Wow, what a great novel. The twists and turns keep you guessing. One of the best written by Robert Crais.
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.
This is a complex, fast moving and exceptionally well constructed story with two legendary characters. The evil of the bad guys (bajadores -- criminals who prey on other criminals) and terror of the kidnapped comes through vividly. Crais presents a wide range of interesting characters that one must either hate or love - there is no middle ground. I found myself developing genuine concern for the main kidnapped characters, Krista Morales and her boyfriend Jack Berman. The addition of Jack's aunt - an ATF bigwig was a great stroke of genius, adding an extra layer of interest and tension to the story. Human trafficking, kidnapping, and a "good guy" organized gang of Korean killers - it all works! Only Crais could weave this together in such a masterful way. It was great to get more of Joe Pike in Taken versus most other novels from the series. In fact one could argue that Joe is the main character this time. (The Pike character, however, is too one dimensional to carry a story on his own. The story must be built around him, as Taken seems to be. Pike is the solution not the suspense.) The narrative bounces back and forth in time quite a bit, especially at the beginning, and switches narrative perspective a few times. I'm not sure this technique was necessary and it makes it a bit difficult to follow as an audiobook - I was probably 90 minutes into the audio before I developed a sense of what the book was about and knew enough to follow the story without long pauses and rewinding.
love Joe & Elvis stories
Love Elvis's sense of humor even when he was in a bad situation
John Stone....and I really did not like his Joe voice
The violence by the cartel/human smugglers was frightening and on a good note I loved Joe's loyalty to finding Elvis.
A great Joe and Elvis story! Yes, it is a very gruesome story and really makes you think (and be thankful our relatively safe life we live here in the US). The story starts out with Joe looking for Elvis who has been kidnapped. Elvis was looking a a college student who is missing and he figures out that she had been kidnapped by some very nasty drug cartel/human smugglers. Eventually he was taken too and Joe sets out to find him. If you are looking for a great read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, check this one out. And of course you still get Elvis's great sense of humor.
Excellent thriller by Crais. I do miss his original style though, which was more detecting, more mystery.
In his thrillers Crais uses everything in his power to ratchet up the suspense-- flash-forwards, flashbacks, foreshadowing. In this book for example every chapter starts with a countdown to the moment when Elvis Cole himself is kidnapped (so it's not a spoiler that the publisher mentions this event in the book's teaser.) The story alternates between the points of view of Elvis, Joe, some kidnap victims, and others, and it's all designed to keep the plot at a high boil. It's all extremely effective, as usual.
The downside for me is that whenever Crais has a choice between tension and mystery, he goes straight for tension. There is a fair amount of detecting done by the heroes, but most of the time we already know what happened. While it's still interesting to see how Elvis and Pike manage against the odds to connect the dots, this is not structured like a mystery story.
(There were also a character that I thought was going to play a significant role in the denouement, and was instead became merely a witness. Not sure if this was a red herring or if Crais was setting up that character to appear in a future book.)
Crais is really good at keeping the tension up for insanely long stretches, and I am still a big fan of his writing, and of Elvis and Joe. But I hope he occasionally takes a break from trying to top himself in stakes, tension, and body count, and remembers Elvis Cole's roots.
It took me a while to get used to this narrator, but he's perfectly fine. I can't put my finger on what I'd change about the reading. Maybe it's just the usual problem of hearing someone else's voice doing characters I've only heard in my head for so many years.
Robert Crais writes the most interesting books, I am never bored listening to all the books I've downloaded from his series. They make my day at boring work go by really fast!
The story was very exciting. I call it edgy comfort food because Crais is an author I've been reading since I was 17. I'm 43 now. Crais is like a comfy blanket or comfort food. I love all his books and all the characters he creates. What I just realized was how freaking young he was when he first started out - only 10 years older than me. A mere babe.
I won't give anything away because I hate it when people give away parts of the story.
John Stone - I liked his character and I liked how Daniels created his voice.
I never want to listen to any book in one sitting. I want to prolong the experience.
The story is great and Luke Daniels does a great job with the characters' voices. I was thoroughly entertained.
I love Robert's Crais characters (Dave R.). It is exactly the kind of entertaining mystery and action I prefer listening to in the car as I am driving. This one didn't disappoint. My big problem is keeping track of the books I have already ready over the years.