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The Doll: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel Hardcover – June 4, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There’s not much that can make heavily armed “information specialist” Vanessa ­“Michael” Munroe do something she doesn’t want to do. But kidnapping and torturing one of her inner circle may be one of them. When a human trafficker known as the Dollmaker needs a high-profile doll (i.e., kidnapped young woman) delivered to a client, he settles an old score by forcing Michael to choose between the girl and her old friend. To save her friend’s life, Michael has two days to get the doll from Croatia to the client in Italy. She must arrive unharmed—no bruises, no drugs. Emotionally and physically scarred by her own past with a man who wanted to own and control her, Michael has taken justice into her own hands more than once and has proven herself capable of anything. Following The Informationist (2011) and The Innocent (2011), Stevens’ third Munroe book is another international action-adventure with a Bourne-like avenging angel at the reins. --Karen Keefe


“I read The Doll in one frenzied, caffeine-fueled sitting, then re-read it slowly and luxuriantly, just for the sheer pleasure of it. Out of everything I’ve read ever, if I had to pick a fictional character to have dinner with, Michael Munroe would certainly make my Top 5. . . Stevens excels at depicting pulse-pounding danger, and her prose and plotting are spectacular, especially given her cult background. She was denied all but a sixth-grade education, but her writing places her heads above most authors working in the thriller genre. Only Dan Brown and Lee Child come close; not even the lauded Larsson could turn a phrase or twist a plotline like Stevens can. Really, my only complaint is that I’d like her to please write faster.” —Dallas Morning News
"Munroe is a sensational character and Stevens is a sensational writer, and together they put The Doll high on my books-of-the-year list." —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
“If you are a fan of Jack Reacher, Lisbeth Salander, or Nina Zero, you need to check out Vanessa Michael Munroe!” —BookPage

“If you can stand the heat, Stevens’ third thriller is a sizzler.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“If Lisbeth Salander…had special-ops training and a knack for languages, she'd be Vanessa Michael Munroe… [A] guilty-pleasure thrill ride.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“This New York Times Bestselling author is back...with a truly spellbinding story. . . Readers have finally found a ‘Bond girl’ that is actually Bond, himself. Vanessa is a heroine that will face the worst facets of humanity and will fight to the finish to save a soul from following in her blood-soaked footsteps.” —Suspense Magazine

“Now for some fun. If you are a thriller buff, and especially if you loved Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo you won’t want to miss Taylor Stevens newest novel The Doll….Her new novel takes readers on a cat-and-mouse trip through Central Europe as Vanessa tries to outrun a villain. And, let’s say, a villain you will never forget. Scary as hell!” —Hudson Valley News

“What a great gripping novel with a provocative heroine. Taylor Stevens has done it again. This is her third novel and it, too, should be an award winner.” —I Love A Mystery

“If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, The Doll and the two previous Vanessa Michale Munroe novels are pretty hard to beat.” —Huntington News
"Munroe, skilled at strategy, tactics, and languages, is a powerful and dangerous figure whose violent aspect is reminiscent of James Bond." —Criminal Elements

“Taylor Stevens treads where the faint-hearted dare not go: the land of violence, greed and opportunism, a vast underbelly of worldwide criminal enterprise—in this case human trafficking… From one frantic scene to another, Stevens creates unbearable tension. …Stevens uses her protagonist's ability to morph from female to male, her dexterity and her wits, to establish Michael as a viable heroine. She moves confidently through a man's world with impunity, but only her humanity stands between Michael and the monster she might become…Couched in a non-stop thriller, this larger-than-life revenge heroine never disappoints.” —

“Prolific linguist and exquisitely honed killer Munroe is no less effective here for still suffering from past trauma…Stevens’s third series outing is another brisk, adrenaline-fueled adventure with a trail of bodies and a damaged protagonist who may live to kill another day.” —Library Journal
“Stevens’ third Munroe book is another international action-adventure with a Bourne-like avenging angel at the reins.” —Booklist

Lean and mean thriller featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe, an "informationist" with a scary dark streak… This book is strongly influenced by the existential bare-bones approach of Lee Child's Reacher books, and its brilliant but damaged heroine, the estranged daughter of missionaries, owes much to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But Stevens stamps the novel with her own bleak, punishing, bullet-flying outlook… Out of that gloomy intensity comes edgy suspense. In Stevens' powerfully contained follow-up to The Innocent, there is no release for the tormented heroine, only license to live another day.” —Kirkus

“Good and bad deeds alike have a high price, as dramatically shown in Stevens’s harrowing third Vanessa Michael Munroe novel…Munroe remains as compelling as ever: violent yet protective of innocence, imprisoned by not only her past but also the choices she has made in response to it, and painfully conscious of her closeness to sanity’s edge.” —Publishers Weekly


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Product Details

  • Series: Vanessa Michael Munroe
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307888789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307888785
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TAYLOR STEVENS is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Vanessa Michael Munroe series. Published in over twenty languages and optioned for film by James Cameron's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, the books are international boots-on-the-ground thrillers featuring a mercenary information hunter in a non-testosterone mix of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher.

