Title: Taken for Dead
Author: Graham Masterton
Published by: Head of Zeus
Publication date: Feb 1st, 2014
Source: Bury Library
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As we all know, I’ve stated many times now, I am a fan of Mastertons books. I always feel a little rush of excitement when I managed to find one of his books that I’ve not read before. I admit, I am usually in with him for the horror aspect of his writing, but I am slowly beginning to think that he is really starting to shine when it comes to his thriller series. What I have found with his horror novels is that they’re becoming somewhat predictable – maybe more on account of the fact that I have read so many of them than anything else – this is certainly not the case when it comes to his Katie Maguire series!
Taken for Dead is the 4th book in the Katie Maguire series which sets the scene in typically gory fashion. A wedding is in full swing when the bride and groom go to cut the cake only to find they struggle to cut through the decapitated head that has been baked within.
The theme of this story follows The High Kings of Erin extorting money via the kidnapping of near bankrupt businessmen, which in itself seems like an odd concept, but trust me it’s one of the key things that keeps the reader guessing throughout the story.
Naturally one aspect of where the novel shines in it’s rather wonderfully graphic descriptions of various horrible acts; I think Mastertons experience as a horror writer leds itself well to this genre. A particular talent of Mastertons is that he can write a gruesome scene without having to make the words to flowery and overly complicated! It makes it easier for the scent to be injected straight into the mind without confusing the reader with too many big words – but I might have said I enjoy this aspect to his writing before.
The tale itself is rather intriguing and keeps the reader guessing. The ending, yes the story does have its conclusion, but it’s open ended enough to leave the reader wanting to know the outcome that will result in further novels in the series. Another enjoyable aspect of the book is the fact that there are links back to previous offerings in the series which add a sense of realism to the lengthy nature of detective work.
It’s not quite all good however, there are a few irritating points to the writing, like the constant use of everyones title every time they are mentioned. It just gets a little irksome after a few chapters.
And I do still have a question, even after finishing the novel. Who baked the cake?
Overall, it’s a damned fine read and it kept me turning the pages. I recommend the series for anyone who enjoys a good thriller and doesn’t shy away from those gory details!