Cover Image: #taken


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Member Reviews

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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Great, fast paced story with plenty of twists and turns. Only gripe is very few of the characters faced justice for their actions. Felt like taking the easy way out with bringing character arcs to a close. A good read with well developed characters.
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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.
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Absolutely fantastic! I was gripped from the start and couldn’t put it down. I’ve read all Tony Parsons books with SC Max Wolfe and this is one of the best! Definitely recommend
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Fabulous book. First of this author I have read and so the only one of the Max Wolfe series. However, this didn't not hinder the story for me at all. The book is fast paced and very well written. For me it has similarities to the Peter James series of Roy Grace. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
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Max Wolfe returns when a beautiful dancer is kidnapped from her friend’s luxury car late at night while driving with her young baby. A link to the notorious Harry Flowers is made – a career criminal who has never been caught – although the police are very aware of his history and reputation.

But the wrong girl has been taken… Along the way sordid, sickening crimes are revealed, illustrating how the internet has allowed marginalised individuals to group together, pushing members past the boundaries of fantasy into real life. 

Plot twists, reasons for kidnap, identity of kidnappers, mistaken identities, grieving parents, false clues - It keeps you on your toes till the very last moment, then yet another twist is thrown your way! Max shows the violent reality of crime-fighting in the London. Balanced against this is his loving relationship with his daughter Scout, and dog, Stan – and how he deals with protecting Scout from a less than perfect family setup. I’m saddened to hear this is the last instalment of Max Wolfe – if so, it’s ending on a magnificent high!
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I'm not going to go into much story detail about this book as you should definitely read it for yourself.  This is a book that you can tell will be superb after the first few pages.  The plot, characters, emotions, actions and multiple twists and turns are absolutely brilliant.  My only disappointment was to find that there had already been 5 books before this one!
Please don;t miss this one  5 stars is simply not enough
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When Jessica, a young mother is kidnapped. She was taken from Snezia, her flat mate’s car & her young son left strapped into his baby-seat. Max is called in to investigate and things take a bit of a dark turn Snezia, is romantically linked to crime boss, and nemesis, Harry Flowers
So the kidnappers thought they were kidnapping the mistress of one of London’s most powerful gangsters. But they’ve taken the wrong woman or have they?
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.
Page turning, engrossing read. I love this series. This is the sixth in the series & whilst it could be read on its own there are some spoilers for the previous book. Well rounded characters & an intriguing story had me reading this in under a day even though it was over 400 pages.
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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Another rollercoaster of a read from another of my favourite authors. A crime thriller par excellence and DI Max Wolfe. I was in reading heaven. A young woman has been abducted from her car, leaving her baby in the back seat. The woman is the girlfriend of a notorious London gangster Harry Flowers or is she ?
This book is everything I expect from this author and more. It got my heart racing, holding my breath and tapping my kindle faster and faster. The plot twists are rapid, the writing very clever and this is very addictive reading. I read this book in one sitting and had me reading late into the night. I could not put it down I HAD TO KNOW!!!!! As for the climax it blew me away, definitely not what I was expecting infact I was speechless. A tour de force of a crime thriller. I loved it and left me wanting more. I have missed Max Wolfe and his daughter Scout. A very very happy reader, an easy five stars and so Highly Recommended. 
I would like to thank the author, Random House UK and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
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Fab book. The last Parsons books I read were his first couple, so this was a massive departure from my expectations. Loved it, buying the whole series!
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This was my first meeting with Max Wolfe and certainly won't be my last!
The abduction of a young mum from her car, leaving her baby behind in the car seat, was horrifying from the outset and sent shivers down my spine. The book races through the grimier parts of life in London even among the glittering nightclubs and restaurants.
The plot has multiple themes, of trafficking, kidnap and criminal gang activity all very cleverly intertwined into Max's investigation into the disappearance of Jessica. The investigation is not helped by Jessica's dad, an ex cop himself and a permanent thorn in Max's side, although beautifully handled with tact and gentleness by Max.
The plot twists are rapid, unexpected and very, very clever and will keep you up reading "just one more chapter" until you reach the end.
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#taken is a book you can really sink your teeth into. It's full of intriguing characters, chasing leads, flawed police and dead ends (literally!). There are so many twisting paths you can't help but to turn another page to see where you'll end up next. The father/daughter relationship of the main character is wonderful and gave me a happy glowing reminder of my own childhood. My favourite aspect of the book was London itself. The city came alive in all its glittering or grim beauty and I loved how we veered from the heady heights of the rich to the lower, gritty areas. 

