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Take No Names

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A riveting thriller about a fugitive in search of a quick payday in Mexico City who finds himself in the crosshairs of a dangerous international scheme Victor Li is a man without a past. To his new employer, Mark, he's just an anonymous hired hand to help with the dirty work. Together, they break into storage units that contain the possessions of the recently deported, pock A riveting thriller about a fugitive in search of a quick payday in Mexico City who finds himself in the crosshairs of a dangerous international scheme Victor Li is a man without a past. To his new employer, Mark, he's just an anonymous hired hand to help with the dirty work. Together, they break into storage units that contain the possessions of the recently deported, pocketing whatever is worth selling. Only Victor and his sister, Jules, know that he's a wanted man. Amid the backpacks and suitcases, Victor makes the find of a lifetime: a gem rare and valuable enough to change his fortunes in an instant. But selling it on the sly? Nearly impossible. Thankfully, its former owner, a woman named Song Fei, also left a book of cryptic notes--including the name of a gemstone dealer in Mexico City. When Victor and Mark cross the southern border, they quickly realize that this gem is wrapped up in a much larger scheme than they imagined. In Mexico City, shadowy international interests are jockeying for power, and they may need someone with Victor's talents--the same ones that got him in trouble in the first place. On the heels of his knockout debut Beijing Payback, Daniel Nieh delivers Take No Names, a white-knuckled and whip-smart thriller that races to an electrifying finish.


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A riveting thriller about a fugitive in search of a quick payday in Mexico City who finds himself in the crosshairs of a dangerous international scheme Victor Li is a man without a past. To his new employer, Mark, he's just an anonymous hired hand to help with the dirty work. Together, they break into storage units that contain the possessions of the recently deported, pock A riveting thriller about a fugitive in search of a quick payday in Mexico City who finds himself in the crosshairs of a dangerous international scheme Victor Li is a man without a past. To his new employer, Mark, he's just an anonymous hired hand to help with the dirty work. Together, they break into storage units that contain the possessions of the recently deported, pocketing whatever is worth selling. Only Victor and his sister, Jules, know that he's a wanted man. Amid the backpacks and suitcases, Victor makes the find of a lifetime: a gem rare and valuable enough to change his fortunes in an instant. But selling it on the sly? Nearly impossible. Thankfully, its former owner, a woman named Song Fei, also left a book of cryptic notes--including the name of a gemstone dealer in Mexico City. When Victor and Mark cross the southern border, they quickly realize that this gem is wrapped up in a much larger scheme than they imagined. In Mexico City, shadowy international interests are jockeying for power, and they may need someone with Victor's talents--the same ones that got him in trouble in the first place. On the heels of his knockout debut Beijing Payback, Daniel Nieh delivers Take No Names, a white-knuckled and whip-smart thriller that races to an electrifying finish.

