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#taken [PDF / EPUB] #taken They thought they were kidnapping the mistress of one of London s most powerful gangsters But they ve taken the wrong woman And crossed the wrong detectivetaken underground Detective Max Wolfe s hunt They thought they were kidnapping the mistress of one of London s most powerful gangsters But they ve taken the wrong woman And crossed the wrong detectivetaken underground Detective Max Wolfe s hunt for the missing woman takes him from New Scotland Yard s legendary Black Museum to the glittering mansions of career criminals, from sleazy strip joints to secret sex dungeons and to unspeakably dark deeds committed decades agotaken to the limit It s a world of family secrets, sexual jealousy, and a lust for revenge which might also become Wolfe s grave.


10 thoughts on “#taken

  1. says:

    EXCERPT.they loaded her into their car.And now she felt the violence in them Not spite, or sadism, or wounded, woman hating pride But violence Violence in the hands of deeply experienced professionals who did this sort of thing for a living She saw her baby son, and she called his name, and the child was still sleeping on the back seat, wet lipped and head lolling under the Baby, I m bored sign, and she let out a howl like a wounded animal because she knew with total blinding clarity EXCERPT.they loaded her into their car.And now she felt the violence in them Not spite, or sadism, or wounded, woman hating pride But violence Violence in the hands of deeply experienced professionals who did this sort of thing for a living She saw her baby son, and she called his name, and the child was still sleeping on the back seat, wet lipped and head lolling under the Baby, I m bored sign, and she let out a howl like a wounded animal because she knew with total blinding clarity that she would never see him again in this life And that was when she understood.This was personal.This was as personal as hell.ABOUT THIS BOOK WRONG TIME.WRONG PLACE.WRONG GIRL.When a young mother is kidnapped by unknown assailants, Detective Max Wolfe suddenly has a dangerous job on his hands.As Wolfe investigates the connection between the kidnapped woman and the head of a crumbling criminal empire, the hunt takes him from New Scotland Yard s Black Museum to the glittering mansions of career criminals, from sleazy strip joints to secret dungeons, and from the murderous hatreds of today to the unspeakable crimes of half a lifetime ago.Why would someone kidnap an innocent young woman As Wolfe plunges deeper and deeper into a world of darkness and vengeance, he begins to wonder if anyone is innocentMY THOUGHTS I have learnt to expect surprises from Tony Parsons He is a master at leading the reader in totally the wrong direction, of smokescreens so well crafted you don t see them for what they are until afterwards But he takes his writing to a whole new level with taken, 6 in the Max Wolfe series.I read this with my mind darting from one scenario to another, my heart pounding, my pulse racing If I could have read it in one sitting, I would have I did not want to put it down Even while I was at work, I was thinking about this book, about the possibilities, wonderingand wondering some .I love the character of Max He is strong, thoughtful I love reading about his bolt hole, New Scotland Yard s Black Museum, and his daughter Scout I love what I learn about London, old and new, each time I read a book in this series In short, I love this series, and taken is a wonderful addition Taken NetGalley THE AUTHOR Tony Parsons born 6 November 1953 is a British journalist broadcaster and author He began his career as a music journalist on the NME, writing about punk music Later, he wrote for The Daily Telegraph, before going on to write his current column for the Daily Mirror Parsons was for a time a regular guest on the BBC Two arts review programme The Late Show, and still appears infrequently on the successor Newsnight Review he also briefly hosted a series on Channel 4 called Big Mouth.He is the author of the multi million selling novel, Man and Boy 1999 Parsons had written a number of novels including The Kids 1976 , Platinum Logic 1981 and Limelight Blues 1983 , before he found mainstream success by focussing on the tribulations of thirty something men Parsons has since published a series of best selling novels One For My Baby 2001 , Man and Wife 2003 , The Family Way 2004 , Stories We Could Tell 2006 , My Favourite Wife 2007 , Starting Over 2009 and Men From the Boys 2010 His novels typically deal with relationship problems, emotional dramas and the traumas of men and women in our time He describes his writing as Men Lit , as opposed to the rising popularity of Chick Lit.DISCLOSURE Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of taken by Tony Parsons for review All opinions expressed in this review are totally my own opinions.For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.comThis review and others are also published on Twitter,and my webpage


  2. says:

