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The Child Taker

Detective Alec Ramsay Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Julia Farhat
Series: Detective Alec Ramsay, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A stand-alone novel based on high-profile child abductions, which have been followed by millions of concerned parents on the news. Five-year-old twins are abducted from a tent in the Lake District and the hunt for a dangerous paedophile ring begins. Police procedure follows the premise that 60% of abducted children are murdered within the first four hours of being taken. The first hour is called "The golden hour" and the longer a child is missing, the less chance there is of them being recovered unharmed. The Child Taker follows the desperate search for the missing twins.

©2008 Conrad Jones (P)2014 Conrad Jones

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done British Action Thriller



Child Taker is a British action thriller focusing on the efforts of a grandfather and his pals to recover his kidnapped grandchildren. Five year old fraternal twins Sarah and Zak are abducted from their tent while on a family camping trip. Their mother, Hayley, is understandably distraught and welcomes her father's help in trying to find the children. The Major, a counter terrorism agent, and his elite team pull out all the stops in their search for Sarah and Zak.

When I began listening to and reading The Child Taker, I was leery that a female narrator could pull off a believable action thriller. In spite of my reservations, Julia Farhat does, in fact, do a splendid job with the multitude of characters in the book. The pacing of the novel and the narrative performance kept me so involved I devoured the book in a single day.

Anyone with issues regarding child and sexual abuse should look elsewhere as those themes are integral to this story.

I bought the Kindle book and received the Audible book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • helen
  • melbourne, Australia
  • 07-11-14

Chilling!

I was hesitant at first when listening to the beginning of the novel and its subject matter, however Conrad Jones really does know how to write a gripping tale that has you asking questions and pointing fingers all the way round.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thrilling Read

Would you listen to The Child Taker again? Why?

No. Just because there are too many books I still need to read

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tank. He's tough but compassionate for good.

Have you listened to any of Julia Farhat’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First time listening

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but life called so I couldn't. I had responsibilities to fulfill.

Any additional comments?

I don’t often give a book five stars, but I couldn’t give anything less in this gripping, thrilling novel. Conrad Jones weaves a tale so sinister and attention grabbing that it chills me to the bone.
The Child Taker is John, who, as the name implies, takes children to sale them. He’s messed with the wrong crowd, however, when double crosses a ruthless pedophile ring Lord and also when he takes the grandchildren of a powerful military officer.
The story has plenty of villains with a competent staff of heroes to balance them out. My personal favorite is Tank. I hope we see more of him in future stories. You think the story might be predictable, but be prepared for the twist the story takes.
The narrator, Julia Farhat, does an outstanding job and handles the difficult task of capturing the various characters superbly.
My only negative feel thought is that this is supposed to be the Alec Ramsey series, but he was hardly in the story. That confused me.
I do not hesitate to recommend this book. There’s a lot of violence, though, so beware. Also the subject matter of the pedophile ring is a giant tug on the heart.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Scary, but probably realistic

This book is way outside my comfort zone. Books about children coming to harm make me sad and scared.
While it was hard to listen to at times, the story moves along quickly. I thought I knew how it would end, but was surprised. You will be on the edge of your seat, you will be shocked at points, you will be sad, and you will be disgusted at times.
I really liked that the bad guys didn't always lose. It's unrealistic when the good guy always win.
There are triggers for anyone who has lived through trauma. Rape, child molestation, porn, sex trafficking. Big themes. But unfortunately, these things happen every day.
I was so impressed with the narrator! fantastic!! I would listen to any book she narrates.

I was given a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Twists and turns, though went in many directions

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The Child Taker is takes us back to the familiar overused horror story--darling children are taken from the adoring wife and absentee, uncaring father. Along the way we discover a myriad of characters and wonder who the kidnapper is.

What was most disappointing about Conrad Jones’s story?

Once I figured out the connection and significance of the subplot actually involved in the kidnapping, the story got better. But I almost moved on because the relationship subplot was wearing me down with vulgar language and cliches.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked the ending.

Did The Child Taker inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to not write subplots with cliched relationships.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Child Taker

Any additional comments?


This is one of the best thrillers audiobook I have lisen to. It's well written, and the characters well developed. It's a real suspense with an unexpected twist to finish. I look forward to listening more of Conrad Jones's work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The dark side of humanity!

This is not a book for the faint hearted. It takes a hard, ugly look at the sex trade and more specifically, child sex. I personally, cannot fathom that a world like this can exist.

I didn’t give this a 5 star because I really don’t like so much swearing and to be honest, I also don’t like all graphic word pictures of this kind of abuse. I know this book is about exposing this world, so it needed both to hit home. This is just a personal preference for me.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not the best narration

At first if was a little slow, and I will admit, the narration was poor, not the worst I have ever listened to but not really good, I will give this book a three star review due to the narration, but probably it would have four stars if I had read it. This is a book with some very emotional content, and there are parts with some graphic details of violence so beware those with a weak stomach. And the ending was a little sudden.