30 review for Take No Names

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Burke

    Victor and Mark are two small-time criminals struggling to get by until something big hits. While breaking into a government storage container they stumble onto a once in a lifetime find— a painite, one of the world’s most sought after gems. A quick trip to Mexico to fence this treasure and they will be on easy street from here on out. Of course this is where things get problematic. Their arrival sets off all sorts of alarms and an international crisis flares up. More information would fall into Victor and Mark are two small-time criminals struggling to get by until something big hits. While breaking into a government storage container they stumble onto a once in a lifetime find— a painite, one of the world’s most sought after gems. A quick trip to Mexico to fence this treasure and they will be on easy street from here on out. Of course this is where things get problematic. Their arrival sets off all sorts of alarms and an international crisis flares up. More information would fall into the plot spoiler area, suffice it to say there are complicated but creative plot twists and the global political strategies brought up are thought provoking. Author Daniel Nieh’s previous book, “Beijing Payback” utilized a lot of the same characters we find here. Sun Jianshui is a trained assassin responsible for murdering Victor’s father. He is now married to Victor’s sister, Jules, and they both rush to Mexico to risk their lives to assist the guys. Sun seems like a fascinating character who could hold his own as the center of a book, but we never quite see him clearly or get more motivation than guilt. I never fully understood Jules' role, either, other than her simply thinking she could help her brother. I wonder if these characters would have seemed more developed with some of the first book’s back stories. “Take No Names” is a very entertaining read and, like the best thrillers, has you dialing back on your sleep in order to cross the finish line with the characters. Thank you to Ecco Press and Edelweiss for providing an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is my second book, and I'm super proud of it. After I got the contract, I studied Spanish for a year and then moved to Mexico for six months to do research. I was really going for that "joy of reading" feeling, when reading a book feels like running downhill, and you can't stop and you don't want to. I wanted to take elements from the odd-couple road story like Midnight Run or City of Thieves and combine that with an exciting heist story like Ocean's Eleven or The Lock Artist. My sister Ari This is my second book, and I'm super proud of it. After I got the contract, I studied Spanish for a year and then moved to Mexico for six months to do research. I was really going for that "joy of reading" feeling, when reading a book feels like running downhill, and you can't stop and you don't want to. I wanted to take elements from the odd-couple road story like Midnight Run or City of Thieves and combine that with an exciting heist story like Ocean's Eleven or The Lock Artist. My sister Ari, who's a game designer, helped me come up with the capers and puzzles. And I wanted to poke holes in the masculine archetypes of thriller novels. Tough guys can't actually solve everything with biceps and whiskey. Sometimes they need other skills. There's a lot in here about the tragically unjust world we live in today, in which people move through the shadows between different languages and countries, and in which the names of heroes and villains and victims and martyrs often go unspoken and unlearned. Most of all, I wanted to write something fun and exciting that authentically expresses my experience of China, the United States, and Mexico in these crazy times. And I really hope you have half as much fun reading it as I did writing it <3

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

    Daniel Nieh’s Take No Names is an action-packed, white-knuckled noir thriller. It’s Nieh’s continuing story to Beijing Payback although it easily reads as a standalone. This one is perfect for fans of fast-paced plots of corruption filled with twists, deception and a set of flawed, but memorable characters. I thought this was a fun and unique read. The plot itself was intriguing—two jaded guys who rob storage units hit the jackpot of finds only to end up tangled in a diabolical, politically char Daniel Nieh’s Take No Names is an action-packed, white-knuckled noir thriller. It’s Nieh’s continuing story to Beijing Payback although it easily reads as a standalone. This one is perfect for fans of fast-paced plots of corruption filled with twists, deception and a set of flawed, but memorable characters. I thought this was a fun and unique read. The plot itself was intriguing—two jaded guys who rob storage units hit the jackpot of finds only to end up tangled in a diabolical, politically charged plot in Mexico City. Talk about action-packed. The characters are all incredibly flawed with rather bleak outlooks on life but I was cheering for them to come out on top. There is definitely a theme of friendship and identity despite the nonchalance attitudes of Victor and Mark. While some critiqued Nieh’s portrayal of women in Beijing Payback, there are two sharp and fiercely capable women that are major players in this book. I also really enjoyed that he incorporated Chinese characters in many of the chapters. It was interesting to see the phrases followed by the English translation. There was also a good deal of Spanish with the English translation following. It made for a more immersive read. I’m a fan of noir, so I appreciated the clipped dialogue, the action (even the violence), the dark tone, the big-city setting and the ambiguous ending (hello third installment?). The plot did jump around a bit and your definitely left with unanswered questions, but overall it was a fun ride and perfect for anyone looking for a quick, adrenalin rush of a thriller. Thank you to ECCO Books for the arc of this book

