Tuesday, June 18, 2013

CBR5 #8 The Doll by Taylor Stevens

Haunted by a life of violence and as proficient with languages as she is with knives, Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and hunter, has built her life on a reputation for getting things done—dangerous and often not-quite-legal things. Born to missionary parents in lawless Africa, taken under the tutelage of gunrunners, and tortured by one of the jungle’s most brutal men, Munroe was forced to do whatever it took to stay alive.  The ability to survive, fight, adapt, and blend has since taken her across the globe on behalf of corporations, heads of state, and the few private clients who can afford her unique brand of expertise, and these abilities have made her enemies.  On a busy Dallas street, Munroe is kidnapped by an unseen opponent and thrust into an underground world where women and girls are merchandise and a shadowy figure known as The Doll Maker controls her every move. While trusted friends race to unravel where she is and why she was taken, everything pivots on one simple choice: Munroe must use her unique set of skills to deliver a high-profile young woman into the same nightmare that she once endured, or condemn to torture and certain death the one person she loves above all else. Driven by the violence that has made her what she is, cut off from help, and with attempts to escape predicted and prevented, Munroe will hunt for openings, for solutions, and a way to strike back at a man who holds all the cards. Because only one thing is certain: she cannot save everyone. 
read as a e-ARC via NetGalley

This book is the third in Taylor Stevens' Munroe character series.  I've been a huge fan of Stevens since I heard about her first book, The Informationist, back in 2011.  Her second book, The Innocent, continued to impress me and this third book did not let me down as well.

The character Vanessa Michael Munroe has been described as a female Michael Borne and Stevens continues to demonstrate that likeness in each of her books.  In the first book, the reader is intrigued by Munroe's past.  In the second book, the reader learns more about the decisions she had to make in order to survive let alone help others.  In this third book, the reader continues to see how past decisions have hurt and helped Munroe in her life. This third book also allows the reader to see how the few people Munroe allowed into her life are impacted when she is in danger.

Stevens continues to put the reader directly in the action as well as within the characters' minds. At the same time she exposes a real-world problem and situation in a creative way.  If you are looking for a good set of books for your beach reads this summer, I recommend picking up these 3 books from Taylor Stevens.

Check out this recent article where Stevens shared instances of real-life women who disguised themselves as men similar to the Munroe character.

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