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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Joe Pike has your back..............
The latest from Robert Crais features his usual pairing of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Cole gets involved in a case to recover a couple who are caught up in a border kidnapping where a group of illegal immigrants are taken and held to ransom. During his investigation Cole is taken too, which is very bad news for the bad guys, because now Joe Pike is on their trail...
Published on 30 Jan. 2012 by Nick Brett

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Taken - something from the author's previous writing quality
I'm not saying the story is bad, it's just that the narrative doesn't seem quite right compared to every other book by Robert Crais that I've read and enjoyed. If this piece of work was a painting, I would suspect it had come from the artist's studio rather than from the hand of the master himself.
Published on 24 Oct. 2012 by Tollgate


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Joe Pike has your back.............., 30 Jan. 2012
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Taken (Paperback)
The latest from Robert Crais features his usual pairing of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Cole gets involved in a case to recover a couple who are caught up in a border kidnapping where a group of illegal immigrants are taken and held to ransom. During his investigation Cole is taken too, which is very bad news for the bad guys, because now Joe Pike is on their trail...

This is the usual page turning wit and action with the engaging camaraderie between Cole and Pike and is firmly situated in the dark underbelly of illegal immigration. It is told in an interesting way, three different timelines that eventually converge and a number of different viewpoints. Crais has the art of making you believe in his characters and to make you grin with anticipation as you have bad guys meeting Pike for the first (and sometimes the last) time. And Pike's lethal approach is balanced, as always, by Cole's wit and dogged spirit.

Another winner from Robert Crais.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Taken - something from the author's previous writing quality, 24 Oct. 2012
By 
Tollgate (Great Yarmouth, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taken (Elvis Cole 13) (Hardcover)
I'm not saying the story is bad, it's just that the narrative doesn't seem quite right compared to every other book by Robert Crais that I've read and enjoyed. If this piece of work was a painting, I would suspect it had come from the artist's studio rather than from the hand of the master himself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far from perfect but still Robert Crais, 28 May 2012
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I have read all of Robert Crais books. I prefer the ones with Elvis Cole as the main character instead of Joe Pike but all of them are good. Why do I prefer Elvis instead of Joe? Elvis has humor. Joe is an enigma.

This one was not his top effort. The Story was jumping back and forth and there were to many actors involved in what was basically a very straight forward story. You just did not get to know the others apart from Elvis and Joe. The idea of smuggling Koreans to the US is a little silly since they can take a plane and go themselves. They do not need visa. Bit still Elvis was as usual a great guy and Joe, apart from his lack of humor, not bad. So the Story worked and it was great read even if the ending was a little abrupt.

One thing bothered me somewhat. Why this new guy Jon Stone? We already have Joe Pike who is stretching the limit for what is believable. Jon Stone makes the Marvel heroes look like boy scouts. There are no people like Jon Stone in the world. I do not buy that you speak all those languages and have all the other abilities that Mr Crais have given to Mr Stone. Usually when you add someone like Jon Stone to a story it is a sign of a desperate author or a bad one. Robert Crais is neither so why introduce him? Why not just add "Joe Pike Light"? Please send him back to Africa before the next book.

Anyhow, recommended as all of his books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unlucky 13, 11 July 2012
By 
Jonathan Clark "Great Black Hawk" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is the thirteenth Cole/Pike book and the previous twelve have been excellent.
Crais has developed the characters with great care and detail and with some sensitivity.
Pike has also played a more important role of late and has become more compelling as a consequence.
The idea behind this book was interesting but it was extremely ponderous with less than interesting characters.
I had the Hardback copy and, as at least one reviewer commented, although theoritically 341 pages long by the time you cut all the blank pages etc it was a much slimmer body of work.
This is essence sums this book up as it lacked the usual Crais substance.
Maybe he's on Cole/Pike autopilot or maybe he's having to fufil his contractual obligations and deliver more work in a shorter space of time (you felt that Michael Connolly had this same problem a year or two back).
It just wasn't very good which I never thought I'd say about a Cole/Pike book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 20 May 2012
By 
Tony Heyes (Greater Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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Reading this book was a chore. The narrative was disjointed, many of the scenes were needlessly sadistic and the narrative was "thin". One got the impression that the book was basically an over-edited sketch that had been rushed to the publisher before the author had had time to round out both the characters and the stories. The ending was rushed and perfunctory and the loose ends were not properly tied up. What became of the surviving baddies? How did Nita greet Jack? I'm a big fan of Elvis Cole but felt cheated by this volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pike To The Rescue, 17 Feb. 2014
Taken is the latest entry to Crais' successful Elvis Cole series. The story revolves around an unplanned abduction of a young American couple by a group of Mexican gangsters. Their modus operandi is to hijack trucks filled with people being smuggled over the border, then ransom those people back to their families--only, they never have any intention of giving the pollos back. They merely milk the family for seemingly small amounts--as little as 500 dollars--over a period of weeks, until the family can't, or won't, pay, and then they kill the abductees. They refer to them as pollos because they're not even people to them; they're chicken. They're meat. They're dead bodies waiting to fall.