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    No rating. Promising beginning and then I hit a politico wall with this one. I should have had clues when the character born in China and raised in the USA talked about his Dad with his associate slitting throats and in the same breath did a fine dis job on the USA's entire history within nearly the same paragraph. But beyond that real clunker sense of any karma, the book became more outlier obtuse of composite the longer it went on. Entering the second half. I'm done. DNF. No le Carre, and not No rating. Promising beginning and then I hit a politico wall with this one. I should have had clues when the character born in China and raised in the USA talked about his Dad with his associate slitting throats and in the same breath did a fine dis job on the USA's entire history within nearly the same paragraph. But beyond that real clunker sense of any karma, the book became more outlier obtuse of composite the longer it went on. Entering the second half. I'm done. DNF. No le Carre, and not even close to a Joseph Kanon. This was a lead from Book Page and the last 6 months that publication has truly let me down. It's altered from what it was. Woke nuts listings in particular dominate. With almost no true/accurate levels of judgment for the literary nor the common excellence of prose flow in particular beyond that prejudicial slant.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This was so much fun. At first I was worried whether I would be able to follow the story because some of the text is in various languages…but don’t let that deter you. The author does a great job of making it easy to follow. The premise reeled me in right away. I couldn’t wait to figure out the story of the MCs. I was so stressed during the beginning and end of this book. The middle gives the reader a breather while everything gets set up and comes together. I really enjoyed all of the character This was so much fun. At first I was worried whether I would be able to follow the story because some of the text is in various languages…but don’t let that deter you. The author does a great job of making it easy to follow. The premise reeled me in right away. I couldn’t wait to figure out the story of the MCs. I was so stressed during the beginning and end of this book. The middle gives the reader a breather while everything gets set up and comes together. I really enjoyed all of the characters and how the air described the action scenes. This would definitely make a really cool movie.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Johnston

    Unlike other reviewers, I really thought the first 100 pages were the most promising. The storyline was interesting and there was enough intrigue and suspense that I kept turning the pages faster and faster. I enjoyed the twists and turns and really loved the character development that made me want to figure out who Mark and Victore really were. Then I hit a wall. A great crime story turned political and I lost what the book was trying to be. Some authors can pull off crime and espionage and pol Unlike other reviewers, I really thought the first 100 pages were the most promising. The storyline was interesting and there was enough intrigue and suspense that I kept turning the pages faster and faster. I enjoyed the twists and turns and really loved the character development that made me want to figure out who Mark and Victore really were. Then I hit a wall. A great crime story turned political and I lost what the book was trying to be. Some authors can pull off crime and espionage and political thriller, but it wasn’t apparent in the beginning that this is where we were going so I found the back half of the book to be clunky and disorganized. Finishing up the crime story felt as if it got a little lazy; the author wanted to tie in his political beliefs, but let the main story go in the process and the rest felt forced. For me, the ending left me feeling disappointed that I’d invested so much in the rest of the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Morgan R

    Daniel Nieh's Take No Names is a follow up to his novel Beijing Payback but works beautifully as a standalone. This riveting, action-packed thriller follows Victor Li, a man hiding from his past, who finds himself scavenging storage containers holding the belongings of the deported. He and his crony, Mark find a painite- the world's rarest gem, along with a journal of encrypted clues that leads to a buyer in Mexico City. A rocky journey across the border only leads to more trouble for the two as Daniel Nieh's Take No Names is a follow up to his novel Beijing Payback but works beautifully as a standalone. This riveting, action-packed thriller follows Victor Li, a man hiding from his past, who finds himself scavenging storage containers holding the belongings of the deported. He and his crony, Mark find a painite- the world's rarest gem, along with a journal of encrypted clues that leads to a buyer in Mexico City. A rocky journey across the border only leads to more trouble for the two as they get wrapped up in international espionage and entrenched in a Chinese money laundering scheme on a massive scale. Short chapters, quick-witted commentary, a bit of humor and an intelligently crafted plot make this a perfect summer thriller to throw in the beach bag.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Talk about a fast paced action packed thriller!! I didn’t actually realize it was the follow up to Beijing Payback, but thankfully it works well as a standalone novel too. This was part heist story, part political thriller and full of morally gray characters and plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. I did feel like the ending was a bit too abrupt and open ended. I’m assuming this will be picked up in a third book, but I would have liked a bit more of a conclusion here. I do plan to g Talk about a fast paced action packed thriller!! I didn’t actually realize it was the follow up to Beijing Payback, but thankfully it works well as a standalone novel too. This was part heist story, part political thriller and full of morally gray characters and plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing. I did feel like the ending was a bit too abrupt and open ended. I’m assuming this will be picked up in a third book, but I would have liked a bit more of a conclusion here. I do plan to go back now and read the Beijing Payback, I think while it definitely works as a standalone, there are probably character background and political setup details I’m missing from the first novel. This would make a great beach read or pool side thriller!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Markus Hutchins

