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‘Taken’ By Monty Marsden
The Blog Tour

Another big ‘Thank You’ to the lovely Melanie at Aria Fiction, for inviting me on this Blog Tour.

I was pleased to have been included on the tours of Missing and Hunted, the first two books in the ‘Police Commissioner Sensi’ series and it is good to see, from the many positive ratings and reviews, that the storylines have evolved and developed in such a good way.

Image Of The Blog Tour Banner For The Book 'Taken' By Monty Marsden

‘TAKEN’

Cover Image Of 'Taken' By Monty MarsdenA gripping thriller full of twists you won’t see coming … The next serial killer read from the author of ‘Missing’ and ‘Hunted’. Perfect for the fans of Angela Marsons and Jeffrey Deaver.

It’s been two years since mass murderer, Giacomo Riondino, disappeared after killing Greta Alfieri.

Dr Claps, devastated and guilt-ridden by Greta’s death has been on a man-hunt for Riondino ever since.

Meanwhile, an American girl disappears on the 382nd step of the Cerro trail in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

No one saw her disappear. Who took her? And how?

When the US authorities contact Claps, he is certain that it must be Riordino. But, unlike Riondino’s other victims, the girl has disappeared into thin air…

Will Claps solve the puzzle, or will he lose his mind in the process, blinded by his own obsession?

MONTY MARSDEN

Image Of Author Monty MarsdenMonty is a Tuscan by birth, growing up in Milan, where he studied medicine and where he still works.

 

He began writing just for fun some 16 years ago, although he has had a passion for literature and an admiration for many authors, since he was a child. He has been writing more regularly for about the last seven years.

 

He currently live in the province of Bergamo, with his wife and four children.

Cover Image Of 'Taken' By Monty Marsden

Aria Fiction and Monty Marsden would like me to share this short extract from ‘Taken’, as my contribution to the Blog Tour. These lines are taken from Chapter One of the book … although there are also some very intriguing preface lines which I may share in a separate post!

The Alitalia Boeing 747 had begun its final descent to Hartsfield International in Atlanta a few minutes earlier.

The passenger looked out from the window at the sea of white clouds below obscuring the ground. He had left Milan Malpensa over ten hours earlier after having exchanged a final email with the United States the day before. During the long intercontinental flight he hadn’t slept for a single minute, nor eaten or drunk anything, or looked at a book or a magazine. He had sat motionless, locked inside his thoughts and waiting for the journey to end. When, with a little turbulence, the Boeing began to pass through the clouds and for about fifteen seconds everything disappeared into a thick fog, he began to feel anxious. Or rather, he began to feel the vague fear that came over him with every take off and every landing. He could see the ground beneath him now. Green fields and trees broken up by roads and tracts of houses that became increasingly clear as the plane lost altitude. The sun and the blue sky above the clouds had vanished, replaced by rain, the real intensity of which he couldn’t assess.

The vibration of the undercarriage being lowered increased his anxiety.

The plane banked gently one last time to align itself with the runway, and the passenger closed his eyes and waited for the aircraft to make contact with the ground.

He finally reopened them and breathed a sigh of relief only when the reverse thrust of the jets was already slowing the Boeing’s progress along the tarmac.

As the plane taxied slowly along before eventually coming to a halt, he adjusted his watch to local time. 15:26: two minutes before the scheduled landing time …

Not long now and he would know if the journey had actually been worth making.

*

“He’d always been one step ahead of us. Always, right up until that last damn day.”

After several days of intense cold, it was unusually mild in Milan that evening. Commissioner Sensi and dottoressa Manara, the director of the LABANOF – the Forensic Anthropology and Dentistry Laboratory – sat in a crowded bar in the navigli area, a glass of Lagavulin on the table in front of each of them.

It had been two years and two months since Giacomo Riondino had disappeared, leaving behind him the charred corpses of his accomplice and of Greta Alfieri, and this was the first time since then that Sensi had talked to anyone about the whole atrocious story.

Two years during which Sensi had never forgiven himself for letting the man escape when he thought he’d him in his grip, for not having saved Greta, and above all for not managing, during all that intense manhunt, to underst and to see what was right in front of his face and would have allowed him to stop Riondino before he’d left that trail of blood behind him.

