Books

Taken – Niamh O’Connor

Jo Birmingham, is the feisty female detective that you first meet in If I Never See You Again. She is a single mother with two boys, one a mere baby, the other a mere teenager. Not only has she to deal with juggling this family life that was not really of her choosing. Her ex also happens to be her boss. Now she has even more to prove.

Jo’s choice of career makes all the challenges perhaps even harder – she is a Detective Inspector and in this novel, she goes into some rather dark and seedy places to get a result. Justice. 

A child goes missing from the back seat of a car, whilst their mother is in the petrol station. A mother’s worst nightmare, you turn your back for two minutes. But this mother is famous in Ireland, she has it all. Beauty, money, an ideal life; on the surface. Underneath it is darker place full of drugs, corruption and sex as a resource. When she wants no publicity for the missing child, there is obviously more to this than a simply case of a child being taken.

It is now up to DI Jo Birmingham to bring the pieces together. And when a video tape is left for her at the police station, does the evidence point to a much bigger case where more people will want to keep their names out of the spotlight? But surely the first most important thing to do is to reunite child with mother? So why is there a reluctance to put the resources onto this case? A question for her ex-husband?

This is a crime novel which from the moment you start reading, draws you right into the plot, the setting and the characters. It is not a nice world that we live in and this book demonstrates that for me quite effectively. Niamh O’Connor draws on her research from as a true crime editor of a newspaper to weave a story that looks like it could have stepped straight out of a Sunday tabloid and a glossy magazine combined. In fact Niamh, admits in her foreword that this is probably based on something that cannot be proved.

This in itself intrigued me as a reader, and how the power of celebrity and the power of power can sometimes fall apart around you. A good read.

I say at the end of my review of Niamh O’Connor’s first book that I would not actively go and buy another one but would still read one if I was given the opportunity.I was when the publisher sent me this and her latest novel Too Close for Comfort. This book for me was better than the first, and it shows that O’Connor has found her flow in terms of writing a crime story. I think also the reference to something that may well have happened in ‘real life’ may have contributed to the storyline as well. 

I can see that perhaps I have come across something when I say in my review of her first novel ” Everything is wrapped up in the end but there is plenty of scope for more from Birmingham and I am sure her ex husband will prove to be her nemesis”. That applies to this book,  but perhaps now I will have to find another word to describer her ex-husband. I am glad I have the next one to read, as I actually want to know more about the personal side of DI Jo Birmingham, because I am sure it is this which makes her a detective that you do not want to mess with either as a criminal or as a colleague!

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2 thoughts on “Taken – Niamh O’Connor

  1. It does take time sometimes to get a series set up, so it’s encouraging that you see progress from the first to the second book. I’ve looked at the first book in the library and I’m curious, but contemporary crime fiction isn’t really calling me at the moment.

  2. You have gotten me interested in this series. I like it when the series improves over time. I will have to put this author on my wish list. For when I have time and money for new books.

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