One day, Marina Benedict, an actress who is trying to come to terms with the dissolution of her marriage, goes to the Clark Building in downtown Pittsburgh to turn her jewelry, gifts from her husband, into cash to cover living expenses. There in the lobby she sees an adorable baby with his mother. She's aware of studying the baby, even flirting with him, because she longs for a child herself. A short time later, having finished her business in the jewelry shop upstairs, she catches a bus for home. She sees the same baby on the bus, this time with a man whom she is certain is not the child's father. The man has nothing else with himno diaper bag, no stroller. When Marina tries to talk to him, he avoids her. In a single life-altering act, Marina gets off the bus one stop after the man does and she follows him and the baby to an abandoned house. All she can think of is that the baby is in danger and must be saved. Nobody knows where she is.
In these same moments Pittsburgh is galvanized by the story of a kidnapping. The baby son of a rookie pitcher for the Pirates has been taken from a discount store downtown where his mother was shopping. The mother is distraught. She turned the corner for a few seconds and he child was gone.
Commander Richard Christie is orchestrating the investigation. Phone calls come in to the police stationall kinds of guesses and reports. He follows up every one of the leads. When the police meet with the FBI, baby-trafficking is only one of the theories being tossed about. And nobody takes it particularly seriously, given the high profile of the child's father.
Christie is a kind man whose own life is in a shambles. He can't possibly guess where the case will lead him.
TAKEN has been translated into French, Norwegian, Danish, German, Japanese, and Dutch; has been recommended by David Kipen on The Today Show; and has been selected as a Best First by the Mysterious Bookshop, New York.
Read Kathleen's interviews, articles and blogs
Dell paperback, June 2002, ISBN 13/10: 978-0385335478 / 0385335474
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A first-class first novel...plenty of suspense....it is George's grasp of the human factor that makes her novel such a pleasure..."
The Washington Post
"Taken is a tough and tender thriller by a writer who knows the world of the heart as well as the world of crime....This is a moving, gripping and multilayered story in which the search for love touches everything, even grief for a lost baby.."
Perri O'Shaugnessy, author of WRIT OF EXECUTION
"Gripping...You'll pant with every plot turn as you revel in George's sensual, often profound prose."
"A gripping thriller with real emotional power and remarkably subtle characterization."
"Taken is that rare thriller that gives as much weight to its characters and prose as it does to its ticking time-bomb plot. The story drew me in, but it was the author's fallible, very human cast that kept me coming back for more. I look forward to reading anything that Kathleen George writes."
George P. Pelecanos, author of RIGHT AS RAIN
"Taken is wonderfultautly constructed, complex. The criminals are as interesting as the heroes."
Nicholas Pileggi, author of WISE GUYS
"From the opening pages of Taken to the final heart-stopping paragraphs, I was transported by Kathleen George's complex characters and masterful storytelling. It's a rare pleasure to read a novel so brilliantly plotted, so richly peopled, and so elegantly written."
Margot Livesey, author of THE MISSING WORLD
"[An] offbeat thriller...Taken boasts three ingredients too often missing from the suspense genre: irony, humor, and plausibly flawed, cliche-free characters."