The commissioner took a deep breath. “He always knew that sooner or later we’d catch up with him, but he had a plan, and every time we took a step forward, he’d already taken one himself.” Sensi hesitated a moment before concluding bitterly, “We’ve only got ourselves to blame. We always gave him enough time to make that step.”

“You did nearly catch him, though,” said Manara.

“Yeah…” said Sensi, lowering his eyes. “But only after he had killed eight more people in the space of a few days.” He took another sip of his whiskey before continuing. “We discovered that he had an accomplice who had been helping him – first to escape from the institution he was transferred to from the high security psychiatric hospital, then to find a safe hiding place in the city. An accomplice we’d had right in front of us from the start but hadn’t managed to pick up in time. Anyway, the long and short of it is that we discovered he was hiding Riondino and that he was holding Greta Alfieri hostage there.”

“Were you and Greta close?” asked Manara.

“Nowhere near as close as she and Claps were…” replied Sensi slowly, emphasising each word. “There’d been a very deep bond between them since the time he’d saved her life.” He took another small sip. “Claps was with me that night when we all went over there. But Riondino had already gone. It was probably only a matter of minutes, but we missed him. The house was empty and the accomplice’s car had disappeared. It was sighted in Como less than an hour later, with Riondino at the wheel and Greta lying on the back seat as though she were sleeping.”

“She was already dead …” remarked Cristina Manara sadly. “When I did the autopsy I didn’t find any trace of smoke in her lungs.”

Sensi just nodded and turned his eyes away before continuing. “The sighting wasn’t coincidental: Riondino wanted to be recognised. He planned it all out. He stopped at a petrol station and only set off again when he was certain that the manager had recognised him and seen Greta apparently sleeping on the back seat. With cars already on his tail, he took a back road that went through the hills to Switzerland. A narrow road, full of bends, and the tarmac was slippery from the rain. It was pouring down that night.” Sensi stopped for a moment to suppress the wave of emotion the memories were evidently causing. “He was carrying the corpse of the accomplice he had killed only a few hours earlier in the boot. He fastened him into the driving seat and pushed the car off a cliff, making it look like they’d gone off the road, and then he set fire to the car. After that, all he had to do was walk across the border.” Another brief pause, another deep breath. “When we arrived, we found the two carbonised bodies, and we had no reason to think that the corpse at the wheel wasn’t Riondino … We only found out thirty-six hours later, thanks to you, when you did the autopsies. By which time it was too late.” Sensi’s voice seemed no longer able to hold back his anger. “Always one step ahead of us …”

Image Of Author Monty MarsdenAlways write with passion; with your mind and with your heart. Never forget who you are writing for, but don’t write just to get your reader’s approval.

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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4 comments
  • You had me looking back at your earlier posts by this author. His writing here is quite descriptive and I feel like I’m right there with the character on the plane! (though I could never just “sit” through a long flight… that’s what books are for!)

    Of course I’d want to start with the first in the series, but this sounds good. I look forward to you sharing from the preface in the future.

    • When I first began featuring this series, bloggers and reviewers seemed to be of the opinion that the books could be read comfortably as stand alone stories, even though each episode has Sensi and Claps chasing the same protagonist.

      However, ratings and reviews for ‘Taken’, the third book in the series, seem to universally agree, that the stories should be read in sequence, in order for the reader to understand all the complexities of both the characters and storyline.

      Fortunately, I do have all three books stored away on my KIndle, so I might have to put the actual reading of the series on the back burner for a short while, especially with all the Blog Tours I have lined up!

      Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Sensi and Claps are a police commissioner and criminologist respectively, whilst our villain, Riondino is a mass murderer with a rare and disturbing psychiatric condition – What more could I ask for from a psychological thriller series. I am really looking forward to reading these books!

      I totally agree with author Monty Marsden when he says that you should never write solely to gain a reader’s approval. Obviously that is quite an important part of the process, as after all, as an author you surely want to sell as many books as possible. However I truly believe that if as an author you write a story which has been more of a chore than a labour of love, just in order to find that saleable ‘golden egg’, then surely it would show in the finished story and you would quite quickly disengage any potential audience.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out my spot on this Blog Tour, I always appreciate your comments 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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