Hardcover  #taken PDF ✓

#taken #taken in the night 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 detective #taken 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 ago #taken to the limit It’s a world of family secrets sexual jealousy and a lust for revenge – which might also become Wolfe’s grave 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 sadnessand 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 uestion 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 lifetimethe 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 worldThey 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 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 listMany thanks to Century for an ARC 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 caseThe 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 fiancé 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 uickly 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 JonesBut 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 and than 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 aspectAdmittedly 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 enuiries 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 déjà 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 MurphyFrom a procedural standpoint I had a number of issues with the novel and some of the characters actions were maverick 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 uniue 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 goryParsons 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 far likeable 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 Thank the universe I'm finally into July ratings If there is to be a King of Crime to stand alongside the ueen that is Martina Cole Tony Parson's is the manTaken 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 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 and It 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 wanting An 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 Why aren't there Tony 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 When I started this book I did not realise it was the eighth in a series I am normally uite strict at reading my books or watching films in the right order I thought I would just give it one chapter and I was so hooked that I didn’t want to stop reading itJessica Lyle a young mother has been kidnapped taken from her car leaving her baby on the back seat Jessica is a dancer sharing an apartment with Snezia an exotic dancer who is seeing Harry Flowers one of London’s most famous gangsters Jessica has borrowed Snezia’s brand new car Was the wrong woman taken for revenge on Harry?I really liked Max Wolfe’s character and the way he was portrayed as a single father bringing up his daughter ScoutThere are lots of twists and surprises along the way and I will definitely be reading the other book’s in this seriesThank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review 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 laterWe 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 and Everyone 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 violenceI 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 sleepThis 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 wayI 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 lifeIt 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *