I had never heard of Taylor Stevens or her Vanessa Michael Munroe series before, but after reading this book, Stevens has made me a fan.
The book’s blurb says it all by quoting Lee Child:
“Munroe is a sensational character and Stevens is a sensational writer.”
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.
In this high-octane thriller for fans of Lee Child, Stieg Larsson, and Robert Ludlum’s Bourne trilogy, Vanessa Michael Munroe will have to fight fast, smart and furiously to overcome a dangerous nemesis and deliver her trademark brand of justice.
This is the third in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series of thriller/suspense novels.
The beginning was slow, because I didn’t have any reason to care about the characters yet. But after the first six chapters, the plot centers on a woman named Michael who is a little bit Lisbeth Salander, a little bit Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills.
The story starts with Michael’s kidnapping. All of Michael’s allies start working together to get her back and the story finally focuses on Michael’s POV.
The suspense is ratcheted up about a hundred notches. We meet the Doll Maker, a fiendish ringmaster who heads a well-oiled human trafficking operation, and who is charging Michael with the task to deliver a so-called “package” to a wealthy buyer.
Michael must choose between two horrific options: deliver a kidnapped woman to a sadistic murderer, or not – and allow her brother to be tortured to death.
I give this book four out of five stars, and absolutely recommend it to those with the stomach to handle the subject matter.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is an affiliate link; buy your copy from my page, and I receive a commission to help pay for my hosting costs, but you don’t pay any extra.
[I originally read and reviewed this book in September 2014.]