Thursday, 3 May 2012

Books Read: Niamh O'Connor - Taken

Source - Received from publisher to review

A beautiful woman
Model and it-girl Tara Parker Trench is famous across Ireland - with her beauty, glittering lifestyle and perfect three-year-old son Presley, she seems to have it all.

A stolen child
Until, one cold wet Dublin night, Tara pulls into a service station for petrol, leaving Presley strapped into the back of her car.  Five minutes later he's gone, kidnapped while his mother's back was turned.   

A hidden world
Tara, terrified and hysterical, begs DI Jo Birmingham to help her find her child.  But why doesn't Tara want the public to know he's missing?  Soon, Jo is drawn into a dark underworld of corruption and extortion, where sex is a commodity, and life is cheap.  Who is really telling Jo the truth about the missing little boy - and who's got too much to hide?

When model Tara pulls into a garage to fill up with petrol she doesn't expect it to turn into a living nightmare, her toddler son is snatched from the car whilst she was inside paying.  Although she suspects who is behind the kidnapping she needs help to get her son back so she turns to DI Jo Birmingham for help.

However, Jo soon realises that there is something more sinister at stake than simply the kidnapping of an innocent child, especially when an anonymous DVD is left at the station showing Tara in a horrifying situation.  It's soon clear to her that the kidnapping of Presley is someone trying to send Tara a message and investigations soon lead her into the criminal underworld of high-class escorts, human trafficking and drugs. 

Tara is terrified and won't help Jo with her investigation so when Tara collapses from an overdose, and several crucial suspects for the kidnapping are found dead, can Jo find Presley before it's too late?

I first heard of Niamh O'Connor when her debut novel, If I Never See You Again, was recommended to me last year by a friend and I wasn't disappointed as it was a book that I couldn't put down.  I'd been awaiting the release of this her second novel for a few months since I finished reading the first and overall I wasn't disappointed.  

Although it was apparent quite early on who was behind all the events, there was still enough intrigue to keep me gripped and I finished reading the book over a couple of nights.  Her next novel, Too Close For Comfort, is due out in trade paperback next month and looks set to be another interesting case for DI Jo Birmingham.

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