    Tony Parsons happens to be one of my all time favourite crime writers and if you count yourself as thriller aficionado he should be on your radar too He just has the knack for writing truly gripping, fast paced stories with a twisted narrative and surprises aplenty throughout This is once again a propulsive page turner, but I would go so far as to say that this is his best novel to date This is simply too damn good to pass up If it sounds like your cup of tea then treat yourself, you ll I ca Tony Parsons happens to be one of my all time favourite crime writers and if you count yourself as thriller aficionado he should be on your radar too He just has the knack for writing truly gripping, fast paced stories with a twisted narrative and surprises aplenty throughout This is once again a propulsive page turner, but I would go so far as to say that this is his best novel to date This is simply too damn good to pass up If it sounds like your cup of tea then treat yourself, you ll I can guarantee you re in for a wild ride that will end with Mr Parsons at the top of your reading list.Many thanks to Century for an ARC


  3. says:

    After throughly enjoying and following Tony Parsons contemporary London based crime series that features DC Max Wolfe of Homicide and Serious Crime Command, West End Central since its inception, I have become used to the topical themes and contentious issues they raised The fifth and previous novel, Girl on Fire, disappointed me immensely largely due to the subject matter specifically how close to home the jihadi war against the West is and the political standpoint presented and character d After throughly enjoying and following Tony Parsons contemporary London based crime series that features DC Max Wolfe of Homicide and Serious Crime Command, West End Central since its inception, I have become used to the topical themes and contentious issues they raised The fifth and previous novel, Girl on Fire, disappointed me immensely largely due to the subject matter specifically how close to home the jihadi war against the West is and the political standpoint presented and character development With boss DCI Pat Whitestone making rash decisions and seeming throughly contemptuous of both her colleagues and the public, and with Max bending over backwards in an effort to play the political correctness card I was all set to ditch the series However even the death of a central figure in the last story wasn t enough to see me off and with this sixth instalment effectively working as a stand alone, taken brings a return to the form of the first four books with some solid crime thriller action Together with his diminutive and highly experienced boss, forty year old DCI Pat Whitestone, and young TDC Joy Adams just a year out of Hendon it sees Max Wolfe in the thick of another high profile case.The story sets off at a cracking pace, dropping the reader straight into the action with young mother, Jessica Lyle, kidnapped from a showroom fresh car as she enters the private estate where she lives with her six month old son asleep in the back seat Beautiful Jessica is a dance teacher in mourning for her recently deceased fianc , merely borrowing the flash car and simply sharing the home of her thirty year old flatmate and to the police the motive is not entirely clear Until that is, they meet Jessica s flatmate, erotic dancer Snezia Jones employed at a club in Mayfair and Max catches a glimpse of her mobile wallpaper and sees the man who is financing her exclusive lifestyle former eighties kingpin of the drug world controlling the supply of ecstasy, womanising Harry Flowers and now a supposedly honest businessman doing his bit for the environment and recycling old cars Max and the team quickly gravitate to a theory that Jessica might have been mistakenly snatched with the perpetrators really intending to kidnap the former gangsters current mistress and owner of the car, Snezia Jones.But with Flowers enemies plentiful and with each and every person connected to his world withholding their own secrets, Jessica s likely fate sees Max follow a sordid trail of secretive sexual fantasies where the price for breaking ranks and speaking out is fatal The pressure to find Jessica alive and unharmed sets in motion a high octane, guns blazing, race against time. And with working class Flowers happily married to upmarket Charlotte and with two grown up children living a comfortable life in an Essex mansion and two heavies watching his back, it isn t easy getting to the man himself With Jessica s ailing father a retired hard nosed cop determined to drum up the fervent interest of the media and ensure a publicity campaign fo keep Jessica front page news continues andthan happy to dispense his own form of justice, it only makes the job of the police team doubly hard Together with Whitestone s increasingly cynical outlook, taken threatens to be her undoing and with the case likewise coming too close to home for Max and Joy Adams, tension is high The plot provides multiple well disguised twists along the way and a high stakes denouement resolved all of my concerns about loose endings in the most satisfactory and surprising of ways with some audacious last gasp action from a combination of DCI Whitestone and DC Max Wolfe Free flowing action throughout and excellent characterisation of even the secondary figures makes for compelling reading with the occasional far fetched aspect Admittedly, Parsons trots out the macho posturing, a wealth of information on top of the range cars, numerous examples of his exemplary fathering and being an absolute salt of the earth and with the first person narrative of Max and life chez Max with eight year old daughter, Scout, and beloved King Charles cavalier, Stan, it isn t all gritty underworld enquiries however Whilst there is the familiar appearance of the selfish, narcissistic ex wife and Scout s mother, Anne, the fleeting visit to Scotland Yard s Black Museum left me feeling slightly short changed Nevertheless these domestic concerns never supersede the crime under investigation and do little to detract from the building momentum of the case with layers of deception clouding the truth As with previous instalments of the series, Tony Parsons knowledge of London historical trivia and colourful crimes in the capital is reeled out and adds a very distinctive vibe to the entire story Although the history of Highgate Cemetery East and West and several other soundbites have a sense of d j vu from previous instalments it is one of the aspects of the series that appeals Likewise with the cameos roles from regulars, Ginger Gonzalez, founder and sole proprietor of the Chinatown based Sampaguita Social Introduction Agency, Max s childhood friend, Specialist Firearms Officer Jackson Rose and Scout s nanny, family friend and ally, Mrs Murphy.From a procedural standpoint I had a number of issues with the novel and some of the characters actions weremaverick and showy than credible but for the feel good buzz that comes with cracking a case with Max, I am happy to forgive some artistic licence With its usual mix of old timer villains who formerly ruled the London streets and the changing face of crime the combination makes for a meaty current storyline and an idea of how the perpetrators, their methods and their morals have evolved over time and hence the series has a unique feel and occupies a certain niche in the crime fiction market Admittedly the plot takes a fairly sordid downturn in keeping with other instalments which have focused on sex trafficking, vigilante executions and home grown radicalisation but they are always timely and reflective of the state of society as opposed to gratuitous and gory.Parsons prose is unfailingly engaging, wonderfully direct and the narrative voice of Max with his crisp insights and pithy honesty adds a real humanity and realistic appeal to his persona and allows the reader to care about his domestic strife and detective work Rather like how the characters of the Dr Ruth Galloway series have become old friends, I feel invested in everyone of the characters The combination of pragmatic Max and decisive Pat Whitestone creates an interesting dynamic with the mix of loyalty and mutual respect and whilst Whitestone seems to be continuing on her path to loose cannon she was farlikeable and DC Max Wolfe was back to his solid, savvy and street smart self A solid three star read for new and unbiased readers but for anyone with a vested interest in Max, Scout and Stan in the heart of Smithfield s and the team at 27 Savile Row myself included , taken is a four star crowd pleaser All in all a none too shoddy fast paced crime thriller and topical stand alone that doubles as a whistle stop tour of London, old and new


