Here Cole is on the hunt for a woman and her boyfriend who were kidnaped and there only chance to survive is Cole. But in his pursuit he is taken also. Pike is now looking for his friend and with John Stone ( another recurring character that I love) are out to find them. pike and Stone are good men who do bad things and all I can say is I hope to have friends like that looking for me if I'm taken. A plus book!
My only complaint about Crais' books is that they are too short! This one was a page turner. I listened all the way through the night and was disappointed when it ended because I wanted more.