Taken by Niamh O’Connor

It’s a cold wet winter night when a car pulls into a service station on Dublin quays. Strapped on to the back-seat is a three-year-old boy. Asleep. Five minutes later he’s gone – kidnapped in the time it’s taken his mother to pay for her petrol. Distraught and fearing for his safety, she has only one option. DI Jo Birmingham. One of the few female senior officers on the Dublin police force, Jo has a keen reputation for solving crimes and righting wrongs. Her search for the little boy takes her into a dark world of lies and corruption, where hard cash is king, where sex is a commodity to be bought and sold – and where the lost and vulnerable are in terrifying danger . . .

Taken is Niamh O’Connor’s second fiction novel and also appears to be the second novel to feature DI Jo Birmingham. (I haven’t read the first.) I decided to read it on a whim, wanting something a bit different to Chick Lit and considering it’s been aaaages since I read a crime novel, I was intrigued by the Prologue of Taken, after a little boy is (aptly) taken at a petrol station. 

However despite finishing the novel relatively quickly, it was actually (sadly) a pretty forgettable novel. I read it with no real enthusiasm or suspense, but more it seemed as if I just got so far in that I felt I may as well finish it. There just seemed to be so much going on with so many different people, that I could barely keep up with everyone we were meant to be keeping up with. Don’t get me wrong, I expect that with crime novels, but it just seemed there were just too many characters and it would have been miles easier to get rid of a couple, particularly all the “bad guys”. 

Whenever I read a Tess Gerritsen novel, I’m guaranteed suspense, guaranteed my heart will be racing as the novel reaches it’s climax, but with Taken it was all very pedestrian. It’s a shame, really, it has some characters who were interesting (Jo’s partner, whose name escapes me with his dead wife was interesting) but I just felt the book fell somewhat flat. So O’Connor probably won’t make it onto my “Crime must-read list” but, well, I don’t necessarily regret reading it, I just wish it was more suspenseful.

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