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Taken (Elvis Cole #15)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  13,519 Ratings  ·  875 Reviews
When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing adult daughter, she isn’t afraid, even though she’s gotten a phone call asking for ransom. She knows it’s a fake, that her daughter is off with the guy Nita will only call "that boy," and that they need money: "Even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them."

But Nita is wrong. The girl and her boyfr
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 2012 by Orion (first published January 24th 2012)
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Dan Schwent
Nov 19, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A woman hires Elvis Cole to find her kidnapped daughter. Elvis takes the case, only to find himself kidnapped. Can Joe Pike find Elvis before the kidnappers decide to silence him... permanently?

So now I'm finally completely caught up on the adventures of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. How did this effort stack up to the rest of them? It held its own, that's for certain.

With Taken, Robert Crais put to rest my fears that maybe Crais might start phoning it in. He took a fairly basic kidnapping plot and d
James Thane
Krista Morales and Jack Berman are young and in love. After meeting a group of friends one night out in the California desert, Krista and Jack remain behind when everyone else leaves. Even the most casual reader will understand that this is a huge mistake.

A few days later, Krista's mother, Nita, retains Elvis Cole, the World's Greatest Detective, to find her daughter. Nita assumes that Krista, an honor student who is about to graduate from college, is simply dallying with a boyfriend that Nita d
Mar 17, 2013 Harry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, a few rambling thoughts on Robert Crais. Who is this guy, where'd he come from, how'd he get so popular? Well the first thing to know is that Crais is not from California at all. He is a native of Louisiana, grew up in a blue collar family, and read his first crime novel The Little Sister when he was 15. And that's all it took. Chandler gave him his love for writing. Other authors that have inspired him were Hammett, Hemingway (seems like that's true of all the crime writers), Parker, and St ...more
Melanie (aka Serial Reader)
Aug 05, 2012 Melanie (aka Serial Reader) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good mystery
As a "serial reader", I still sometimes start with the latest novel from an author I haven't read before. This is the case now with 'Taken' by Robert Crais. Of course, now I have to make a decision - stop all current "reads" and go to the beginning of RC's Elvis and Joe novels, or wait to a more fortuitous time. Hmmm.

Here's the reasons I LOVED this novel.
1) The protagonists - laconic Joe Pike, verbose Elvis Cole and sidekick Jon. Great friendship amongst the men, so much that they willingly dro
Jan 26, 2012 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new Robert Crais book is an occasion to read a master at work. His knowledge of the criminal element and the evil they do is second to none. Also he really does a good job in giving the hostages a presence in the story. The prisoner scenes and the horror there really increases the tension.

One of the more interesting elements of the novel is its non linear plot. The action is broken up into the point of view of various characters and some of the story is told from the point of view of some char
Martin Sutherland
Jul 31, 2012 Martin Sutherland rated it it was ok
It's a good thriller, but it's not a great Elvis Cole book.

As the series has progressed, Crais has kept on raising the physical and emotional stakes for his protagonists. Early on in the series, bad things happen to strangers and clients. Then bad things happen to people close to the main characters. Then bad things happen to the heroes directly. By now, it's almost impossible to conceive of an Elvis Cole/Joe Pike story where the two of them are not in mortal danger on every page.

It gets tiring.
Jodi Langston
Jan 24, 2012 Jodi Langston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always leaves me wanting more...Pike.

More Pike, more emotion but those two words just don't go together. I keep hoping the facade will crack and we will get a momentary glimpse inside the tortured man we have grown to love. I thought I would see more emotion with Elvis being kidnapped but in true Crais form it was understated and simple, like Pike and his relationship with Elvis, it was broken down into simple, tangible things, the Corvette and a Jiminy Cricket figurine. Each item having meaning
Jan 30, 2012 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elvis Cole is hired by a mother to find her missing daughter. The woman came into this country at age seven as an illegal from Mexico. Her daughter was born here and has a bright future. She received ransom demands over the phone for a ridiculously low sum, $500.00, and her daughter spoke with a thick Mexican accent. She thinks the girl ran off with her boy friend, who she doesn't like, and this ransom demand is dome kind of ploy.

It doesn't take Cole long to learn the truth. She'd been following
Is there a frisson of sexual tension between the laconic Joe Pike and Elvis Cole?

Another well written tale by Crais. He manages to walk the fine line between flippant humor (for me, a little of this goes a long way, and Crais gets it just right) and fast-moving tension.

But the description of Pike washing Cole's car was downright homoerotic. In Cole's absence, he soaps it, rinses it, carefully washes the dust and dirt away, wishing Cole would take better care of it, and dries it with soft towels.
Terry Brooks
Feb 16, 2012 Terry Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This month I am recommending Robert Crais. In general, and in the specific. His latest Elvis Cole and Joe Pike thriller is titled TAKEN. It is about immigrants trying to get into the country illegally and being hijacked by the various ethnic gangs and then ransomed to their families over and over again. Very tough stuff to read about, but a terrific story from Bob. I've like all of his books. This latest is just an excuse to remind readers once again what a good storyteller he is.
Mar 10, 2012 Skip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Good addition to the Elvis Cole, World's Greatest Detective series. Two kids out in the desert are inadvertently captured by bajadores, who steal immigrants bound for the U.S. and extort their families. Elvis investigates and is himself captured after enlisting Joe Pike and Korean gangsters, whose "clients" were abducted.
Deborah Ledford
Enjoyable fast-paced mystery featuring interesting characters. I was interested in this book primarily due to the award nominations. I've heard Crais speak at writers conferences before but this is my first read by this author. Looking forward to picking up more of his novels.
Larry Hoffer
Sep 16, 2012 Larry Hoffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it's always exciting to discover new writers and unique literary voices, there's something tremendously comforting about reading another installment of a regular series of books. Having familiarity with specific characters, their habits and motivations, and revisiting a particular setting is kind of like visiting an old friend. Obviously, you hope that each book in a series is somewhat distinctive, but some of the enjoyment and excitement comes from returning to people and places you've be ...more
Aaron Johnston
Feb 17, 2014 Aaron Johnston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Elvis Cole novels. Crais is a master. He tries a few new techniques in Taken, and I wasn't a fan of them all, though I did throughly enjoy the story.

One such literary technique: Crais flips from first-person point of view with Elvis, the world's greatest detective, to third-person with every other character in the novel, including my favorite repeat character Joe Pike. You would think this shift in point of view would be jarring, but Crais pulls it out easily.

What didn't work as well for
A “Simple” Mystery……

As someone who is a fan of a good mystery (i.e. Walter Mosley, or Harlan
Coben), I have to say this was not one of them. Did I hate it? No; Did I
love it? No; Will I recommend it? probably not

My review is equivalent to my feelings about the book… not much to say
because there wasn’t much to the book. I wasn’t surprised in the end, I
wasn’t turning pages eager to see what was next, and I wasn’t impressed
with the dialogue. The dialogue was simplistic and juvenile and at times
Kaje Harper
Apr 21, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm a big fan of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, but this was not my favorite book in the series. The decision to run segments out of chronological order meant we see Joe Pike being violent before we see the events that tipped him over that limit. This makes made him feel less sympathetic. Pike always hovers on that edge, because of his ruthless pragmatism and his Delta skills, but because he's also honorable, usually there is justification that exonerates his violence. In this case there is too, but y ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3.5 stars
I always enjoy another outing with Cole and Pike, and this was no exception. However, the various time jumps and the huge number of people involved made this one hard to follow at times. It also felt a bit sloppy compared to others in the series. I could have done without the parts where Jack has to empty the buckets of human waste and wipe up the spills of same. I find that more unpleasant than blood and violence. I did like the story, but felt somewhat unsatisfied when I finished. I l
Rex Fuller
Aug 23, 2012 Rex Fuller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of Crais. This one may be the best.
Nicholas Owen
Jan 13, 2017 Nicholas Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert crais keeping with his tried and true formula.

Read if you grew up watching Miami vice and jack and the fat man you with not be disappointed. My only problem is I read so many of his books I forget what I've read and what I haven't
Jul 01, 2013 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually rated this book 4.5 stars.

I love Robert Crais’ books. I’ve read all the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike books so far and can’t get enough of them. These two characters are as wonderful as they are unique. With Elvis’ silly jokes and quirky sense of humour and Joe’s silent and thoughtful efficiency we have two heroes who are as unlike each other as possible yet are the best of friends with a perfect understanding of each other and a loyalty that would make them do anything for each other. Many
Barb in Maryland
Okay--first thing off--the blurb attached is wrong. Crais admits in an author note that he was frantically re-writing the book up to the last possible second, so that blurb belongs to an earlier version that never saw the light of day.
In reality, Elvis is hired by the mother of a young woman who has gone missing after heading off to spend the weekend with her boyfriend. Mom doesn't like the guy, so she is all kinds of suspicious, especially of a phone call from her daughter asking for money. Elv
Apr 21, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Krista and Jack, a young couple, are out looking at the stars in the desert near Palm Springs when they accidentally get mixed in with a group of people from various countries who are being smuggled into the States. They are kidnapped by some of the creepiest villains I have ever encountered in literature. I don't know if there is any truth upon which to base such a fictional story, but I wouldn't be surprised. We all know about the "coyotes" who smuggle people from Mexico to the US, and we have ...more
Narrator: Luke Daniels

I loved this! It was fast-paced and exciting but I can't give it 5 stars because I did not like the jumping back and forth in time. It made things unnecessarily complicated for me as the listener. It might be okay in print but in audio, I did not like it. If I had known about this, it's likely I would not have bought this. Thankfully, I did not read the reviews before starting on it because I still enjoyed this very much.

The story switches fr
Jul 17, 2013 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading a lot of "assigned" reading lately. By assigned reading I mean books I agreed to review for publishers/authors or books that I read just to shrink my dreaded 4-milk-crates-full "to be read" pile. They were mostly good books, (some were great, even) but when I was at the local purveyor of books I saw this Elvis Cole novel I had to get it to read just for me because it was my idea in the first place because I am such a fan of this series.

