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Taken (Elvis Cole, #13 / Joe Pike, #4)
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Taken (Elvis Cole #15)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  14,056 Ratings  ·  901 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
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Putnam Adult
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John Matsui I haven't read any other Robert Crais books but I found it easy to get into Taken. I confess the read didn't make me interested in reading more of…moreI haven't read any other Robert Crais books but I found it easy to get into Taken. I confess the read didn't make me interested in reading more of Crais' works but I don't regret reading Taken either.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Nov 19, 2012 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 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 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 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
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.
Kaje Harper
Apr 21, 2012 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
Mar 10, 2012 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.
Jodi Langston
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 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 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.
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 H
Sep 16, 2012 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
John Matsui
I hadn't read a Robert Crais novel before and therefore Elvis Cole is entirely new to me as well.
I found Taken to be okay, definitely not a waste of time, but IMO nothing about the character, his relationship with Joe Pike or his sleuthing skills seemed like anything novel or endearing.
Could be that I'm spoiled after the dark, steaming fixes I get from Greg Iles' latest Penn Cage tales, Terry Hayes' pathbreaking I am Pilgrim, or even the larger than life (definitely not Tom Cruise) pulp exploits
Aaron Johnston
Feb 17, 2014 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
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
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love the Elvis Cole character: smart, dry humor, a man's man, and a woman's dream! The plot in Taken is very dark: human trafficking. The novel has merit: educational &informational about human trafficking, While I applaud Mr.Crais for taking on such a serious topic, I missed the bantering and witty dialogue between Cole and Pike. The ying and yang of their relationship just wasn't part of this particular book in the series.
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I see other readers gave a much higher rating so check out their reviews before making a decision about this one. I normally love this author but had a hard time following this book. It seemed to be just too much going on. Then again, maybe I was simply too tired when I was reading it.
Rex Fuller
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of Crais. This one may be the best.
Jill Manske
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Taken", Robert Crais takes on the issue of smuggling illegal immigrants across the Mexican border and how so called bajadores kidnap groups of illegals from the coyotes bringing them across in order to ransom them to their families. The story begins with Elvis Cole searching for the missing daughter of a successful Mexican American business woman, which quickly turns into a kidnapping when the daughter is caught up with a group of illegals by an especially ruthless bajadore called the Syria ...more
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Strictly blah. Picked it up after a reading review that described it as "after long last, a Cole-Pike book that Crais hadn't phoned in". Sad to say, Reader, that it was. And a might short phone call, too. Some attempts at keeping it interesting by juggling around the chronology of events, and a few perfunctory Pikeisms, but at the end of the book, your overwhelming reaction is relief, mixed with a faint sense of embarrassment for having persevered through.
Aydan Yalçın
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Her eve birer Joe Pike ve Jon Stone lazım :))
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want a T shirt with, "Elvis Cole Detective Agency, World's Greatest Detective " on it!
Jul 01, 2013 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
Cathy DuPont
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn, that was good.

About a third of the way through and I was thinking that I was giving this book three stars. Couldn’t possibly be four stars like every other Crais book I’ve read, and I’ve read them all.

After I got over the initial shock of jumping in time and characters, I settled in for an enjoyable ride with both Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Both guys in about equal amounts. I liked that because I like them both. Must fess up here though that Elvis is still my favorite while most people like
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 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
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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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“Pike closed his eyes, and filled his lungs, then pushed with his diaphragm. He breathed deep again. Pranayamic breathing from the hatha yoga. Pike lost himself in a cool forest glade, dappled by sunlight filtered through lime green leaves. When he breathed, he smelled moss and sumac. His pulse slowed. He grew calm. He centered. Pike” 1 likes
“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
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