#Taken - Tony Parsons

A top read from one of the most popular writers of modern-day cop thrillers.

Parsons' police hero Max Wolfe is forced to work with one of the legends of London's underworld in his latest fast-moving novel.

Harry Flowers is an old-style gangster notorious for bursting into a rival's house and burning him alive. These days, though, Harry's gone straight and he runs a waste recycling company.

But he still has enemies, and one of them sets out to hurt him by kidnapping his young mistress. Trouble is, he or she accidentally snatches the girl's flatmate instead.

Wolfe is called in, and it's a cat and mouse (and a lot of rats) chase as he takes on villains old and new while trying to solve the mystery on the streets – and under the streets – of London.

We also see Wolfe's home life, caring for his daughter, and how these two worlds collide during the story.

I've never read Parsons before, but I found this novel just as enthralling as those by his fellow crime kings Peter James and Mark Billingham. I'll certainly be reading the rest of the series.

David Knights