    Daniel Nieh's thriller "Take No Names" brings us back into the world of Victor Li. The twists and turns we loved from Nieh's first novel "Beijing Payback" are here again. The classic noir set in modern times is an absolute page turner. The character development and societal commentary are executed brilliantly. The descriptions of locations bring you truly into each environment. Clearly much research went into crafting such a fine narrative. I plan to reread this in the spring. Daniel Nieh's thriller "Take No Names" brings us back into the world of Victor Li. The twists and turns we loved from Nieh's first novel "Beijing Payback" are here again. The classic noir set in modern times is an absolute page turner. The character development and societal commentary are executed brilliantly. The descriptions of locations bring you truly into each environment. Clearly much research went into crafting such a fine narrative. I plan to reread this in the spring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to both Netgalley and the publisher Ecco for an advanced copy of this new thriller in the noir tradition. The genre of noir has gone through a lot of changes since the days of Black Mask and other pulp magazines and Men's mags. The stories are a lot more inclusive, not just white males doing bad things that go wrong, the stories feature different genders, different genders, even cyberpunk. Also the plots have become larger, and grander in scope not confined to a dark gritty city, but i My thanks to both Netgalley and the publisher Ecco for an advanced copy of this new thriller in the noir tradition. The genre of noir has gone through a lot of changes since the days of Black Mask and other pulp magazines and Men's mags. The stories are a lot more inclusive, not just white males doing bad things that go wrong, the stories feature different genders, different genders, even cyberpunk. Also the plots have become larger, and grander in scope not confined to a dark gritty city, but include a dark gritty world. What has not changed is the basic idea of the noir; if the lead character just stopped trying to avoid one problem, than all the other problems wouldn't happen, and nine times out of ten there might be a lived happily ever after ending, not the usual The END a reader or film noir watcher might see. Victor Li, the main character in Take No Names, authored by Daniel Nieh, avoids one problem by digging a hole with both hands and feet making enemies in three countries, and maybe more. Victor Li is fleeing his past, working as a dishwasher in Seattle without legal id, or a future. A workout buddy offers him a job in his security firm, that is barely breaking even, but has its benefits. One of these is allows the two to break into storage units containing the property of people recently deported, which they rifle for cash and profit. Inside one unit Victor finds a gemstone that could make their fortune, but to sell it means a trip to Mexico. So they set off finding brand new troubles, new enemies and fresh new consequences for Victor and his cohort. The story is good with characters that are very distinctive and different. No one comes out well in this book, not the company men, our two leads nor any of the people they meet on the way. This is the second book about the exploits of Victor, and his past was explained well, with just enough mystery to keep things moving, The flashbacks and very open ending for the story might bother some readers, but to me it was very noir and fed into the story well. Also the way that language was processed by Victor who is multilingual, I thought was novel, and something you don't see much in these kind of books. I enjoyed the story quite a bit, and the ending like I said was a little not as tied up in a bow as some readers might like, but I thought it worked well. Recommended for fans of Jim Thompson or some of the darker Lawrence Bloch novels. I look forward to more books by Daniel Nieh.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shangread-La

    Victor Li keeps a low profile while working for Mark, who asks no questions about his past. The partners in crime discover the promise of a big payday with a gem found on the job that is valuable enough to sustain him while he is on the run. The two men leave for Mexico City to sell the stone and find themselves in an international business situation with political consequences that are out of their depth. This follow-up to Beijing Payback worked for me as a stand-alone novel. Victor is a confli Victor Li keeps a low profile while working for Mark, who asks no questions about his past. The partners in crime discover the promise of a big payday with a gem found on the job that is valuable enough to sustain him while he is on the run. The two men leave for Mexico City to sell the stone and find themselves in an international business situation with political consequences that are out of their depth. This follow-up to Beijing Payback worked for me as a stand-alone novel. Victor is a conflicted character who does what he needs to survive, hoping to one day clear his name. The story is action-packed from start to finish, with enough international intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat. Nieh masterfully brings Mexico City alive to transport you right into the scene of the mission Victor and Mark must complete to cash in their prize. The tension is palpable as the plan goes into motion, and you’ll keep turning the pages to see if success is in the cards. If you like thrillers with international sabotage, pick this one up. The writing is sharp, the story is fast-paced, and you’ll enjoy the wild ride with unpredictable plot twists.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stacy40pages

