Taken (Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Novels) by Robert Crais


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Not only an interesting read but an informative one as well. The story is about the problem with illegal aliens coming across the border between Mexico and California. I have always assumed (as has most people I would guess) that those coming in there are either from Mexico, some Central American country, or perhaps some South American country. The book explains that many of those illegals are from the Middle East, the Far East and even parts of Europe. That is in addition to those from this hemisphere. It seems that is the easiest route in so almost all illegals traverse that pathway.

Robert Crais has put together quite a tale of how two American citizens who were sightseeing in the area where many of the illegals (pollos) are transported to and where they will meet up with other transporters to carry them further into the United States. The problem is that there are also bajadores (gangs who steal the pollos from the original transporters). Once they have the pollos they contact the folks in the states who are waiting for the illegals and demand ransom for their release. Supposedly this is quite a business and very illegal all the way around.

Krista Morales (whose mother many years ago had come into this country in that fashion) and John Berman are the two Americans who by being in the wrong place at the wrong time get into a mess. The bajadores while looking to round up a group that has just entered spot the two and take them captive as well.

Nita Morales, Krista’s mother, contacts Elvis Cole, private investigator, and asks him to search for her daughter who she only knows has been gone for several days with John. She is unaware of the kidnapping and only knows she doesn’t trust or like John.

Cole begins his search and gets some information from Krista’s roommate which in time leads him to the place of abduction. There he finds items from both John and Krista which tell him what has probably happened. Further conversation with Nita Morales confirms that the kidnappers have had Krista contact her mother for a ransom payment but she was unsure of its validity.

Once Cole realizes what is going on he immediately contacts Joe Pike, his associate, so that they can get deeper into the mystery. Pike brings along Jon Stone, another of their group of former buddies, who along with Pike and Cole has extensive training in military espionage and ranger type activities.

Taken then begins the story of how these three work together to hopefully outwit a man nicknamed the Syrian. He is the very intelligent leader of this band of bajadores. This group is very well organized and has plenty of hide-outs and operatives.

Crais writes well always and keeps the action moving very well. Very little profanity and no sex couple to make it an enjoyable read for most readers. He also holds description to a minimum and moves the story along with dialogue for the most part. As is sometimes the drawback with Crais, he does populate or over populate his story with characters. Taken is no exception. Many characters, both good guys and bad, wander in and out so much one almost needs to begin a list of characters and their main goal. Still a really great read.

Click Here to Purchase Taken (Elvis Cole/Joe Pike Novels)

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