Cover Image: #taken


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Member Reviews

Pacy and well constructed thriller. Parsons knows how to maintain the momentum and push the plot forwards. This instalment in the Max Wolfe series finds the policeman trying to find a woman kidnapped in what they believe is a case of mistaken identity. But it is not as simple as that. Recommended.

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Tony Parsons, a well-known journalist and author, has once again brought his storytelling prowess to the forefront with #taken. The novel is a gripping thriller that explores the dark side of social media and its impact on our lives.

The story revolves around a young woman named Ayshe, whose sister is abducted while on holiday in Thailand. Ayshe turns to social media for help, and her plea goes viral. But as the case gains more attention, Ayshe finds herself at the centre of a media storm that threatens to destroy her life.

Parsons' writing style is fast-paced and engaging, keeping the readers hooked until the very end. The plot is well-crafted, with enough twists and turns to keep the readers guessing. The characters are well-drawn, and the author has done an excellent job of portraying their emotions and motivations.

However, the book does have its flaws. Some of the plot points are a bit contrived, and the ending feels a bit rushed. Additionally, some readers may find the story to be a bit predictable.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Overall, #taken is a solid thriller that is worth a read. It may not be groundbreaking, but it's a well-written and entertaining book.

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This was a great read - well-written, expertly paced, engaging plot and a great cast of characters. I had read the first two books in the series a while back and particularly enjoyed catching up with Max, Scout, Max and Mrs Murphy again. Add to this a reference to Mary Oliver so I couldn't be happier (although the crime boss' children being called Meadow and Junior was a little bit much!).

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I started this again last night and realised I'd read it ages ago but hadn't reviewed it.
Very enjoyable but I'm hazy on the details now.

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Following on very swiftly from the events of previous book, Girl on Fire, this book is packed with action, tension and emotion - just how I like them. We open with a planned abduction, a woman snatched from a car, leaving her young child unattended. What starts as an abduction investigation soon turns a lot darker when it becomes clear that the case is linked to some very unsavoury characters and that the woman may have been a victim of mistaken identity. Enter stage left a very emotional Max Wolfe, someone who has been put through the ringer more times than he deserves. Part of me kind of wanted him to have an easy ride this time around. Thankfully for readers, Tony Parsons doesn't seem to agree, which is all the better for readers really.

I've got to be honest. Max Wolfe is probably the real reason I love these books. Yes, he's a tough, action hero kind of police officer. Boxer, investigator ... but also father. It's that relationship with his daughter Scout, his absolute dedication to her that gives him that human touch in a lifestyle that would otherwise make him seem implausibly dynamic. He's an emotional soul, emotion which feeds into the heart of the story, but done in a way that doesn't slow the action, more gives readers a well needed breather every now and then. I like him as a character and am always keen to see what fresh hell he is facing next.

And hell it is. Organised crime, revenge plots and a whole host of suspects - a list made even longer by the fact that the missing woman's father is an ex-copper himself. Whilst the story is predominantly told from Max's point of view, the focus bounces back and forth between the suspects, keeping the pacing en-pointe and making the story literally fly by. Characters are perfectly fleshed out and many of the foes Max finds himself confronting are as loathsome as any we've met in the series so far. It really does push Max to the limit and on more than one occasion the jeopardy levels are so high, particularly for our hero, that you wonder if there is any coming back from this.

I did guess the ultimate perpetrator quite early on, but the author does a good job of slowly revealing the reasons behind the abduction and all of the various story threads which go to weave the whole picture. It's not as straightforward as you might think and it made me think back to the old adage 'no honour amongst thieves'. Definitely the case here. There's another old saying that sprang to mind too, but if I say it, it will give far too much away.

Another tense, action filled read that had me racing from start to finish. Relatively speaking - I was paced by the audiobook, narrated brilliantly by the very talented Colin Mace. I love his narration and would highly recommend the audiobooks just for that alone. I miss Max, but I'm kind of glad he's having a break. After five years of punishing investigations, he kind of deserves a little holiday. Recommended.

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I am always dubious when I read reviewers who say they were gripped from the first page of a book but #taken really did that for me; from the opening scene in the car I knew this was going to be my kind of book.
I had read Parsons' writing before but not this crime thriller genre and this feels like just the series I am looking for as my next obsessive read.
I loved the characters, especially Max who of course has a failed marriage behind him (what detective doesn't?) but is a really likeable character, particularly in the way his relationship with his daughter, his dog and his colleagues is presented.
The story had all the twists and turns I want from a crime novel. My only regret is that I read number 6 first as I now have a few facts up my sleeve which are definitely going to prove to be spoilers for the first five.

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This book is my first Tony Parsons novel and it’s left me wishing I had started with the first in the series
However I will definitely be reading the rest of the series
The characters were believable and likeable and the story has twists and turns to the end

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Another fabulous read from Tony Parsons.
Gripping and gritty, with well rounded characters.
I would highly recommend.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

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A first read of this author, I read the blurb and was intrigued to read more. While I enjoyed this book, I felt it got lost in backstories and the characters rather weak.

The idea of this story was great, but there was no bang. It is difficult to explain this without giving spoilers but I felt the outcomes very soft and simple, no suspense or angst. I didn’t like a lot of the characters and often found myself lost within the story, feeling like a lot of the story were just page fillers.

Will I read a book from this author again? Yes I will, for it was not a terrible book. For the most part, I did enjoy it.

This was an arc version from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. I thank the publishers and Netgalley for allowing me to express my honest opinion.

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This is the third Tony Parsons book I've read and the third Detective Max Wolfe. Whilst I've read them in order, I've skipped over a few. I'm totally hooked on this author. He delivers. He's an excellent crime writer, but at the same time, his characters' relationships are credible and well observed.

This time, DCI Wolfe is hunting down kidnappers, who have taken a young mother. But they've got the wrong woman. Of course, our hardy Max has to wade through vile criminals, vile crimes and a whole heap of immorality to try to find her before the kidnappers carry out the inevitable.

As always, there are twists and turns, nail-biting scenes and just general excellent page-turning stuff. Parsons has a wonderful way of explaining police procedures in a gentle, clear and concise way and unpatronisingly. The only thing that irritated me…again, but more this time…was the obsession with Max's BMX X5. The constant reference to make and model has now got tiresome. It's a car. Just a car. It hasn't put me off this brilliant author's work, of course, but, please, stop.

No sooner finished, than I'm hunting around for the next Parsons read!

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A really good read, and I'm looking forward to the next Tony Parsons' book. However... whilst I was impressed with a lot of the detail and settings, I became very irritated by repeated descriptions of the Met police SCO19 'shots', their equipment (Sig carbines etc), and their HQ (Leman Street). The insider knowledge was impressive the first time I read it - after the n th time I found it irritating. (Sorry Tony). The same is true to a lesser extent about Max's car, a BMW X5. Once it has been introduced, it doesn't have to be spelt out in full each time it appears!

It's still a good story but maybe the editing wasn't up to scratch.

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My first Max Wolfe book but that didn’t stop me enjoying this rollercoaster of a read. As other reviewers have mentioned the story starts with the usual violent act against a woman but the various twists and turns after that makes it an enjoyable read.
Max’s relationship with his daughter is touching and heartfelt and the difficulties he experiences with his ex-wife give the book more depth than just a macho guns, cars and heist read – although it is that as well!
A great escapist, easy, police procedural read for these challenging times when reading anything serious seems impossible for me!
Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for my copy in exchange for a fair review.

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A good thriller set in London, interesting themes and angles which the book leads you down. Not as good as some of his other books but I enjoyed it.
Thank you for allowing me to review this book.

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I've never read a Max Wolfe book before having heard about it for years ... impressive! Very violent and tough story (usual opening with violence to a female of course)...who is kidnapped and it's a case the team with Whitehouse, an eccentric effective partner, know immediately is mistaken identity. Complication is she's daughter of a retired, seasoned and now bitter man. Children and an infant are involved.. it leads to fierce psychopath who is big drug dealer. ..which brings us to Wolfe's own 8 year old when she's threatened by a goon; and to his estranged indifferent ex .. all great seeds for great plot driving forward, and gripping even warm crime novel. Many twists and weird characters. . . I'll find more ..

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My first in the Max Wolfe series and I think I need to revisit the earlier stories.
An interesting read which covers abduction, prostitution, drugs, jealousies and so many twists that you never know what to expect next.
I found this an easy read which kept my interest and although some of it was predictable, certainly not all.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this crime novel by the eternally hip and clever Mr Tony Parsons. #Taken had me on the edge of my seat and I was totally gripped from start to finish. Loved it.

Many thanks to Penguin, to Mr Parsons and to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this great book.

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When I started this book I did not realise it was the eighth in a series. I am normally quite 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 it!!

Jessica 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 Scout.

There are lots of twists and surprises along the way and I will definitely be reading the other book’s in this series.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.

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An above average cop thriller, #taken is a book in Parsons' Max Wolfe series.

When a woman is mistaken for the mistress of a notorious gangster, Wolfe has to find her before something terrible happens to the wrong woman.

In among the race against time to track down the woman, we also see more of Wolfe's home life and how he looks after his daughter in comparison to his more self-centered ex wife. The need to balance the two worlds is what elevates this above a typical cop story.

This is a standalone novel but it's also the sixth in a series, so you may want to read the others first before getting to this one - I know I wish I had.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.

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Max Wolfe is back and on the case of a missing person. Jessica Lyle is the beautiful flatmate of a gangster's mistress and the daughter of an ex policeman - she may have been taken by mistake but nobody's letting that go quietly. Harry Flowers is the gangster in question and agrees to help Max and his colleagues look for Jess. Is Harry the sort of person you really want on your side?

Tony Parsons' Max Wolfe stories are predictable but that doesn't make them any less fun to read. They are clearly written from a male perspective - lots of detail about guns, cars and men who look after their children but there's nothing wrong with that if it's part of the story (which this is) and is written with clear enthusiasm (which it always is).

There's nothing to tax your brain here or make you think, but it's a great read if you like police thrillers (which I do). You can read these books out of sequence if you want to - they're generally just a perfect book to pick up and enjoy. Definitely recommended!

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Above average police/crime thriller. Unusual storyline with a few twists and turns to keep the reader interested and involved. It does presume that the reader has read previous books so a little insight into what has gone before would be helpful but I did enjoy the story and the characters.

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