    Take No Names by Daniel Nieh. Thanks to @eccopress for the gifted Arc ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Victor Li lives in anonymity. No one knows he’s a wanted man besides him and his sister. When he finds a rare gem, he finds himself deep in an international scheme. This was an action packed page turner but it had a lot of international and political intrigue that was a little above my interest level. It did go by super fast and will make a good summer beach read. If you like political intrigue you’ll like it. I apprecia Take No Names by Daniel Nieh. Thanks to @eccopress for the gifted Arc ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Victor Li lives in anonymity. No one knows he’s a wanted man besides him and his sister. When he finds a rare gem, he finds himself deep in an international scheme. This was an action packed page turner but it had a lot of international and political intrigue that was a little above my interest level. It did go by super fast and will make a good summer beach read. If you like political intrigue you’ll like it. I appreciated the diversity and the clues in Chinese. “As I lost myself in the excavation of other people’s tragedies, an unfamiliar feeling washed over me. I had trouble naming it at first. Too warm for pity. Too far removed for compassion. Eventually I made up a word for it: “intonymity”. The combination of intimacy and anonymity.” Take No Names comes out 7/5.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Benedict

    This is the first book I have read from Daniel Nieh and I am sad that there is currently one other of his I can read. I loved the characters in this novel. I felt like they were written well and you knew their intentions. They acted and behaved cohesively as if they were someone you knew. The plot was enthralling and unravels right before your eyes. I never found myself assuming I knew what was going to happen next. I would find myself skipping over lines at times because I wish I could read fast This is the first book I have read from Daniel Nieh and I am sad that there is currently one other of his I can read. I loved the characters in this novel. I felt like they were written well and you knew their intentions. They acted and behaved cohesively as if they were someone you knew. The plot was enthralling and unravels right before your eyes. I never found myself assuming I knew what was going to happen next. I would find myself skipping over lines at times because I wish I could read faster because I needed to know where they were taking me. There were no wasted words or fillers that I commonly feel in most novels. I found myself on the edge of my seat while laughing at certain things that tickled me pink. I yearn to read more from Daniel Nieh while crying for an encore. Fingers crossed my impatient self can handle the time between now and their next release. If you have any concerns over getting confused with multiple languages being in the novel, don't be. It is beautiful, easy to follow, and adds depth and dimension to the story. Explicit Language & violence warning.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joann 'bartunek' prashek

    I received this book from Goodreads in the last two weeks and started reading with an open mind, no preconceived opinion. I struggled with the first 100 pages and was very tempted to give up, but I persevered thinking it had to get better. Picked it up the next day and another 100 pages, totally disappointed. I knew I had to finish it if I was going to give my honest review. Honestly, in my opinion it didn't deserve even a one. Confusing, choppy and no real ending. Kudos to the author for writin I received this book from Goodreads in the last two weeks and started reading with an open mind, no preconceived opinion. I struggled with the first 100 pages and was very tempted to give up, but I persevered thinking it had to get better. Picked it up the next day and another 100 pages, totally disappointed. I knew I had to finish it if I was going to give my honest review. Honestly, in my opinion it didn't deserve even a one. Confusing, choppy and no real ending. Kudos to the author for writing the story, unfortunately it wasn't for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shane Boland

    Take No Names is a gripping, smart, thoughtful, and refreshing perspective on the thriller. It does a wonderful job of building in tempo, drawing us into a well wrought world and connecting us with the lives of thoughtful and multi-dimensional characters, and then stepping on the gas for constantly evolving and fast paced ride. The writing style of Daniel draws you in immediately, layers in language in interesting and unexpected ways, and leaves you with a book you won't be able to put down. If Take No Names is a gripping, smart, thoughtful, and refreshing perspective on the thriller. It does a wonderful job of building in tempo, drawing us into a well wrought world and connecting us with the lives of thoughtful and multi-dimensional characters, and then stepping on the gas for constantly evolving and fast paced ride. The writing style of Daniel draws you in immediately, layers in language in interesting and unexpected ways, and leaves you with a book you won't be able to put down. If you're looking for a book filled with a captivating environments, engaging characters and a deeply immersive plot you're going to love Take No Names.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Kaplan

    Enthralling and exciting - while also taking care to bring you through political and social issues of China, Mexico and the US. I loved the depth of characters and the pace of the plot.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sinclair Adams

