Review: The Taken by Casey Kelleher

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Release date: October 5, 2016

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Thriller

Goodreads blurb: 

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? 

Fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers will lose themselves in this brilliantly tense and gripping story. 


Holy smokes! What a read this one was. It grabs you from the first page and grips you tightly until the bitter end. The tag line nails it, this one is definitely not for the faint of heart. Lots of triggers here too, but if that stuff doesn’t bother you, as it doesn’t me, then this is a must read.

You have three central characters here, and I found myself puzzling over how their storylines would converge. Fear not, because Kelleher masterfully weaves things together. First is Lena, a young mother who has seen more horrors in her young life than anyone ever should. She’s desperate to keep her baby daughter, Roza safe and this determination is the only thing that keeps her going. Saskia is also desperate but in a different way. Her parents are both dead and she finds herself in a bad way when she is forced to work as an exotic dancer in order to keep her family home. Finally there is Colin, a young man who works as a caretaker at the cemetery. It’s clear throughout that he’s struggling with some serious demons of his own, but the truth is more sinister and shocking than you can imagine.

My heart was in my throat while reading the majority of this book. It was an action packed and electrifying ride full of suspense and moments of bone chilling horror. Seriously you guys, some downright creepy and twisted stuff. Besides the three main characters there are several secondary characters that are just downright deplorable. The entire storyline is gritty and raw and I found myself totally immersed in the lives and worlds of the characters, especially Lena. She is so bound and determined to survive against all odds and I was totally taken by her strength against every adversity imaginable. 

I can’t say much more without revealing key plot points, but suffice it to say that I loved this book. I was flipping the pages like a maniac, I’m quite surprised that my Kindle didn’t burst into flames from my frantic pace! This would make such a great movie, something along the same lines as The Bourne Identity or Taken.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to Bookouture for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

25 thoughts on “Review: The Taken by Casey Kelleher

  1. Annie says:

    But you were just reading this! I saw on Twitter! XD How can you read so fast? haha I thought I read fast! 😛

    Great review, sounds like a noir thriller ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    This sounds amazing! You get so many good books. I’m just going to have to read everything you review. 🙂 I’ve lucked out lately and found a bunch of good books, one of them thanks to you. 🙂 Adding this to Goodreads now. Bourne and Taken as references = sold! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • novelgossip says:

      Check out the publisher Bookouture on netgalley I swear they publish most of my favorites! It has the same action feel as those movies. BTW I started Wrecked this morning and I’m almost done 😂 it’s good and I’m loving seeing so many sides to the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        I contacted the publicist for Bookouture last week. She follows me on Twitter, and she said she’d send me whatever I want that I couldn’t get on NetGalley. I’ll try requesting it and if I don’t get a copy, maybe she can send me one. It sounds sooo good. Oh that’s such good news. I’m glad you’re loving Wrecked. I was so afraid everyone would say I was crazy, but so far so good. I read it in one day. I couldn’t stop reading. It really does put that situation into perspective in a way I never would’ve looked at it otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • novelgossip says:

        Kim? She’s the best, she’ll auto approve you which is nice but also dangerous. Right?! That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking while reading it. It’s fascinating to me. Can’t wait to finish it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rantandraveaboutbooks says:

        Yes, Kim. She’s so nice. I talk to her on DM. I have so many books to read that I feel bad asking her for some of the older ones I also want to read. 😂 I can’t wait for your review. The ending is so different from what I expected.

        Liked by 1 person

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