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Kat's Review of Taken by Niamh O'Connor (Jo Birmingham #2)

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Niamh O Connor TakenMy Rating: 4/5

In February 2011 I read Niamh O'Connor's debut novel and really enjoyed it. I was looking forward to reading the second instalment. We once again meet the feisty Jo Birmingham who as a female DI is one of the few female senior officers in Dublin. She is trying to manage her work as well as her children and being a single parent makes her life that little bit harder. The Model and It-Girl Tara Parker French drives into a petrol station to fill up and runs into the station to pay. She leaves her three year old son Presley in the car, and that is her biggest mistake.

With Tara's child kidnapped Jo does her best to help with the case. What she can't work out is why Tara doesn't want the public to know he is missing. Before long in true Jo Birmingham style she has forced herself into the middle of the case irrelevant of the consequences. Jo is a character I really liked as although she was feisty she was also human and that means mistakes. It makes her all the more likeable as a character. We also see the return of her colleagues Gavin Sexton, Foxy and her ex-husband (who also happens to be her boss) Dan.

The story itself is pretty intriguing early on as you get to see the sheer terror of Tara whose child has been snatched. What I didn't realise was that as soon as I was hooked on that part of the story I didn't really come up for air. The book itself isn't too lengthy but has enough substance to make it interesting. The crime element of the story covers pretty much everything with drugs, sex crimes as well as corruption and extortion to name a few. Towards the end it picked up again and I have to say I read the last quarter of the book the quickest. The ending surprised me, but I have to say it leaves the reader really wanting to pick up the next book to find out what happens to the characters.

There is a lot of crime books and especially new authors about at the moment. Niamh O'Connor will definitely be making it on my `to read' list every year, but has yet to blow me away. It seems she has created a great series with characters that are slowly worming their way into people's minds. Most definitely somebody to watch for the future!

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