Book Title: The Taken
Author: Casey Kelleher
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Date Read: 10/04/16
Pub Date: 10/05/16
When you’ve lost everything, you’ll do anything to survive.
Saskia Frost’s world is blown apart when her dad dies. Without any family, she’s on her own now and up to her eyeballs in her father’s debts. He owed a lot of money to some very dangerous men – Joshua and Vincent Harper. Before long, aspiring ballerina Saskia finds herself lap-dancing in a London club to survive. A club run by the infamous Harper brothers. Saskia is now their property and they’re going to make her pay every penny back.
Teenager Lena Cona has fled a cruel and controlling marriage. She arrives in England with her newborn daughter, desperately relying on strangers for help. But she soon learns that not everyone can be trusted as she finds herself caught in the clutches of Colin Jefferies, a twisted individual obsessed by his own sinister secrets. As the sickening truth is revealed, Lena is forced to fight for her life – and her baby’s.
When their worlds collide, Lena and Saskia form an unlikely friendship. But with the terrifying Harper brothers on their tail, as well as Lena’s vengeful and violent husband, can they escape with their lives?
Once again, Bookouture has provided an intense and compelling read that I simply couldn’t put down. I’m new to author Casey Kelleher’s work, but as soon as I read the blurb I was confident this was a book for me. I’m not going to touch on the plot much and will keep this review fairly brief; just know that the jacket summary gives you all the information you need to go in knowing as little as possible. This was an extremely dark and disturbing read; the topic of sexual slavery is never an easy one, but a very real issue in today’s world and I applaud the author for writing about it in such a frank way.
There are multiple storylines to follow here; we have two female lead characters who form a bond over their being forced into lifestyles where they are controlled, plus a graveyard worker who seems unrelated in the beginning. I love how the author kept us guessing until the precise moment she decided to reveal how all the characters were tied together; behind the scenes she has woven them piece by piece in a way the reader is unaware of until looking back once the book is finished. The story completely messed with my mind and kept me guessing until the very end.
The pacing in the story was the equivalent of a NASCAR race on speed! I felt like I was getting whiplash turning back and forth so quickly. The story is interesting, but there is so much action that there really isn’t a good place to set the book aside; you might as well just carve out a really long night to read the entire book in one sitting and plan to call in sick to work. (Your secret is safe with me!) If you are into this type of thriller and can stomach the intense, dark stuff, pick this one up asap! I can’t recommend it highly enough and I’m glad to have found another “must read” author to add to my list!
*I’d like to thank the author and publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole.Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her Husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time.