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The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe

The Taken (2009)

by Inger Ash Wolfe

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1701999,591 (3.7)16



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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Another great mystery starring Detective Inspector Hazel Micalief that has an action-packed suspenseful ending. Wolfe has written a winning combination with a tough, tenacious female protagonist, a cast of well-developed characters, and an excellent plot. Even with Micalief's qualities there are some who consider the sixty-two year-old a dinosaur, and therefore dispensable. With her recent back surgery, she is fighting on a lot of fronts. This is a page-turner that the Canadian setting made even better. I feel like dropping by Tim's for a double-double. ( )
  VivienneR | Jul 18, 2017 |
I have to admit feeling a little let down with this book. I have fond memories of the first book, “The Calling”, thinking it was the start of a great series with a unique and interesting protagonist. This book however, felt like more of the same stuff we’ve already read.

The good:

* Hazel recovering from back surgery at her ex-husband’s house and his new wife. Talk about uncomfortable positions for all! I liked that the author explored each person’s feelings and attitudes about the arrangement.

* We also learn more about the history of DC Wingate. One of the bright spots in the books, I like his character and want to know more. He’s an interesting supporting character and needs a bit more attention in my opinion.

The bad:

* Unfortunately the mystery itself was not very well plotted. It had a preposterous premise and went on for far too long.

* The city police were unbelievable in their responses to Hazel. The fact that they would try to impede the investigation while a person’s life was at serious risk came off as implausible.

* I also must mention the writing itself. Supposedly Inger Ash Wolfe is a pen name for a known literary author. The prose in the book, while functional, was not up to the standard I would expect from a literary author. I know several other crime fiction authors whose writing I would rate above Wolfe’s.

I enjoy the characters enough that I will read the next book, but will hope for better plotting next time.
( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Not bad. I think, in the end, I liked this one somewhat better than The Calling, simply because I the ending was stronger. My one issue is a spoiler, so I won't bring it up, but I think the author has a tendency to go for easy plot devices. I really like Hazel, and the various supporting characters, but I would have liked more Wingate. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
A really good quick read, couldn't put it down. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
When a fishing party casts a line and snags what looks like a person, Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef and her team are called to the scene. However, what looks like a human body under water turns out to be a mannequin. The police divers who retrieved the ‘body’ state that it was weighted down.


Further investigation revealed numbers on the mannequin which turn out to be an internet address. Micallef and team locate the website to find a body being tortured in what looks like real time.

Simultaneously, the ‘summer story’ in the local newspaper bears a striking resemblance to the mystery Micallef is trying to solve.

Thus starts what, in my mind, is almost a Keystone Kops search for the truth. While I enjoyed reading The Taken and its predecessor, The Calling, the bumbling that seemed real and even endearing in the previous book became too much. By the end of The Taken, I believe that the Port Dundas Detective Inspector succeeds in spite of herself rather than because of her understanding of the situation.

In addition, my favorite characters were either not included in The Taken (renegade Detective Sergeant Adjutor Sevigny) or only make a cameo appearance (thorn in her side Detective Howard Spere).

The plot in The Taken is totally unbelievable. Even Micallef’s relationships with her ex-husband and his new wife don’t ring true. While I’d probably give The Calling 4 stars because of its novelty, The Taken is down to 3 1/2. I think I’ll pass on the last two books in the series to stifle the downward trend in star ratings. ( )
  EdGoldberg | May 9, 2016 |
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Love never dies a natural death.

—Anaïs Nin
To the Eclipse Café, with thanks for the corner
First words
What always broke his heart is the way they dressed themselves. (Prologue)
Glynnis Pedersen's house was full of clocks. (Chapter 1)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151013535, Hardcover)

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef is having a bad year. After major back surgery, she has no real option but to move into her ex-husband’s basement and suffer the humiliation of his new wife bringing her meals down on a tray. As if that weren’t enough, Hazel’s octogenarian mother secretly flushes Hazel’s stash of painkillers down the toilet.
It’s almost a relief when Hazel gets a call about a body fished up by tourists in one of the lakes near Port Dundas. But what raises the hair on the back of Micallef ’s neck is that the local paper has just published the first installment of a serialized story featuring such a scenario. Even before they head out to the lake with divers to recover the body, she and DC James Wingate, leading the police detachment in Micallef ’s absence, know they are being played. But it’s not clear who is pulling their strings and why, nor is what they find at the lake at all what they expected. It’s Micallef herself who is snared, caught up in a cryptic game devised by someone who knows how to taunt her into opening a cold case, someone who knows that nothing will stop her investigation.
The second novel featuring Hazel Micallef, “a compelling, unlikely hero” (Entertainment Weekly), is a stunning and suspenseful exploration of the obsessive far reaches of love, confirming Inger Ash Wolfe as one of the best mystery writers today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

It is summer in Port Dundas, and D.I. Hazel Micallef is recovering from back surgery in the home of her ex and his wife. The Westmuir Record begins to publish its semi-annual, eight-part short story. This time it's a murder story. But after the publication of the third installment, someone commits a murder exactly like the one described in the paper. Suspicion falls on the writer, but he's as horrified as anyone is to learn that someone has modeled a crime on his fiction.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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