An inspirational story of one mother’s epic fight for the return of her children and her chilling encounters with Social Services.



About the book

TAKEN tells the harrowing true story of 3 small children being removed twice from their mother whilst pregnant with her 4th and the battle she faced over a 12 month period to secure their return.

It chronicles how the family were suddenly launched into a world that involved Social Services, expert witnesses, the courts, Cafcass, psychiatrists and psychologists.  They were propelled overnight into the spotlight where allegations flew around, court dates were set, agreements were having to be signed and only supervised contact was allowed, where the children clung to their mother BEGGING to come home.

The book reveals the shocking truths about a system that can fail children in its care, through a catastrophic series of incidents, which Sue attribute’s to the authenticity of the evidence being ambiguous. In a moving recounting of events that took place, TAKEN reveals the emotional and psychological effects on one family and gives a clear account of how their lives were catapulted into a dimension where they would never be the same again.

It also raises awareness of the modern day atrocities that occur behind a veil of ‘secrecy’ in the family courts and exposes the lie that there’s no smoke without fire. It argues that in criminal law one is innocent until proved guilty, whereas in family law the opposite is true. Where there is an allegation of ‘potential emotional harm’ of the children against a parent, that person remains guilty until their innocence can be proved – something that is hard to do once the children have gone.

Who should read it?

This is a book that needs to be read not only by the public, but by professionals involved in all areas of decision making with children. This includes; those working in Social Services, in the legal system, expert witnesses, politicians and even beyond – those studying the development of the child – to fully understand the effects on children who are taken away from parents for whatever reason. Having worked in a few of England’s maximum security prisons, Sue argues from first hand experience, that the violation of separating children from parents can be a worse crime than many committed by those serving life sentences. She argues that no amount of love or compassion from another family can ever heal the trauma of a child’s separation from a loving parent.

What others are saying about TAKEN:


“An amazing book that really affected me. What is sad is that I had to remind myself that this is not a work of fiction. Sue if you are reading this I just want to tell you what an amazing, inspirational and strong woman you are.” Miss Willow (5 stars out of 5 stars.)

“Absolutely brilliant it shows you can buy almost anything. The mum is an inspiration to all who might be going through the same thing. It shows how a lot of our legal system is twisted and about money makers never mind the hurt they put people through!” Lynne Parkinson (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“Taken is the most absorbing book I have read. It is very well written in a style that captivates the reader. It is hard to put down as one wants to find out how this amazing woman kept her strength in the face of such adversity. How her husband could behave so badly and get Social Services and doctors to collude with him and allow their children to be treated so badly. For anyone who has an interest in how not to trust officialdom and to stand up for what you know is right under incredible stress, this is the book. For example how could it be right to bring a police car with blue flashing lights to the children’s home and demand they are taken away for the third time with no warning or explanation. It is hard to put this book down as one is so gripped by the story. Made more poignant because it is true. I had to read the end as I could not bear to read what was happening without knowing the ending. What fortitude the family has and I hope the damage done can be lessened by time and by their mother’s love. ‘Taken’ should be read by all who sincerely have family matters as their interest or job, be it doctors, social workers, psychologists and family courts.” C Denny (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“This is the first book I’ve read cover to cover on the same day, I just couldn’t put it down! Sue tells her heart-wrenching story in such a way that it had me in tears and as a mum I don’t think I could have been so strong in those circumstances. Such a frightening tale of false accusation and dreadful actions taken by UK authorities and it reveals how it could happen to anyone. Thank you Sue for sharing your story.” Glen (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“This book should be read by everybody. EVERYBODY!” Demra (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“Right from the very first words of this book I was riveted. I felt the shock and unbelief of the devastating situation the author found herself in when her husband unexpectedly came home early from work one day and took the children ‘for a walk’, to never return. The living nightmare incredibly only got worse for this loving mother – not DESPITE working with the authorities but largely BECAUSE of them. The story unravels descriptively and chronologically, just as Sue experienced it, with interesting and insightful personal background info given along the way. I believe this is a powerful book, not only because it’s a gripping and heart-wrenching true story, but also because it exposes huge cracks in the system that is supposed to support and protect our children. Change can come only when the truth is exposed. Amazingly, this story also showcases a conviction that there’s always HOPE, no matter how dark and desperate life can get. I highly recommend it. A. Cullen (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“Needs to be read by every budding social workers and those in power with a responsibility to change the draconian laws.” John Love (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“I have recently got your book Taken and I thought I write you to say a big thank you for sharing this huge drama of your life.  From the very first words it got me engaged in a passionate reading. In fact, the more I learn about the story, the more I astonishingly find incredible similarities between your experience and mine.  Your story gives names to the frustrations I am experiencing. It helps gives a voice back to a silenced parent and to a child who has been deprived of her father’s love when she can’t also have a clear and full understanding of what is truly happening around her. Reading your book makes me feel less alone in my never ending Don Quixote battle. Thank you again.” DAD (5 stars out of 5 stars).

“Excellent book, a real page turner and I think you have a potential bestseller on your hands.” Ian Wishart, New Zealand journalist, author and publisher and the editor of Investigate Magazine.

“Unbelievably gripping from the start.  I couldn’t put it down.  Sue writes beautifully, she draws you in from the first page and the story blew me away.” Julie Summers NZ

“Oh my goodness what a story!  It reminds me of ‘Not Without My Children’ that I read years ago and still haunts me today.” Emma Curtis U.S.A

“Gripping and harrowing from the start. This is a book that needs to be read!”Marie Gloomer NZ

“Sue is a very gifted and talented writer and grips the reader from page one.  You won’t be able to put this down!” Darren Manly U.S.A