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The Stolen Ones (A Stevens and Windermere…
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The Stolen Ones (A Stevens and Windermere Novel)

by Owen Laukkanen

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This is the fourth book in Owen Laukkanen’s series featuring Special agent Kirk Stevens of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and his FBI partner, Carla Windermere. Two Romanian sisters are among a group of kidnapped women being brought to the USA in a shipping container by a sex trafficking ring. When one of them escapes, Stevens and Windermere try to track down the criminals in time to save the girls.

This has turned out to be one of my favorite series. The author does a great job of making his good guys good and his bad guys bad. There's not a lot of nuance to the characters but when I'm looking for an action movie style book, I can't find too many authors better than this one.

This is a fast paced novel with an intriguing story line. The relationship between Stevens and Windermere continues to be one of the most interesting among the male/female partnerships in crime fiction. Kirk Stevens is a middle-aged and white, with a beautiful wife and two kids. Carla Windermere is a beautiful single black woman from Miami who has been assigned to the Minneapolis office of the FBI. They have an underlying attraction that they are both too honorable to act on.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Eduardo Ballerini. I've only recently discovered this narrator and I'm definitely going to look for other audio books by him. His narration is exceptional and he even does a very believable Romanian accent. This book could easily be read as a standalone novel. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast-paced and exciting police procedural thriller. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
[The Stolen Ones] by Owen Laukkanen
Stevens & Windemere series Book #4
4★'s

From The Book:
When you’ve got nothing left, you’ve got nothing left to lose. Cass County, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy steps out of a diner on a rainy summer evening, and a few minutes later, he’s lying dead in the mud. When BCA agent Kirk Stevens arrives on the scene, he discovers local authorities have taken into custody a single suspect: A hysterical young woman found sitting by the body, holding the deputy’s own gun. She has no ID, speaks no English. A mystery woman.

The mystery only deepens from there, as Stevens and Carla Windermere, his partner in the new joint BCA–FBI violent crime task force, find themselves on the trail of a massive international kidnapping and prostitution operation. Before the two agents are done, they will have traveled over half the country, from Montana to New York, and come face-to-face not only with the most vicious man either of them has ever encountered—but two of the most courageous women.

My Thoughts:
I read the first three books previously and they were all 5 star books. This one looses some of the rating...not because it isn't well written or as dynamic as the past three but because for one thing...it deals with a horrific subject...human sex trade trafficking...and two...because Windermere's horrible treatment of Mathers is becoming almost unbearable. If she doesn't want him to live with her just tell him and stop insulting him.

I really like Owen Laukkanen's writing style and will certainly read more of his works. I just hope he brings back the Windermere that we met in the first three books. She was flawed but she was at least reasonable in her thinking. ( )
  Carol420 | Oct 1, 2016 |
The Stolen Ones, Owen Laukkanen's latest, is a dynamite thriller that may well be the best of the Windermere/Stevens series thus far. The plot, which involves the investigation of young eastern European women being brought into the US as sex slaves, is fast-paced and believable. Laukkanen's writing style is a fine match for the action- nothing fancy, just straightforward narrative and dialogue.

I particularly enjoyed the interaction between the main law enforcement characters: FBI agent Windermere, her episodic counterpart on the Minnesota BCA, Stevens, and Windermere's romantic interest, Mathers. Windermere's a great presence and Stevens, a highly effective cop in his own right, is a perfect complement to her. Mathers is a sort of weak link, but Windermere needs him in more ways than one and I expect he'll be developed further as the series moves along.

The only weak part of the novel is its ending. The methods and procedures that get us to that point are fine, but some of the action at the end seems to be a little 'out there'. The conclusion is satisfactory, though, and the rest of the story was so compelling and believable that you can let the author blow off a little steam getting there. ( )
  gmmartz | Jun 21, 2016 |
This book by Laukkanen is a very good mystery for mystery buffs. Though I did not care for the topic as much as some others (trafficing of girls and young women in metal shipping containers from overseas) the work of the two main characters in solving the crime was good reading. If people are really doing this they should be thrown in the slammer with the keys tossed away. Received it through the Goodreads giveaway and enjoyed it.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" "To Whom It May Concern" and "Tell Me About The United Methodist Church" ( )
  whoizme8 | Feb 26, 2016 |
A mysterious container is offloaded from a ship right on to the back of a truck. Miles later when the truck stops the shipping container is opened and a hose used to wash off the unlikely cargo – a group of young (very young) women from Eastern block countries. Among these women are two sisters, one of whom was tempted by stories of achieving fame and fortune and the other simply tagging along because she wanted to be with her older sister. Knowing they were in serious trouble each wanted to save the other. At the next stop the container door is once again rolled up but this time two women jump out and begin to run. One gets away and one doesn’t.

Vacationing in the area, BCA Agent Kirk Steven gets the call to take a few hours out of his vacation to investigate the nearby shooting of a Sheriff’s deputy. Found at the scene was a young woman, Irina, unable to speak English, and for a short time the suspect in the killing. When F.B.I. Agent Carla Windermere is called into the case, which is looking more and more like a human trafficking ring, Kirk knows his vacation has just been cancelled.

I’ve been a fan of this series since “The Professionals” and Mr. Laukkanen has never failed to disappoint me. This book is no exception. Granted, the premise for the story is not unique but Mr. Laukkanen managed to hold my interest throughout the whole book. One thread I notice (and enjoy) in Mr. Laukkanen books is that he always has a “bad guy” that you feel just a little bit sorry for. Someone who has definitely made unwise decisions in life, but whose heart is not totally black. Yes – the reader is cheering for the good guys to save the day. Yes – he may deserve everything that happens to him. But – the reader never gets past the feeling that were the circumstances different this guy would’ve been okay. That’s one of the aspects of this series that keeps me reading. As for the rest of the villains, they are truly villainous; complete with grisly murders, bloody revenge and no conscience what so ever. Just the way you want them in a thriller. The previous books have held a certain amount of attraction/tension between Kirk and Carla that is missing in this book and I cannot say I missed it. Carla is as content as Carla can be in her new relationship and Kirk’s wife (who I always see as understanding yet long suffering) is a little more on board with this case since the women involved are close in age to their own daughter and she seems to be the only person that Irina trusts.

A book with a story line this intense does need a little something to give the reader a breather between killings and sex-slavery. That comes with Kirk’s reaction to his daughter having her first boyfriend. Considering the nature of the case he’s is working this little bit of news could not have come at a worse time.

All in all a good entry for this series.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399165533, Hardcover)

The blistering new novel from the author of the multi-award-nominated The Professionals—“Laukkanen is one of the best young thriller writers working today” (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
 
When you’ve got nothing left, you’ve got nothing left to lose.

Cass County, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy steps out of a diner on a rainy summer evening, and a few minutes later, he’s lying dead in the mud. When BCA agent Kirk Stevens arrives on the scene, he discovers local authorities have taken into custody a single suspect: A hysterical young woman found sitting by the body, holding the deputy’s own gun. She has no ID, speaks no English. A mystery woman.

The mystery only deepens from there, as Stevens and Carla Windermere, his partner in the new joint BCA–FBI violent crime task force, find themselves on the trail of a massive international kidnapping and prostitution operation. Before the two agents are done, they will have traveled over half the country, from Montana to New York, and come face-to-face not only with the most vicious man either of them has ever encountered—but two of the most courageous women.

They are sisters, stolen ones. But just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you have to stay one.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:14 -0400)

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