Crais has never written a book with the power and intensity of Taken.
When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing adult daughter, she isn’t afraid, even though she’s gotten a phone call asking for ransom. She knows it’s a fake, that her daughter is off with the guy Nita will call only "that boy", and that they need money: "Even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them."
But she is wrong. The girl and her boyfriend have been taken by bajadores - bandits who prey on other bandits, border professionals who prey not only on innocent victims, but on one another. They steal drugs, guns, and people - buying and selling victims like commodities, and killing the ones they can’t get a price for.
Cole and Pike find the spot where the couple were taken. There are tire tracks, bullet casings, and bloodstains. They know things look as bad as possible.
But they are wrong, too. It is about to get much worse. Going undercover to find the couple and buy them back, Cole himself is taken, and disappears. 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.
Thrilling, emotional, passionate, with some of the best characters and well-crafted writing in all of crime fiction, Taken is further proof that "Crais just keeps getting better." (Publishers Weekly).
Investigate another case with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.
©2012 Robert Crais (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.
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.
Can't miss with Joe and Elvis, good narrator but you'd think an author would pick one reader and stick with them. One of the best of the series.
I am a big fan of thrillers. I only give stories a 5 rating if it really keeps my attention and makes we anxiously wait to see what's next!
I have been reading the Cole/Pike series for years and greatly enjoy it. This one was right up there with the others. I found it interesting how it was told in a timeline of before and after Cole was taken by the "bad guys". Cole is a lot of fun, love his irreverant sense of humor. Pike is an interesting character who I would love to see more about.
The story was interesting and kept my attention while listening. You know that ultimately Pike will rescue Cole but you don't know what will happen to the characters who were taken.
It also makes you think about the struggles faced by people who try to come to the US illegally.
Good enjoyable story.
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.
It may be that the narrator plays a larger part than usual in the rating of this book/series. Nevertheless, this is one of the better examples of Crais's talent and this series.
I've listened to the audio version of all of Robert Crais's books. I like the narrators and think they add to the enjoyment. I prefer these particular books in audio.
Elvis is my favorite character. I like his personality and compassion. He's smart, funny and just a nice guy.
I have listened to him narrate The Sentry and several others. This one wasn't my favorite but I did enjoy it.
I definitely tried to do this all in one sitting. I get caught up in the story and don't want to stop until I'm done.
I enjoy listening to audio books and prefer listening to reading for certain authors. That usually is due to the great narrators chosen to perform them. I think the right narrator will either make or break whether I listen or read a book. I've started listening to a series and switched to reading when the narrator changes and doesn't have the same
I have read or listened to all of the Cole/Pike books by Robert Crais and am a big fan. Taken was one of his best. Human trafficking is one of the most despicable offenses that man commits against his fellow man and Crais exposes it in all its ugliness. But with Cole's quirky personality, the book is not so dark as to be depressing. Like all of Crais' books, they keep moving, never becoming bogged down in sub-plots or details that take away from a book. Luke Daniels' narration was excellent,
I recommend this listen and recommend all books by Robert Crais.
not one sitting but maybe 2
I'm sorry that I have caught up with the entire series and will have to wait awhile for the next book.
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No, it's pretty much a one shot book.
Well Elvis he's my favorite in all of them.
Not really some parts can drag, but over all it's a great story.
Another great installment in the series, not the best one but still very well done.
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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