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Taking Lives

2.89  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Martin Arkenhout found his true calling on a lonely Florida highway -- with a sharp rock to the skull of an injured friend. He didn't just take the boy's life; he went on to live it. When that life became too risky, he found another, and another, changing his name, papers and style at will, until he chose the wrong life -- a scholarly thief on the run from the determined a ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Vintage (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Just watched this film again and totally forgot how much I love it. I've also heard the book is pretty different so I'm bumping it up on the list.

The movie includes one of the kinkiest, hottest, most arousing sex scenes I have ever seen. So that's a bonus.
"Taking Lives" by Michael Pye is a complex story of a serial killer who murders people and then assumes their identity.

The story begins slowly as Martin Arkenhout kills his first victim, finds it's an easy thing and gives him an appetite for murder..

John Costa is the story's narrator. He's a keeper at a museum and is searching for a Professor John Heart.concerning some missing papers. By the time this portion of the story gets under way, John Heart has become Martin Arkenhout's victim and Arkenh
Feb 17, 2008 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanreads
so far i am so very glad to see it is not told from the perspective of the female detective. In fact, now that I am finished I can tell you, there are only two things that this book has in common with the movie: they used two of the names from the book (but with a completely different character roles for both), and a guy kills people for their identity. Other than that absolutely NOTHING in common between the two. And I must say the book ended badly. the last few pages make no sense: " 'But I cu ...more
Sep 10, 2014 Ayat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I don't know where to begin with this...

The pace of the whole story was very slow. I didn't feel like there was ever a climax; and if there was one, it wasn't that good, evidently. The way Maria and Anna were portrayed made it feel like they weren't necessary; in fact, I found them both very annoying. The story wasn't really built up properly - a mere repetition.

I can't believe I'm actually saying this but in my opinion, the movie was so much better than the book.

This is such a disappointment.
Sarah Thomas
Interesting plot but the writing style was just too hard to read and enjoy. In this case the movie was SO much better than the book. I really wanted to like it but found myself even skipping whole paragraphs to get done quicker and I didn't feel like I missed anything. And the extra story about Costa's father just didn't make any sense what the point was and why that was even included in the story- it was like a filler or something. I just did not like this book at all.
I was very much looking forward to reading this book, but the style just wasn't for me. The writer is into short sentences (which I sometimes like) but it felt like I was reading text that wasn't properly translated and sounded more like a "to do" list.

Mar 12, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this years ago back when I found out it was a book after watching Taking Lives. It's pretty different from the movie. But I found it enjoyable. Might reread it sometime to refresh my memory.
Jul 23, 2013 Erased230 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book YEARS ago, and I remember thoroughly enjoying it. I walked away wanting to read more novels of this genre, and I have, and it's thanks to this book.
Apr 12, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting for the first few chapters but I quickly became bored with it and just wanted it to end. I wouldn't recommend it.
Sep 04, 2011 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Made it about 50 pages and just couldn't make myself read any more. The choppy style felt like I was reading someone's grocery list.
Peter Burton
Jul 27, 2016 Peter Burton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intiguing story about creating identities.Complex story with multiple perspectives but really too long.I enjoyed the pursuit of the serial killer but was not too convinced by his motives or why he didn't try to escape once he knew he was under investigation.I enjoyed the mystery of John Costa's father in Portugal.I felt the author was trying to do too much as there two main plots fighting for attention,each getting in the way of the other.So an ambitious novel worth a read but ultimately not res ...more
J. Dru
Jun 21, 2009 J. Dru rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz Chapman
This book fell short of my expectations. I have not seen the film so I hope it has a more punchy script than the book and the actors give the characters more edge and verve. The beginning of the book is good and I thought it was going along the lines of 'The lovely Bones ' so to speak but alas it starts to fade with too many side characters which do not advance the story. The sins of the Father in the war were not made clear soon enough and went out with a fizzle at the end. The ending I thought ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Laywa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
La trama sonaba interesante, pero el estilo de redacción me pareció terrible.
Chad Mitchell
The idea is intriguing and it started off captivating but after page 50 it just becomes an unbelievable storyline with unneeded plot lines. Culminating in a lack luster showdown between the villain and the story teller...followed by 30 pages of bleh. Perhaps it was the story or perhaps it was the writing style but regardless it didn't work me. Others my find it enjoyable and wonderful but alas I'm not one of them. I really wanted this book to be great but for me it wasn't.
Jul 17, 2014 Spylow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Disapointing book. Couldn't finish it. The basic idea that someone is killing people and taking over their identity and live is fascinating. But they way the book is written... horrible... lame characters, boring dialogs, no twists and turns...
I never thought I would ever say/write something like this but... the movie is much better. So my advice in this case: forget about the book watch the movie
Erica Giambrone
This book was like pulling teeth to get through, I have to admit I saw the movie first and I liked that much better. The writing is hard to follow.
Jun 07, 2015 Britt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, not-finished
German title: Der sechste Mann

The first 50 pages or so were quite interesting, but then the book started to turn into a sort of lecture and it was so boring that I stopped reading on page 86.

Why swapped: sounded interesting
Why read: monthly book challenge on TT
Apr 04, 2009 Robert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book a difficult read and I gave up on it after the first 100 pages. It started off reasonably well, but became a little boring. The prose was poor, and went off into confusing tangents. Still, I only paid 75p for it in a charity shop.
Tina Rae
Feb 18, 2015 Tina Rae rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I don't think I've ever been so disappointed by a book in my entire life. The first chapter was phenominal and then it was all downhill from there. This is probably one of the only times I will say this: skip the book, watch the movie.
Jan 11, 2016 Alicia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I liked the story line & I liked the writing.
But where the F was the editor?
You can't. Write a story. Like this.
Too many periods.Too much punctuation.
Made for a choppy, awkward read.
Feb 14, 2009 Rhodora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A man reinvents himself after every murder. Intriguing at first but kind of yucky in the end. I don't think I liked the book. I just wanted it to stop.
Jul 22, 2008 Lioba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
One of the scariest books I've read so far. I read it before the movie even came out. Very thrilling, especially if you haven't seen the film.
Saman Kashi

در صورت تمایل، جهت مشخصات فیلمی که بر اساس این کتاب ساخته شده است؛ میتوانید از لینک زیر استفاده بفرمایید
Aug 12, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't remember this book very well. I don't think I ever finished it because I lost interest.
Jul 05, 2013 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't like it. The writing was so choppy, I didn't even get passed the first chapter.
Aug 10, 2014 Kara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read my review at
Jhonny Muñoz
A hero because of the wrong reasons. Still guilty.
Lynette Barfield
Interesting book, but a bit slow for me.
Pam Lambert
May 20, 2013 Pam Lambert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good - didn't see the twist coming.
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Michael Pye writes for a living -- as novelist, journalist, historian and sometimes broadcaster. He is English by birth, but civilized by study in Italy and a newspaper apprenticeship in Scotland. For twenty years he commuted between New York and Europe as a political and cultural columnist for British newspapers. He now lives with his partner John Holm in a tiny village in the forests of rural Po ...more
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“Power wants us numbered and not named, carded and not just remembering our name, address, telephone number, purpose, social security number, PIN, and so forth. Power has good reasons. As long as we have papers, we cohere;” 0 likes
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