This book is quite a way into the Max Wolfe series and although it is my first read of them it didn't hamper my enjoyment at all. There are references to past events that would be a lovely nod to previous readers, but for me they whetted my appetite and have made me eager to read the earlier novels.
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Very very good. This was very confidently written, the characters were believable and the plot was well paced. I liked it a it and it was a different take on a police novel investigating a kidnap. I would recommend it.
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Thank you Net Galley for the advance copy of Taken by Tony Parsons .  I have read all of Tony Parsons Max Wolfe books and as with the others this book did not disappoint.  A gritty and gripping page turner from beginning to end I thoroughly enjoyed this book A beautiful young mother Jessica Lyle has been abducted in broad daylight, her father is an ex police officer.  Max Wolfe and his team are challenged throughout but as ever Max faces these challenges head on. Each of the Max Wolfe books gets better with each new book.  What I like about the books, apart from the gritty police procedures is the interaction and human storyline of Max, his daughter Scout, and their dog Stan.  I’ve read online a rumour this might be his last book in the series, I sincerely hope not.
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One of the best parts of this book is the description of the relationship between Max Wolfe,the detective and the daughter for whom he is sole carer. It gives a gentleness to an otherwise brutal book with many murders and shootings. A disturbing aspect to it is that the police are not much better than the criminals with accidental killing,gun ownership with intent to kill and alcoholism. There are times when the reader's sympathies might lie with the gang members. It is basically a story of gangs getting out of control. It is well written with unexpected twists to the plot and a satisfying ending.
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The Max Wolfe series gets better with each new edition!  The writing is always of a high standard, the plots are intriguing and surprising and the principal characters are well-envisioned.  The stories always have a contemporary feel, and this novel includes sex trafficking and drug trafficking.  The transition of Tony Parsons from music journalist on the NME through lad lit to a pre-eminent place in modern crime fiction has been seamless and his depiction of Max Wolfe as a single parent is very sensitively handled.
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When the housemate of a gangster's girlfriend is abducted it looks like a case of mistaken identity.  Is it though?  Her father is an ex-policeman who, surely, made a lot of enemies in his 30 years on 'the job'.  Max Wolfe and the team seem to be hitting lots of dead-ends while trying to sort out the wheat from the ch
I enjoyed it immensly.
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True to life portrayal of modern day police work, warts and all. Good who done it hidden in the story, with plenty of twists and turns. Ending not rushed and leaves you wanting the next in the series
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I haven’t read anything from this author before but I absolutely loved this book . I loved the main man and his daughter scout and the relationship with his wife. I suspected the outcome of who kidnapped the young lady but the writing was so good it was well with a read . I will try to get around to reading more of his books
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So when I got approved for this on NetGalley, I kind of dropped everything I else I was reading to start this because I absolutely LOVE this series. I can’t recommend it enough if you enjoy a thrilling police procedural. The first review on my blog was actually The Hanging Club back in 2017, which I have since deleted because it was awful, I hope I do a better job on this review!

This is the sixth in the series but I would highly recommend that you’ve read at least the previous book Girl On Fire, as there are minor spoilers for it in this one.

A beautiful young mother, Jessica Lyle, is abducted in broad daylight. Was it a case of mistaken identity or something more sinister? 

Max and his boss DCI Whitestone are still hurting from their last case when they get the call that Jessica has been abducted. To make matters worse her father is an ex copper and is making it even harder for them.
If a high profile kidnapping wasn’t enough Max, his ex wife is back in his life, trying to get to know their daughter Scout who she abandoned to start a new family when she was four. Personally I would have told the woman to get lost and if she wanted to see her daughter, she should see a solicitor but under all that gruff exterior Max is so sentimental and keeps thinking things will turn out different.

Whenever I read these books, I always wonder why this hasn’t been made into a TV show??? I would definitely watch it.

Taken is non stop action from beginning to end with plenty of shocks and surprises that will have you saying to yourself ‘just one more chapter’. I actually devoured it in two sessions, I just didn’t want to put it down!

I have to be honest, while the ending ties up any loose ends, it did feel a little too neat and tidy. I know I moan a lot about unanswered questions after I’ve read a novel but I know real life is not quite that cut and dry, so occasionally I don’t mind if a few things slip by the wayside.

Overall Taken is a thrilling and gritty police procedural that will have you hooked from that very first chapter.
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