The Taken Ones by Jess Lourey

October 4th, 2023 Kimberly Review 4 Comments

4th Oct

In The Taken Ones by Jess Lourey, a detective and forensic scientist investigate a creepy murder case that combines the past and present. First in series, The Taken Ones is a must listen for fans of crime thrillers.

The Taken Ones by Jess Lourey
The Taken Ones
by Jess Lourey
Series: Steinbeck and Reed #1
Narrator: Carly Robins
Length: 10 hours and 31 minutes
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.5x

Two girls vanished. A woman buried alive. Between two crimes—decades of secrets yet to be unearthed in a pulse-pounding novel by the Edgar Award–nominated author of Unspeakable Things.

Summer 1980: With no fear of a local superstition, three girls go into a Minnesota wood. Only one comes out. Dead silent. Memory gone. No trace of her friends. The mystery of the Taken Ones captures the nation.

Summer 2022: Cold case detective Van Reed and forensic scientist Harry Steinbeck are assigned a disturbing homicide—a woman buried alive, clutching a heart charm necklace belonging to one of the vanished girls. Van follows her gut. Harry trusts in facts. Their common ground is the need to catch a killer before he kills again. They have something else in common: each has ties to the original case in ways they’re reluctant to share.

As Van and Harry connect the crimes of the past and the present, Van struggles with memories of her own nightmarish childhood—and the fear that uncovering the truth of the Taken Ones will lead her down a path from which she, too, may never return.


Cold case detective Van Reed and forensic scientist Harry Steinbeck arrive at the scene of a disturbing murder in the Minnesota woods. A fresh hole contains the body of a woman buried alive and clutching a locket. The locket belongs to one of the Taken Ones. In the summer of 1980, three girls walked into the woods and only one emerged with no memory shocking the nation.

Both Reed and Steinbeck have ties to the 1980s case and both are determined to find this killer. The tale that unfolds shares then and now as the past merges with the present. It was twisty, addictive and a fantastic intro to this crime fighting team.

The story was well-paced and the dual timelines both proved fascinating. Fans of police procedural and thrillers will want to grab themselves a copy. I am already excited about the prospect of fresh cases with this duo. The author kept me guessing while delivering a grounded and plausible case.

This was my first experience with Lourey, and she impressed me. She took time to develop the characters while weaving a tale that held me captive until the very last page.

Carly Robins narrates. I’ve listened to her before and thought she was perfect at capturing Reed.

Amazon* | Audible

The Taken Ones by Jess Lourey delivered a thrilling police procedural with plenty of twists. #NewRelease #CarlyRobins #audiobook #SteinbeckAndReed #FallReads Click To Tweet

About Jess Lourey

Jess Lourey

Jess Lourey writes about secrets. She's the Edgar-nominated, Amazon Charts bestselling, International Thriller Award, Anthony Award, and Minnesota Book Award-winning author of crime fiction, nonfiction, children's books, YA adventure, and magical realism. She is a retired professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter (check out her TEDx Talk for the surprising inspiration behind her first published novel). When not reading, traveling, or fostering kittens, you can find her drafting her next story.

About Carly Robins

Carly Robins

Carly Robins is an actress and voice-over artist. She can be heard on commercials, video games, and promos. Carly comes to narration with a passion for performance along with the capability to span several genres, from romance to children's literature and thrillers.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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4 Responses to “The Taken Ones by Jess Lourey”

  1. Katherine

    This looks really good! Just the fact that the mystery involves cold cases sold me. I will definitely have to look for the audio!