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The Toy Taker    by Luke Delaney order for
Toy Taker
by Luke Delaney
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hampstead Heath in north-west London is full of affluent Georgian mansions whose owners sleep peacefully, secure in the knowledge that their homes are protected by elaborate security systems. But sleepers with young children just might wake to find that one small child who should have been bundled in his or her bed until morning light is missing!

Where could the child be? Hiding? Unable to reach the locks on the outside doors, they couldn't be outside. Police are called, but are of little help. Detective Inspector Sean Corrigan, promoted to Scotland Yard with his team to take on cases that will receive the most public attention, is determined to find the missing. Corrigan has the uncanny ability to place himself in a criminal's mind and usually gets his man.

While the politicians dance around trying to put Scotland Yard in the best light in the media, another child disappears. Then a third and a fourth. London holds its breath. And all the time, we, the readers, are allowed into the mind of the Toy Taker. Those of us who have small ones, especially, feel the loss in our very being. It couldn't happen to our little ones. Could it?

The Toy Taker is a thriller of high order. Delaney has created characters who could very well be your next-door neighbors. Hope not, though. But this book will have you checking your doors and windows during dark nights and checking your children's beds to be sure they are where they should be. Also revisiting the alarm system once more before going to bed to stare at the ceiling while you listen for the slightest sound alien to your home.

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