Book Review – The Takers and Keepers by Ivan Pope

What happens to those who disappear without a trace?

This creepy debut from Ivan Pope explores the sinister underworld of human trafficking in a work of fiction that feels so real its terrifying.

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Publisher : Hookline Books (8 Mar. 2021)

Language : English

Paperback : 196 pages


Where do the disappeared go? 

The girls and women who vanish, seldom to resurface.

Allen Kimbo, a freelance reporter, believes there is a network of men who guard their “taken” and keep the silence that surrounds such deeds. 

An email lures him to Eastern Europe, to a meeting of the Takers and Keepers. 

His girlfriend, Emily, pleads with him not to go. 

In Belgrade more is revealed than he had thought possible. 

Back at home, Emily is missing.



It’s my spot on the blog tour today for The Takers and Keepers and first of all I want to thank the author, publisher and Random Things Tours for my copy of the book. I really enjoyed it and it is a pleasure to take part, share my thoughts and promote this brilliant story.

So for those of you who don’t know the first thing about this book let me tell you that it’s pretty dark, darker than I actually expected it to be.

It is all about the sinister underworld of human trafficking.

Men, women and families abducted, bought and sold and kept underground, not seeing the light of day for years and in some cases where children are actually born in these underground dungeons and have never known anything else.

This story feels so real.

The author makes it sound like it’s based on true events rather than a fictional idea and that is terrifying.

I was completely absorbed and unable to put it down.

I really enjoyed Allen’s character and found him really down to earth and easy to like. I wasn’t completely sold on any of the other characters to be quite honest but the focus wasn’t really on anyone else and I was ok with that.

Something I would have liked would be to learn more about Allen’s past as the author touches upon it but doesn’t go into great detail about the things he’s done and what he’s been through. 

At less than 200 pages this is a fast read but that is not a bad thing. In those few pages the author is able to create tension, atmosphere and genuine fear.

It is thought-provoking and certainly something that people don’t talk enough about in the media.

I rated this book 4 stars and I think all it needed to reach 5 was a little extra padding. I’d have liked to know more about Allen and I would also have liked to know more about Jennifer and what happened to her.

Everything was really fast paced which is great but I think this could have been excellent with a bit more detail.

Having said that it was a solid read and an excellent introduction to this new author for me and I would recommend this book to any fan of thriller and suspense.



Ivan Pope is a writer, artist and long-distance cyclist who lives in Brighton. 

He graduated from Goldsmiths College Fine Art BA with the YBA generation and was involved with a number of early internet developments in the UK and across the world. 

He invented the cybercafe at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and founded the world’s first web magazine, The World Wide Web Newsletter. 

He has taught at art colleges in London, Newport and Brighton. 

He is now a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction. 

He is currently undertaking a PhD in creative non-fiction at Plymouth University.

Twitter @Ivan007

Have you read this book? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s discuss! ♥


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