The mystery plays pretty much fair this time out, though the reader will probably know what's really happened before Cole and Pike. As with many Cole/Pike adventures, this one ends with a violent, cinematic, and thrillingly choreographed action sequence. It's Hardboiled Action in the Mighty Crais Manner! It's all fun and diverting, if a bit shallow. Recommended.
Taken (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike #15) (2012) by Robert Crais: LA private detective Elvis Cole and occasional partner Joe Pike again deal with a problem close to home as a kidnapping case suddenly results in Cole himself being kidnapped. Mighty, laconic Joe Pike springs into action with the help of nearly-as-mighty good-mercenary Jon Stone as the clock ticks on the lifespans of Cole and the young couple he was searching for.
The set-up for Taken is really interesting. The logistics and practice of illegal immigrant trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico border come in for scrutiny. Real-life horrors are exposed, along with real-life hypocrisies. Pike and Stone make the world's most competent rescue team.
Taken is also Robert Crais' most complex novel from a structural standpoint. Several narratives running at different times and with different POV's converge at the climax, seamlessly. It's really a triumph of plot. Recommended.