In Taken Elvis Cole is hired to find a m
Nov 19, 2012 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished T. Jefferson Parker's "Jaguar", about the Mexican drug cartels, kidnapping, ransom, and killing. I was ready for something new, but was drawn to Robert Crais's latest, "Taken", about Mexican drug cartels, kidnapping, ransom, and killing. But this is where the similarity ends. In "Taken" we have my favorite sleuth duo, Joe Pike and Elvis Cole. No matter how dangerous a situation might be, Pike is stoic, and Cole has a smart mouth. Cole is hired to find the daughter of Nita Mor ...more
Jay Connor
Feb 25, 2012 Jay Connor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another strong outing for Robert Crais. He is quickly moving up on Michael Connelly as the LA noir writer extraordinaire.

After the recent "The Sentry," which was billed as a Joe Pike Novel, we shift leads back to the more approachable Elvis Cole as the lead and Joe Pike as the helpful/merciless assistant. But either way, the true lead is LA -- this time around it's desert and Coachella Valley communities spreading toward the bleak from Palm Springs. As I wrote last year, "in organic ways the el
Elvis Cole is hired by a woman, Nita Morales, to find her daughter, Krista, who was with her boyfriend when she was kidnapped.

Nita is skeptical and wonders if the kidnapping is really a ploy to get money so Krista and her boyfriend can elope. Even though Krista is smart and ambitious, Nita tells Elvis, even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them.

Krista and her boyfriend were at a popular spot in the desert when they were kidnapped by the 'bajadores' bandits who prey on oth
Compared to the last Joe Pike/Elvis Cole book (The Sentry), this 13th book was surely a step-up.
With TAKEN Robert Crais presents us with a believable and well-constructed plot. I also enjoyed the out-of-order chronology, working backwards and forwards. It surely kept me on my toes.
The story centers on a young Latina and her Anglo boyfriend who are kidnapped by bandits along the Mexican border. These criminals, what they call "bajadores" are the worst of the worst - stealing immigrants from oth
Sep 05, 2011 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Elvis has left the building! I guess that I was a little disappointed in this book because I was expecting this to be an Elvis Cole novel, but he is barely in it. Everyone else had more page time than him, including the young couple that was abducted and the various bad guys. Even Jon Stone was in the story more than Elvis as he helped Joe Pike find not only Elvis, but the missing couple.

The book was well written, very taut, keeping the tension going. But the format seemed to be the real star of
Jan 25, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Crais is a wonderful mystery thriller writer who proves himself again with Taken. This week it tops the New York Times Best Seller list as it should.

Elvis Cole, Joe Pike and Jon Stone are all featured in Crais's latest offering. Elvis Cole is hired to find a missing daughter of Mexican American entrepreneur Nita Morales. Ever since Nita had told her daughter that she was actually an illegal alien, her daughter has been fascinated by the plight of illegals crossing the Mexican American bor
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Taken (Elvis Cole & Joe Pike) 1 3 Aug 04, 2012 12:08PM  
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Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. A native of Louisiana, he grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery workers and police officers. He purchased a secondhand paperback of Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction. ...more
More about Robert Crais...

Other Books in the Series

Elvis Cole (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)
  • Stalking the Angel (Elvis Cole, #2)
  • Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)
  • Free Fall (Elvis Cole, #4)
  • Voodoo River (Elvis Cole, #5)
  • Sunset Express (Elvis Cole, #6)
  • Indigo Slam (Elvis Cole, #7)
  • L.A. Requiem (Elvis Cole, #8)
  • The Last Detective (Elvis Cole, #9)
  • The Forgotten Man (Elvis Cole, #10)

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“I came to do business, and you’re starting this shit?” Park touched his arm. “Come. We speak elsewhere.” “Fuck that. I’m not going anywhere.” He shook off Park’s hand, but Park gripped him again. “You are not here to die. I am not here to threaten. Walk here. Away from our men, so no one hear.” Park steered him across the lot to a sleeping flatbed. I followed along with them. Park’s men floated into new positions without being told, securing the area and isolating Ramos’s thugs to give us privacy. Telepathy. Or maybe they were good at their jobs. We were in the sun, and hot, but alone between the big trucks with their men out of earshot. Ramos shook off Park’s hand again, and squirmed like he thought someone might stab him. “What the fuck are you doing, bringing your guns? You think you can scare me into returning your money?” I said, “I can give you the Syrian.” Just like that. In his face. It caught him off guard, and took him a moment to catch up. He glanced at Park, then looked over both shoulders as if he expected federal agents to climb out of the trucks. “What” 0 likes
“Jack met Kwan’s eyes, glanced away, then looked back. Jack nodded once, kind of like saying hi, but Kwan did not respond. His lean face was all planes and angles, and as warm as a granite mask. He also had a split lip and a heavy purple bruise on his cheek from the guards. Jack” 0 likes
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