    Check out my review on The Soapberry Review! https://soapberryreview.com/?p=1257 Check out my review on The Soapberry Review! https://soapberryreview.com/?p=1257

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Kaye

    Take No Names by Daniel Nieh is the second adventure of Victor Li. The novel is a follow-up on Victor's previous experiences in Beijing, but it can definitely be read as a stand alone story. I like that there was obvious character development in this novel and it wasn't just a repetitive action sequence that sometimes happens. All of the action and choices by the characters were thought out and logical for them to be making. The multilingual aspect was also really cool to see and reading of Vict Take No Names by Daniel Nieh is the second adventure of Victor Li. The novel is a follow-up on Victor's previous experiences in Beijing, but it can definitely be read as a stand alone story. I like that there was obvious character development in this novel and it wasn't just a repetitive action sequence that sometimes happens. All of the action and choices by the characters were thought out and logical for them to be making. The multilingual aspect was also really cool to see and reading of Victor's processing the conversations was an enjoyable addition. I would definitely suggest this one to anyone who enjoys international thrillers. I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cathyjost

    Take No Names is the continuing story of Daniel Nieh’s Beijing Payback. I did not read Beijing Payback but found Take No Names easily stood on its on. It is an action packed book with some interesting twists and turns. A great read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    I really enjoyed Beijing Payback, the prequel to this one, although it was more of a straightforward revenge/action novel. This one shifts gears, shifting from a crime novel to an espionage one (or an espionage-adjacent one) about halfway through, but that helps make it stronger. Following the events of the last book, Victor is now hiding in the Pacific Northwest, breaking into lockers of goods confiscated by the INS with his boss, Mark. It’s a lucrative gig, but things go south when the corrupt I really enjoyed Beijing Payback, the prequel to this one, although it was more of a straightforward revenge/action novel. This one shifts gears, shifting from a crime novel to an espionage one (or an espionage-adjacent one) about halfway through, but that helps make it stronger. Following the events of the last book, Victor is now hiding in the Pacific Northwest, breaking into lockers of goods confiscated by the INS with his boss, Mark. It’s a lucrative gig, but things go south when the corrupt owner of the yard catches on, and while they escape, they know they need to leave town. Fortunately, Victor found a hidden painite gem (one of the rarest in the world) as well as clues about it that lead the two to run to Mexico. Once in Mexico, they get caught up in a plot involving a Chinese company building a railroad, and the political tensions created by both China and the US manipulating our southern neighbor pull them (as well as a few other characters from the first novel) into a heist that, like all good heists, goes horribly awry. Nieh writes with more confidence in his second novel, delivering a story that’s fast-paced, political. Victor’s a great protagonist, note least because while he’s often smart and competent, he’s rarely the smartest in the room, making his POV the ideal one to obscure the motivations of other characters. The action is fantastic, but it’s the character work that really drives the book forward. Nieh leaves the novel open-ended, which works well, but may frustrate the sort of reader who tends to populate Goodreads.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tessah

    You won’t want to put this down. Take No Names masterfully balances humor, a thrilling plot, and true to life characters who offer deeply relevant insights into to the world we live in today. It’s witty, emotional, and fast-paced — an adventure tale with unforgettable backdrops and people who pop off the page. Can’t wait to see it as a movie (fingers crossed).

  22. 5 out of 5

    BlondeBookReview

    This was an action packed and gritty thriller! Following the events of “Beijing Payback”, Victor Li is now a wanted man still coming to terms with his fathers death and the truths it revealed. While I didn’t read the first novel, I found there was enough backstory in this one that it wasn’t necessary. When Victor and his new employer of questionable background, Mark, stumble upon an illegal gem inside one of the storage containers their robbing, it leads them to Mexico City where they get involve This was an action packed and gritty thriller! Following the events of “Beijing Payback”, Victor Li is now a wanted man still coming to terms with his fathers death and the truths it revealed. While I didn’t read the first novel, I found there was enough backstory in this one that it wasn’t necessary. When Victor and his new employer of questionable background, Mark, stumble upon an illegal gem inside one of the storage containers their robbing, it leads them to Mexico City where they get involved in the geopolitical drama between China, Mexico and the United States. I was hooked trying to figure out how everything would play out in this one! The action, the political intrigue and a mix of English, Mandarin and Spanish languages made this a unique combo of plot points. I don’t want to give too much of away, but I could totally see this being made into an action movie. There’s so many great twists and turns that had me guessing the entire time. The ending left this open for a third, which I would definitely pick up! Thank you to Bibliolifestyle, Ecco Books and Daniel Nieh for my advanced copy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joan Waite