Luckily for the couple, Elvis Cole, The World's Greatest Detective, is on the case. UNluckily for them, he's also been abducted.

But luckily again, for all of them, is that Joe Pike is on the hunt. And no one messes with Joe Pike . . .

The novel's written in a fractured structure--Crais skipping ahead early on to establish that Cole's been taken too, and then returning to before the abduction to show the build up to the kidnapping. It seems a little disjointed, and I'm not sure whether Crais deliberately wrote it like that, or whether, more likely, he decided to bring that aspect forward in the novel, possibly to build up suspense or keep the mystery alive. It worked, to an extent, as I kept wondering how Cole got kidnapped, but it also seemed out of place.

In spite of that, the pacing of the novel is fast, the dialogue is fun, the scenes are exciting enough to keep my interest, and even though the ending is too tidy and quick, without fully dealing with the loose-ends in a way I would have preferred, I still liked it.

Overall, it's not one of his best, and if you've never read anything of his, don't start with this--it's a typical series entry, rather than a series standout.

But if you've read his stuff before, this is more of the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, with a slightly weak ending, 13 April 2013
Another good book in the Elvis Cole / Joe Pike series.

Tension builds steadily throughout the book, but the final pages are then over very quickly, leaving you satisfied with the story, but a little disappointed that more was not made of it. Whilst it doesn't detract from the story, five minutes after putting the book down you suddenly think, "Hang on a minute. Was that all?" So only 4 stars, not 5.

Throughout the chapter titles give a suggestion of what is yet to happen, building the suspense as the focus flicks from character to character. There's always enough continuity to maintain your hold on the developing plot and this works well, rather than solely focusing on one character like earlier books.

All in all, I liked it a lot. But would have liked more detail in the conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 19 Jan. 2013
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When I first started the book, I noticed that it was written in sections and from different characters perspectives,at first I wasn't sure how it would be to read,but a few chapters in and I realized that it was engaging from the start right through to the end. I found that I couldn't put it down and wanted to keep reading. All the different perspectives from the different characters was great and gave a better understanding of the story. How the three friends will do anything for each other without questions.
Fantastic book. It is the second one of Robert Crais I have read and I have not been disappointed in either and will definitely read more of his.
A great read I really recommend anyone to read this book but advise you don't plan anything for a couple of days as you will be hooked!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story - too short and lacking tension, 3 May 2012
By 
Lucky Luke (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I would count myself as a Robert Crais fan - I have read all his other books and enjoyed the fast majority. His blend of twist, turns, fast-paced action and humour normally make for great reading. This novel seems to be neither one thing nor the other - I can understand why it is getting split reviews. Many of the RC storytelling elements are in there but I was left feeling short-changed at the end. I read it on Kindle and it felt too short and lacking in twists, turns and tension at the end. In some ways it felt as though RC was writing to a deadline and wrapped things up quickly to get the book out of the door.

If you are a Robert Crais newbie then there are much better books to be had
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a favourite of the Mexican Tourist Board..., 30 Aug. 2012
By 
Mr. M. A. Tomlinson (Liverpool England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Taken (Elvis Cole 13) (Hardcover)
Robert Crais doesn't need my reviews and if you already know his work neither do you. You'll know about the tight plots, the zippy dialogue, the pared down prose and the pageturnability (that can't be a real word)of his books. This one isn't going to endear him to the Mexican Tourist Board painting as it does a picture of parts of Mexico that seem as dangerous and lawless as something from the Wild West. One gets the impression from this and from actual news reports though that it's pretty much true. This is another Cole and Pike winner which leaves me as cigarettes left dear old Oscar Wilde, unsatisfied and wanting the next. I just wish Mr Crais would agree to let them film these books...now I can play casting director in my head again!
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Taken (Elvis Cole 13)
Taken (Elvis Cole 13) by Robert Crais (Paperback - 28 Mar. 2013)
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