  4. says:

    Tony Parsons will always have a warm place in my heart after his ground breaking Man love and hate So when the author turned his skillful hand to writing a detective series I was eager to see if he could bring the same warmth to characters in a totally diff Tony Parsons will always have a warm place in my heart after his ground breaking Man Boy now unbelievably written 20 years ago, What Parsons excels in is relationships and in particular the dynamics of family life how passion can easily turn to sadness,and how there is very little that separates those great human emotions love and hate So when the author turned his skillful hand to writing a detective series I was eager to see if he could bring the same warmth to characters in a totally different setting, and I was certainly not disappointed D I Max Wolfe is a a single parent living above Smithfield meat market in central London He shares his life with daughter Scout, Stan the dog and irascible Mrs Murphy who sees herself as guardian of this lovely little family Ex wife Anne has flown the nest although we do meet her periodically in the series and she paints a rather sad picture of a mother too concerned with her own financial aspirations to be bothered about her daughter But this helps Parsons develop the character of Wolfe letting his warmth shine through and loved without question by Stan and Scout To me relationships form the heart of TP s writing brilliantly depicted against a criminal background Not like most crime novels Parsons has a clear simple plot Jessica Lyle is kidnapped whilst driving her friend Snezia s BMW Is this a case of mistaken identity were the kidnappers really after Snezia and by doing so hoping to blackmail her gangster boyfriend Harry Flowers Thats the plot and it runs along at a cracking pace but as implied above this is not what endears me to this novel It is TP s razor sharp observations of the human condition and the human heart with all the pain it must endure in a short lifetime the recently dead do not leave us immediately They stay close by, held by the sadness of leaving, and the human bonds that were made in this world They were like brother and sister towards the end Isn t that the way it always ends up between men and women, if you leave them together long enough ,,,,,There is a wonderful scene in the final chapter It is sports day at Scouts school and because her birthday is at the end of July she is always competing against fellow classmates who are older and thus have the advantage of age All she wants to do is just once win a gold, silver or bronze sticker either in the heats or in the final She lines up against 3 fellow competitors one of whom is a rather overweight pupilsurely on this day she can win not a first place not even a second place but just possibly a third and perhaps finally receive a bronze stickerwell this is Tony Parsons writing and I am sure if you now understand his psyche a little better you will surely know the answer and the race outcome A wonderful writer that brings a much needed warmth to a great detective series Highly Recommended


