Taken by Robert Crais – Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are back in action together. Nita Morales, an illegal Mexican immigrant who is successfully running a clothing business, calls Elvis to find her missing daughter, Krista Morales. Being a college student who has gone to
with her boyfriend Jack Berman for the weekend but not yet returned the police doubt she is actually missing. Palm Springs
We know from the start that Krista and Jack have been kidnapped by some group that is involved with the smuggling of people into the
. United States
The structure of the book is a different form of narrative. At the start not only do we know Krista and Jack have been abducted. We know Elvis has been taken and Joe is after those who have Elvis. No one should want Joe hunting them.
The book then moves back to before Elvis was captured and the plot proceeds forward.
Krista and Jack have been kidnapped by bajadores. (I was not familiar with the word. It describes gangs who steal the people smuggler gangs are illegally bringing into
and then extort money from their families.) America
The bajadores are among the most vicious gangs in the world prying money out of families who have already used their resources on the smugglers.
The book is only barely a mystery. It is actually a thriller in which the action is non-stop. Unlike most of the books involving Elvis there is little character development. I regret there is little humour. Once in awhile Elvis is funny but much less than the earlier books in the series. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the body count builds through the book. I like Elvis better when he is detecting. I expect action from Joe. It is an above average thriller. It is not a challenge to the mind. It is a book for the senses. It does produce an appreciation of the cruelty of human trafficking, especially as done through
. I hope Elvis is back to being the World’s Greatest Detective in the next book I read from Crais. (Sept. 8/12) Mexico