    I won my copy of Take No Names by Daniel Nieh from a Goodreads giveaway. The book is filled with action and adventure, with characters that have different backgrounds. Victor Li and Mark have gotten caught stealing from a storage unit and decide to flee to Mexico to sell a gem that they found. From there chaos ensues that they then have to correct. I now have to read the prequel. This book has an open ending. Does that mean a sequel? I would definitely read it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matt.

    Wow! this book from start to finish was something else. I really love Victor Li character. If you're looking for an exciting book that will be impossible to put down make sure to get a copy of Take No Names when it comes out July 5th, 2022. Thank you NetGalley and Ecco for this advanced copy. Wow! this book from start to finish was something else. I really love Victor Li character. If you're looking for an exciting book that will be impossible to put down make sure to get a copy of Take No Names when it comes out July 5th, 2022. Thank you NetGalley and Ecco for this advanced copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Just got this in the mail from Goodreads giveaway. Started it right away and couldn’t put it down.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wade

    Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @eccobooks for sending me an early copy of Take No Names. I had a hard time with this one. The premise seemed really good and the synopsis really hooked me. I loved the storyline and the beginning went by pretty fast. Honestly, it lost me when it turned political. I think it was trying to do too much. It kind of surprised me how quickly things changed course. TL, DR: The beginning was great but then the ending ruined it for me. Victor Li is a man without a past. Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @eccobooks for sending me an early copy of Take No Names. I had a hard time with this one. The premise seemed really good and the synopsis really hooked me. I loved the storyline and the beginning went by pretty fast. Honestly, it lost me when it turned political. I think it was trying to do too much. It kind of surprised me how quickly things changed course. TL, DR: The beginning was great but then the ending ruined it for me. Victor Li is a man without a past. To his new employer, Mark, he’s just an anonymous hired hand to help with the dirty work. Together, they break into storage units that contain the possessions of the recently deported, pocketing whatever is worth selling. Only Victor and his sister, Jules, know that he’s a wanted man. Amid the backpacks and suitcases, Victor makes the find of a lifetime: a gem rare and valuable enough to change his fortunes in an instant. But selling it on the sly? Nearly impossible. Thankfully, its former owner, a woman named Song Fei, also left a book of cryptic notes—including the name of a gemstone dealer in Mexico City. When Victor and Mark cross the southern border, they quickly realize that this gem is wrapped up in a much larger scheme than they imagined. In Mexico City, shadowy international interests are jockeying for power, and they may need someone with Victor’s talents—the same ones that got him in trouble in the first place. On the heels of his knockout debut Beijing Payback, Daniel Nieh delivers Take No Names, a white-knuckled and whip-smart thriller that races to an electrifying finish.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Frida Dillenbeck