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  • A. Palmer
  • 08-25-14

Dreadful narration.

What disappointed you about The Child Taker?

Didn't get more than 2 minutes into the book before turning it off. Can't comment on the story!

Would you ever listen to anything by Conrad Jones again?

Don't know.

Would you be willing to try another one of Julia Farhat’s performances?

Definitely not.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • 06-24-15

Disappointing

A very strange combination - a powerful disturbing story subject unfortunately written and narrated as if aimed at a audience of 10 year olds!

Overall very disappointing

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Eva
  • 12-09-14

Stick with it - its a twister

Would you listen to The Child Taker again? Why?

one half of me says yes, because i feel i missed a few points as the narrator doing different voices and accents got a little confusing at first.
the other half of me says no i wouldn't, because it was rather slow moving - but only at the start.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child Taker?

the most memorable part HAS to be when the children are abducted at the start
that was quite nailbiting

What does Julia Farhat bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I am not sure she brought anything to be honest.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A few of the descriptions of the child takers customers and what they DID made me absolutely CRINGE and RECOIL but it was not anything that would make someone cry thankfully.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 08-02-19

The Pinnacle of Excellence

I first read this book over 2 and half years ago and it was my first date with Conrad Jones. What a first date it was - Love Island producers could take a lesson from Mr Jones. The tale twists and turns and takes your emotions through all kinds or exercises. This is not a book for the faint hearted or easily shocked. The sad thing is, the kind of organisation Mr Jones describes is far too credible. There are also moments of great tenderness. Hayley's reaction to the arrival of her father was beautiful, as was the connection between the twins. These loving touches stop the book from being too bleak. There are a lot of these special interludes, (eg; Jack's back story) which take this tale from a voyeuristic account of evil to an engrossing, captivating, action packed adventure. Over two years ago I was totally smitten by Conrad Jones' mastery with a pen and my admiration has not dimmed. When you find an author of this calibre, I definitely recommend 'double-dipping'; reading the book and listening to the audio version. Even though I knew what was going to happen, the sheer brilliance of the story managed to enthral and bewitch me all over again, (especially John Tankersley). A superb book from an accomplished author, which I am thrilled and privileged to recommend. You can thank me later.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-17-19

Great storyline but ruined by the narration.

This storyline is gripping and kept me interested all the way through. However the Narrator made me switch from listening to this at work (hgv driver) to reading it in my spare time. The use of an American reading a story set in the Liverpool area is absolutely absurd. Now the narrators in the Braddick series are worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • suzanne cottrell
  • 11-09-17

Fantastic book ruined

Hideous narration spoiling a truly fantastic book. So disappointed hopefully the rest of the series is not by this narrator

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TG
  • 11-26-19

Hooked from the off

Great, captive listen. Cannot rate this high enough. Great story arc, rounded characters and the time flew by. Interesting, but grim subject did not detract at all and left me wanting more. Suspenseful and Highly recommended.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-21-19

Enjoyable, action packed and full of twists and turns

I listened to an audio version of the child taker in return for an honest review.
The short version of my review is that it was a great story that kept me on the edge of my seat. The narration was good and I would definitely listen to/read more books in this series.
Ok on to the long version, I just finished listening to this book in my car, and on so many occasions I sat in my car 10 mins extra or on some occasions even longer, just to hear a bit more of the story. It was over all a very enjoyable listening experience, I loved the characters and the story and was interested in the twists and turns, also I loved how the author used dual perspectives to write the story, that was such a clever touch that made me even more engaged and actually helped me to understand the characters on both sides and at some points as much as I hate to say it actually empathise with Jack, Alfie and the other kidnappers. On the other side I also loved Tank and found myself really rooting for him and became invested in his story line, I loved his take no crap attitude to things. The story line was generally (bar the first few chapters) quite fast paced and action filled and there were lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing and the final twist left me gasping! I am usually very good at guessing twists but this one I did not see coming!
It also gave an interesting glimpse into the mind of a criminal which if you’re like me and love real life crime documentaries you will love.
My main criticism of the book is I found it a little slow in the first few chapters and found myself only wanting to hear Jack’s story as it felt like two completely separate story lines, once the two stories merged I found it much more enjoyable.
In conclusion it was well written, action packed and if you love a good detective story you will enjoy this.

I would give it 4 out of 5 stars

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-07-19

Gripping Listen

Great listen, only complaint is I was left hanging. But it is a series, so that's the point, right?

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa Harwood
  • 09-30-19

A fast paced thriller

A fast paced thriller. Although the book is based on a very uncomfortable topic it caught my attention from the outset. It is absolutely horrifying the extent to which child abductors will go and reassuring that there are organisations working to combat this.

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  • Julia
  • 11-09-15

Good Thriller

I liked the characters and I thought the story was fast moving and credible, I read another review who said it was vulgar and I have no idea what they mean, in no way did his book strike that note, don't be put of reading this book, its good its pacey and its a book about the underworld of child abduction and I enjoyed reading it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful