Member Reviews

I have read a couple of the DC Max Wolfe stories but I think I need to catch up on the missed ones! A young, attractive single mum is driving her friend's car when she is abducted. At first it seems like a clear case of mistaken identity, as her friend is the mistress of a London gangster. However, all is not as it seems. This is a fast paced story, with some unexpected twists. DC Wolfe is also a single father and this theme is a link in the series as we hear a little more of his personal life, and the challenges of single parenthood.

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A few pages in and I was ready not to like this book. Old-style thugs and wide boys, set in London in a world where the Krays were revered and has-been boxers flexed their muscles. But I was wrong.

A woman is taken as she drives her flat-mate's car. In what seems initially to be a case of mistaken identity, the owner of the car is the stripper mistress of an old millionaire criminal, so someone has it in for the violent tyke. Who is now a serious and legit businessman, of course.

The story is told through the eyes of one of the police officers, who balances his job with being a single dad of a little girl. He doesn't always play by the book, but he is nowhere near as bad as his boss, the Detective Chief Inspector who drinks too much and slaps suspects a fair amount. Not really helping with community relations in the rundown areas of London.

The book ambles along for a few chapters, recalling the old days, the habits of those who live in the area, the underbelly of society that includes drugs, strippers and illegal activities. Despite this part not being gripping in the least, the most annoying and distracting aspect is the American idiom with phrases such as strip joint, butt, drive gear, sidewalk among others. As the author seems to know London well (a great trip through Highgate Cemetery convinced me) I wonder if he spends too much time watching American cop shows.

After this, however, the tale pushes along at a good pace. I didn't guess the events as they unfolded and when the soppy family time chapter came along I thought it was the end of the book. Not so. There were a couple of loose ends to tie up.

Parsons is a great storyteller although I 'm not sure how that DCI got away with her M.O.

#netgalley ##Taken

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Great book. Really well written. Kept me captivated from start to finish. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

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This is book number six in the DC Max Wolfe series but could be read as a standalone.

A young woman is abducted from her car leaving her baby in the back seat. Is it a case of mistaken identity or was the right woman taken?

The plot is good, the characters well drawn and it held my attention from the beginning to the end. And even though I did guess who was behind the kidnapping it didn't detract from my enjoyment.

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Max Wolfe book 6 packs a mighty punch.It can be read as a stand alone if the reader is unfamiliar with the series.The book starts with a cracking pace and never lets up. Max is investigating the kidnap of a young dance teacher and the investigation takes him into the world of strip clubs and millionaire homes in London. The author's knowledge of London and police procedures draws you right into this book. A great plot, excellent characterisation and throw in jealousy, love and some hate, giving you a 5* read. I loved it. My thanks to Net Galley for my ARC. Reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and Facebook.

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and of course the author for this digital ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
This book is a twisted psychological thriller and was a very enjoyable read!

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I read the first book in this series but have not read the others and I think this does detract from the reading as I am not familiar with the characters and their relationships. This is definitely fast-paced but I do feel something is missing and I find it quite odd that Max rushes off on his own to fight the dangerous criminals when he obviously is Scout's (his daughter) main carer. I find it odd that one minute he is beaten up and the next minute he is still rushing around with no indication of being hurt. A bit too far-fetched for me, but having said that it is a good read.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Tony Parsons/Random House UK for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This is a super thriller about a missing girl that takes us into the criminal world. I don’t normally go for books with organised crime as a theme but the characters and plot really held my attention.

There was sufficient insights into the personal lives of the victims, criminals and detectives to make this a must read.

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This was a great police thriller. Very complex story with varied characters and a non stop action, storyline. I loved the conclusion after so much violence. A well structured story and a great read.

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I don't think I drew breath while I read the opening chapter - I was enthralled, shocked and on edge and that was just for starters. A fabulously written book, fast paced and believable with so much action I couldn't put it down. Don't worry about it being part of a series as this book easily stands alone and would make a terrific drama. For those lovers of crime thrillers this book hits the spot. I can't praise it enough and in my opinion is the best in the series so far. No spoilers but the title sets the scebe. A beautiful woman snatched away and disappears. Why? Is it an act of revenge of for the underground sex slave trade? Read and enjoy.

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I enjoyed this story. The prologue draws you in, and your attention is held right to the end. There are many twists and turns to the plot, nothing is as it seems. The police case gradually builds, but there are several dead ends, and red herrings, before they get anywhere near solving the case.

Detective Max Wolfe is divorced, and has custody of his eight year old daughter Scout, a delightful young girl. Max is concerned that his ex-wife does not spend enough time with their daughter, he doesn't want Scout to miss out on anything in her life. He comes to realise that he cannot force the issue.

Some of the plot twists are quite shocking, and a couple of the police characters are not as squeaky-clean as they should be,, but these incidents do serve to help the plot move along. Max is an interesting character, and a good detective.

Well worth reading.

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Once again, Tony Parsons delivers a treat of a read that starts off as it means to go on ... page-turning brilliance!

I can't speak too highly enough of the characterisation of the various protagonists within the pages of this book, and the previous ones, they are superb and the author has an innate ability to create characters that you want to either meet in real life or avoid like the plague .. this book has both in abundance.

The story is excellent with side-stories holding your interest in between the "policey" bits however, I have to admit that there were times when it veered off reality a little too much and I certainly can't see serving Police Officers getting away with what Max and some of his colleagues do ... well, I hope not anyway! but it is a work of fiction so I can cope with a little bit of OTT now and again.

This is the 6th in the series and although you could read this as a stand-alone, I would highly recommend you don't as you will be missing the delights the other books behold in between their pages (or finger-swipes).

My thanks go to the publisher, Random House UK Cornerstone, and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Loved it didn’t realise it was part of a series I’ll be reading the rest that’s for sure! Clever & fast paced, brilliant read.

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I have loved the max Wolfe series since it began, but this one was a bit predictable. Still a good read but not one of my favourites. #NetGalley#Taken

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This was my first Detective Max Wolfe novel; I didn't realise it was book 6 in a series of Wolfe novels that have been in publication since 2014. The first novel is 'The Murder Bag' and after finishing #taken, I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series.
What a great read, super plotting, great tension building and pacing throughout and enough drama to make it a really exciting read.
#taken centres around the abduction of a young woman, however it soon becomes clear that this crime is far from straightforward and soon Wolfe his team are knee-deep in conspiracies and gang conflict.
I really liked the character of Wolfe and also his relationship with his young daughter, which also added another dimension to creating a great principal crime novel lead.
I'd heartily recommend this book and I'm really looking forward to buying the previous books in the series to see what I've been missing out of.
A highly engrossing crime novel that uncovers seedy criminals and violent minds - a book that, yes defies realism on several occasions, but certainly will take you on a dramatic journey and despite having a strong suspicion of the plot early on, it did not temper my enjoyment of this book. Recommended read.

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I have read other Max Wolfe books and enjoyed them. I like the characters, Max and Scout. However, in this one I felt the storyline became a little formulaic. Other characters seemed quite wooden, and the plot lacked the pace of previous ones. A pity as I still enjoy the writing style, and still needed to carry on reading to see what happens. I will try again with the next one!.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC

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I have read other Max Wolfe books such as Murder Bag and like the fast paced nature of these police procedurals. There are however some elements in this latest offering which I find annoying. Whenever Max has to mention a car it is always by name and make as if the type of car that one drives indicates what type of person is behind the wheel. There are also other product names dropped into the text such as the type of beer that Max drinks.
I am a little in awe of Mrs Murphy who is always available to look after Scout whatever shifts Max is working and take her to school whenever he is too busy. I am sure most single dads do not have such a convenient “Mrs Murphy” in their life.
I believe that in this book Tony Parsons has strayed further from the reality of life in the Met. We have an alcoholic DCI, the covering up the of a death while driving under the influence of alcohol, breaking a suspect’s arm and being supplied with a gun to mete out their own form of rough justice.

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Brilliant. I love this series. This instalment is full of action and shocks the whole way through. Max and Scout are likeable characters that I want to keep learning more about. I didn't want this book to end as I was really enjoying the story.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.

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When Jessica Lyle is kidnapped Max Wolfe is determined to find out why she was a target. Are things as simple as first imagined?

#Taken was the first book I’ve read in the Max Wolfe series and I must admit I wasn’t really that impressed. For me a good crime thriller series should have strong and interesting main characters or, failing that, have a really well thought out and complex crime spree to hold my interest. I found Max to be a bit wooden and lacking in personality I’m afraid. I also found the crime plot arc itself to be a little predictable and formulaic – there was no twist or moment to make me go ‘whoa’ at any point. There were also a few moments later in the book where the plot jumps too quickly and made me actually go back to see if I missed a chapter which was confusing.

I understand that as I haven’t read any of the previous 7 books I may have missed out on some of the more complex relationships and backstories but this book can easily be read as a standalone piece as it’s more about the crime than the characters. That said, I didn’t understand why the alcoholic boss wasn’t taken to task and questioned more thoroughly in the book, particularly as her drinking problem was mentioned so many times. I also didn’t really understand why the book is called #taken as the hashtag seems to only have been mentioned once in passing. The title, and the inclusion of the hashtag in one sentence of the book seems to be trying to give it a younger edge and perhaps introduce it to a different audience but with no mention of technology or social media in the plot to back it up I was left a little disappointed.

Overall I found #Taken to be a disappointing read with wooden main character and formulaic plot. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK – Cornerstone & Century for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed meeting Detective Max Wolfe (and his daughter Scout) in the first book of this series, The Murder Bag. I read the first three, but it's only now I discover this is number six, that I realise I've missed some.

I commented in my review of Parsons' first book in the series that it was apparently a new genre for him. There were a few weaknesses in the plots of the earlier novels - they were perhaps not as robust as I would have liked - but his character development is fabulous and I immediately fell in love with the pragmatic Wolfe and his delightful daughter Scout.

A few years have passed since the first book (Scout is now 8) and her mother has been on and off the scene.

The book opens as dance teacher Jessica is #taken and as she's the flatmate of a once-notorious gangster's lover (god, that's long-winded!) it seems it's an obvious case of mistaken identity.

Harry Flowers, the gangster in question seems to have gone legit over recent years, or at least is better at hiding his illicit activities. But there's no doubting his concern for Jessica and his sense of guilt over her kidnapping (and likely murder).

As is usually the case, Parsons directs Wolfe to the Black Museum for information about Flower's infamous past. It's a little irrelevant but gives us a sense of Flowers' lack of mercy and and the stakes of Flowers, and his every henchmen, in the present.

The fact Jessica's father is a retired cop and taking matters into his own hands; as well as the secrets Jessica and her flatmate are keeping ... all add to the complexity of the case and challenges facing Wolfe, who (as usual) 'mostly' plays by the rules.

Interestingly there's reference to a sex (private members' club) in this book and I was simultaneously watching the 2016 TV series Guilt, which features something similar so had to make sure the two didn't get confused in my little mind! And though there are links to sex slaves / illegal immigrants and exotic dancers, it was a little left field and I was reminded it occasionally feels as if the errant threads Parsons introduces don't always entirely fit.

However, the strength of these books continue for me to be Parsons' characters - the ones we know as well as the way he portrays the baddies: the suspects and the red herrings as there's something decidedly real about them, even if occasionally larger than life.

I probably should go back to read the couple of this series I missed (and I'm not sure how / when I missed them!) but I look forward to what comes next as I continue to enjoy my journey with father and daughter.

3.5 stars

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