  5. says:

    When a young mother, Jessica Lyle, is kidnapped by unknown assailants, Detective Max Wolfe realises he has a dangerous job on his hands At the time of the kidnapping, Jessica was driving her friend Snezia s BMW so were the abductors really after Snezia, thereby hoping to blackmail her gangster boyfriend Harry Flowers The investigation takes Detective Max Wolfe and his boss, DCI Pat Whitestone, from elitist homes in London and the suburbs, to strip clubs, scrapyards, and .Tony Parsons will When a young mother, Jessica Lyle, is kidnapped by unknown assailants, Detective Max Wolfe realises he has a dangerous job on his hands At the time of the kidnapping, Jessica was driving her friend Snezia s BMW so were the abductors really after Snezia, thereby hoping to blackmail her gangster boyfriend Harry Flowers The investigation takes Detective Max Wolfe and his boss, DCI Pat Whitestone, from elitist homes in London and the suburbs, to strip clubs, scrapyards, and .Tony Parsons will always be special after Man and Boy written years ago He excels in writing about relationships the dynamics of family life, passion, sadness, love and hate When I eventually realised the author was writing a detective series, I was curious to see if he could bring the same benevolence to his characters in a completely different scenario, and I was definitely not dissatisfied DI Max Wolfe is a single parent living in central London He has daughter Scout, Stan the dog and irascible Mrs Murphy who sees herself as the guardian of his family Ex wife Anne is incredibly self centred, a mother too concerned with her own circumstances to be bothered about her daughter But this helps the author s portrayal of Wolfe s character, enabling his warmth to shine and he is unquestionably loved by Scout and Stan Relationships are the foundation of Tony Parsons writing, ably depicted against a criminal background He manages to create characters that I either want to meet in real life or avoid at all cost this book has oodles of both With its engaging, direct prose and the narrative of Wolfe with his sharp insight and finely honed honesty, the story has plenty of realistic appeal It certainly held my interestthan enough, allowing me to care about the current case and his domestic life This is the 6th in the series and although this reads fine as a stand alone, you are missing the delights of the other books, as I currently am I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Random House UK, Cornerstone Century via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.


  6. says:

    Thank the universe I m finally into July ratings


  7. says:

    Another rollercoaster of a read from one of my favourite authors A crime thriller par excellence and of course DI Max Wolfe I was in reading heaven A young woman has been abducted from her car and her baby is left in the back seat The woman is the girlfriend of a notorious London gangster Harry Flowers This book has everything I expect from this author andIt got my heart racing, holding my breath and tapping my kindle faster and faster The plot twists are rapid, the writing is cleve Another rollercoaster of a read from one of my favourite authors A crime thriller par excellence and of course DI Max Wolfe I was in reading heaven A young woman has been abducted from her car and her baby is left in the back seat The woman is the girlfriend of a notorious London gangster Harry Flowers This book has everything I expect from this author andIt got my heart racing, holding my breath and tapping my kindle faster and faster The plot twists are rapid, the writing is clever and yes this is very addictive reading I read this book in one sitting, reading late into the night I HAD TO KNOW As for the climax WOW it blew me away I was speechless This is a real page turner and a tour de force of a crime thriller I loved it, left me wantingAn easy five stars and so Highly Recommended I have missed Max Wolfe and his daughter Scout A very happy reader I would like to thank the author, Random House UK and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review


  8. says:

    If there is to be a King of Crime to stand alongside the Queen that is Martina Cole, Tony Parson s is the man Taken is written in a similar old school way to Cole, involving villains gangsters, prostitutes, drug dealers, etc and detective work that just passes the level of modern acceptability The story is filled with emotion, outstandingly intriguing characterisation and the tension and suspense, while gradually building, is a constant undercurrent beneath the surface of the dubiously legal If there is to be a King of Crime to stand alongside the Queen that is Martina Cole, Tony Parson s is the man Taken is written in a similar old school way to Cole, involving villains gangsters, prostitutes, drug dealers, etc and detective work that just passes the level of modern acceptability The story is filled with emotion, outstandingly intriguing characterisation and the tension and suspense, while gradually building, is a constant undercurrent beneath the surface of the dubiously legal investigatory customs Which serve to peek the readers interest to a level that they don t want to blink in case they miss something, while managing to maintain pace and structure I read this in a day and can t wait to see what Parson s comes up with next


  9. says:

    Why aren t thereTony Parsons out there writing books for me Or, barring that, why can t Tony Parsons have the superpower of writing incredibly fast so I don t have to wait so long for his next book Parsons writes real, complicated, multi dimensional characters and crimes The main character is one of those few who stays with me and I am always a bit annoyed at the end of a book in the series because I am going to have to wait to see what happens next in his life Parsons writes real pe Why aren t thereTony Parsons out there writing books for me Or, barring that, why can t Tony Parsons have the superpower of writing incredibly fast so I don t have to wait so long for his next book Parsons writes real, complicated, multi dimensional characters and crimes The main character is one of those few who stays with me and I am always a bit annoyed at the end of a book in the series because I am going to have to wait to see what happens next in his life Parsons writes real people, both men and women, not stereotypes Reading his books makes it painfully clear what crap the majority of crime fiction is Every one of the now 6 books in this series is just excellent That s all


  10. says:

    It s so nice to read a police procedural that doesn t play the Big Social Issues card I like my crime fiction to focus on the personal, and here we have the whole swirl of emotions, including love, hate, jealousy, revenge, fear, heartbreak That s the stuff I like, especially when long festering wounds erupt in the present, years later.We begin with an abduction of a beautiful young mother who seems to have been the wrong target It looks like the intended victim was an exotic dancer who is als It s so nice to read a police procedural that doesn t play the Big Social Issues card I like my crime fiction to focus on the personal, and here we have the whole swirl of emotions, including love, hate, jealousy, revenge, fear, heartbreak That s the stuff I like, especially when long festering wounds erupt in the present, years later.We begin with an abduction of a beautiful young mother who seems to have been the wrong target It looks like the intended victim was an exotic dancer who is also the mistress of a 1990s drug lord now supposedly turned straight and doing business as a car recycling magnate The investigation takes Detective Max Wolfe and his boss, DCI Pat Whitestone, from multi million pound homes in London and the suburbs, to strip clubs, to car wrecking yards, andEveryone knows how important it is to recover a kidnapping victim fast, or it is likely the victim will be killed But in this case, everyone also lies Peeling away those lies is what leads Max to the solution of the crime But since this is a Max Wolfe novel, along the way there are plenty of chases, plot twists and, of course, violence.I don t think it s all that hard to guess the whodunnit, but there are still plenty of revelations along the way And it sure does provide some thrills enough to deprive me of sleep.This is one of the strongest of the Max Wolfe novels, and a big improvement over last year s Girl On Fire As usual for me and this series, I listened to the audiobook, read by the wonderful voice actor Colin Mace Mace reads with what sounds to me like an East End of London accent though I m American, so I could be off , and it suits the novels so well that it s hard for me to imagine experiencing the books any other way.I do feel like I have to say one thing about this book and all the other Max Wolfe books that irritates me a lot and makes me mad at myself for liking and reading Parsons s books In real life, back in the late 80s and early 90s Parsons was a rock journalist married to another rock journalist named Julie Burchill He was unfaithful and she left him, leaving him with their young son Parsons raised their son and she has had almost no relationship with him Parsons, who is much better known in the UK than in the US, became a successful novelist, with pretty much all of his novels featuring a husband abandoned by his wife and left to bring up a child as a single parent And Max Wolfe is no exception, as he raises a young daughter after his wife has left him for another man and is, at best, an erratic presence in the daughter s life.It may be that Julie Burchill is a terrible person that s not the point The point for me is that it s disgusting for Parsons to use book after book after book to attack his ex by proxy Though she s a writer too, she s not cranking out the best sellers at least best sellers in the UK the way he is, which means that he s using a weapon against her that she doesn t have I can t respect that This is the kind of stuff that makes me wish we were back in the days when we weren t supposed to know all about the personal lives of authors


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