    This book was a challenge to finish. I love espionage thrillers so I expected this to be a ‘can’t put down’ read. The two main characters are Victor and Mark who are small time thieves raiding the airport lost and found storage containers filled with luggage of deported people. Victor opens luggage from a Chinese woman and finds an interesting stone along with a diary that intrigues him. Seems the stone is worth some money so he and Mark make their way to Mexico to find a buyer. While making a d This book was a challenge to finish. I love espionage thrillers so I expected this to be a ‘can’t put down’ read. The two main characters are Victor and Mark who are small time thieves raiding the airport lost and found storage containers filled with luggage of deported people. Victor opens luggage from a Chinese woman and finds an interesting stone along with a diary that intrigues him. Seems the stone is worth some money so he and Mark make their way to Mexico to find a buyer. While making a deal to sell the stone, they are sucked into an international scheme concocted by US politician and US mercenary company to start a conflict in Mexico in which USA and China become engaged in warfare which means big money to USA military manufacturing companies and mercenary companies. The international espionage story line is great but the small time criminals Victor and Mark are not believable as international operatives. After page 170ish, the story finally started moving quickly with lots of action that made some sense but then fell short with no real resolution to the entire story. I so wanted to like this book because parts were interesting such as Sun, a Chinese cleaner/hitman that wants to help Victor due to family history. The sister Jules being in the book did not make sense to me at all and some of her dialogue came off as corny. A disappointing read but I’m hopeful this author continues writing and growing in his craft as parts of this story were interesting such as the international plot and characters Sun, Pearce and Arturo.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Take No Names, Daniel Nieh, I really enjoyed this fast paced thriller that starts with Victor on the run and ends with international war games. The characters are interesting and distinctive, and I don’t think the author wants us to like any of them. I did! They’re real humans and I especially liked the tortured sibling relationship. It’s nice to have a break from the usual romance as a subplot. I loved all the linguistic intrigue and appreciated the lessons learned. The twists and turns and the Take No Names, Daniel Nieh, I really enjoyed this fast paced thriller that starts with Victor on the run and ends with international war games. The characters are interesting and distinctive, and I don’t think the author wants us to like any of them. I did! They’re real humans and I especially liked the tortured sibling relationship. It’s nice to have a break from the usual romance as a subplot. I loved all the linguistic intrigue and appreciated the lessons learned. The twists and turns and the political corruption kept me reading obsessively to the end. The ending is wonderful, and I expect book three soon! This is an author who can write action and I can see the movie in my head, especially the helicopter scenes. When I realized this author had written a prequel to this book, I almost stopped to go back and read it. The main issue I had with this book was how much I wasn’t really understanding based on the references to why Victor was on the run. Sun seemed like a half-baked character based on what I knew from this book, and I couldn’t really understand his motivations or relationship with Jules. I persisted because I was intrigued and wanted to see how this story ended but I would recommend a reading of Beijing Payback: A Novel. I plan to do so now but the story is a bit ruined for me. Thanks to Net Galley and Ecco for the advance read. I might come back and read again after Beijing Payback.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Victor Li is described as a man without a past - but he's a man with a murky past, hidden to everyone except his sister.  His new employer Mark has a security business, though his real work is breaking into storage units of items confiscated by ICE and reselling anything of value.  Amongst the usual cash, jewelry and mementos, Victor finds a rare gem which is as valuable as it is unsellable due to political conflicts.  He and Mark cross the border on the advice of the journal accompanying the ge Victor Li is described as a man without a past - but he's a man with a murky past, hidden to everyone except his sister.  His new employer Mark has a security business, though his real work is breaking into storage units of items confiscated by ICE and reselling anything of value.  Amongst the usual cash, jewelry and mementos, Victor finds a rare gem which is as valuable as it is unsellable due to political conflicts.  He and Mark cross the border on the advice of the journal accompanying the gem to attempt to sell it and find themselves embroiled in an international scheme where no one is telling the truth. This is actually the second book by the author continuing the story of Victor Li but could easily be read as a stand-alone novel.  The back cover description of the book really intrigued me but unfortunately didn't necessarily meet the expectation I had set.  Though it was interesting, I would have liked a little more heist and a little less politics.  It got a little hard to follow at some points and in the end I kind of just wanted it to all tie together and finish up. Though this was a gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own and the fact that it was free does not change my opinion.  Thank you to the author, publisher and Goodreads for this giveaway.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Ortiz

    Thank you, partner @bibliolifestyle @eccobooks    This action packed political thriller follows Victor Li who is a fugitive on the run trying to escape his past indiscretions - those events take place in the author's first book with this character. His action packed adventure leds him to Mexico where he must utilize his various skills to prevent an international war. I enjoyed the author's incorporation of a character fluent in various languages (English, Spanish, and Chinese/Mandarian) and inclu Thank you, partner @bibliolifestyle @eccobooks    This action packed political thriller follows Victor Li who is a fugitive on the run trying to escape his past indiscretions - those events take place in the author's first book with this character. His action packed adventure leds him to Mexico where he must utilize his various skills to prevent an international war. I enjoyed the author's incorporation of a character fluent in various languages (English, Spanish, and Chinese/Mandarian) and inclusions of those languages throughout the story. Although I did not read the author's first book that goes along with this story, I was still able to follow along just fine. I'm not a fan of vague open endings so that wasn't my favorite aspect of this story but still enjoyable.

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