Stevens came to writing fiction late. Born into an apocalyptic cult, separated from her family at age twelve and denied an education beyond sixth grade, she lived on three continents and in a dozen countries before she turned fourteen. In place of schooling, the majority of her adolescence was spent begging on city streets at the behest of cult leaders, or as a worker bee child, caring for the many younger commune children, washing laundry and cooking meals for hundreds at a time. In her twenties, Stevens broke free in order to follow hope and a vague idea of what possibilities lay beyond.

In addition to writing novels, Stevens shares extensively about the mechanics of storytelling, writing, overcoming adversity, and the details of her journey into publishing at - she welcomes you to join her.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nitty's Mom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Doll, third installment in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series, will not let you down. After a peaceful respite following her adventure in Africa, Michael is kidnapped off the streets of Dallas, witnessed by her lover, Bradford. Meanwhile, Logan, Michael's,oldest and closest friend, is also kidnapped, beaten severely, and held hostage in order to force Michael into making a delivery for the Doll Maker, head of an international women smuggling ring. The Doll Maker proves to be one of the series vilest sociopathic characters.

As with all Taylor Stevens' three novels locale plays an important role in the novel, and The Doll takes the reader on a breakneck thrill ride through Albania, Slovenia, Italy, Monaco and France. Michael is chosen for her unparalleled skill set in getting the job done, but in this novel, it is against her will and Michael is not one to make enemies with. She is a trained killer with a very dark past, lighting fast physicality and brains. Perhaps, the Doll Maker has chosen the wrong messenger?

This was a 330 page very satisfying, one day read. Taylor Stevens' dialogue is so realistic and her third person narrative, so colorfully written making the reading of The Doll very smooth and easy. This is a standalone novel, with its own complete and interesting plot, set in a fascinating part of the world, however it is linked to the two past novels, The Informationist and The Innocent. If you have read the other two, it will only add to your enjoyment of The Doll, as Michael's past is so relevant to her mental state and her unique abilities with weapons particularly knives.

I highly recommend this latest installment and can't wait for Michael's return with her singular brand of mayhem.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JustMelissa VINE VOICE on July 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read all three of the books in the Michael Monroe series and The Doll is my least favorite. The Informationist (book 1) skillfully introduced us to Michael and her unusual skills and ferocious personality. The Innocent (book 2) added texture and humanity by exposing Michael's background, giving us insight into the forces that shaped her in her youth. In contrast, I found The Doll to be a reversion to an earlier Michael - all fight, no heart. It serves mostly as a placeholder instead of driving the series forward.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, in-your-face, action packed thriller, The Doll delivers. If you are interested in Michael's character development, you might have to wait until the next book. If you are new to the series, don't start with this one. If you've read the rest, I'd still recommend The Doll, with the caveats above.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have read all three Vanessa Michael Monroe series novel by Taylor Stevens. Like "The Informationist" and "The Innocent," "The Doll" is an intriguing, action-packed thriller that is hard to put down.

Taylor created brilliant, brilliant, master of disguise, in-your and in-your-face fierce killing machine Vanessa Michael Monroe as the flawed heroine. She is a hyperpolyglot-- fluent in 22 languages--and has the ability to quickly pick up new ones. Trained by the best, knives are her weapons of choice, but she is an equally skilled hand-to-hand assassin with nearly uncontrollable rage and lust for the blood of predators.

Her friends Logan and Miles introduced and developed in the other two books in this series return with her as members of the Captone Consulting firm where they use their special combat skills to resolve clients' unique dilemmas.

In this compelling tale, Vanessa and her long time friend and co-worker, Logan are kidnapped and held in different locations by a rich and powerful sociopath involved in human trafficking. "The Doll Maker" threatens to kill Logan, forcing her to control and deliver a kidnapped movie star bought by a wealthy perverted client overseas for his use as a sex slave.

Taylor Stevens understands how to pace and bring the elements of a captivating story together leaving the reader in haunting awe wondering where the time went while engrossed in this mesmerizing, twisting, turning, action-packed thriller.

This book was another exceptionally well-written, imaginative tale that I will not soon, forget.

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Blaine VINE VOICE on May 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the third novel in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series. I have read only "The Innocent," which I loved. I felt that the main character, Michael as she is called, was a superwoman in "The Innocent," but in "The Doll" she is somewhat lacking. Her physical and mental strength is much less in this latest novel.

The villain in "The Doll" is "The Dollmaker" along with his goons, who kidnap girls who are either movie stars or just extraordinarily beautiful. These girls are procured at the behest of "The Dollmaker's" wealthy clients (think Donald Trump), who pay him to get a young woman to their exact specifications.

Michael is also kidnapped, but for a different reason. She is to escort "Neeva", a rock star wanted by one of the Dollmaker's customers, to his location so she can be made into his sex slave. Michael is coerced into doing this because the Dollmaker has threatened her loved ones with death. Neeva does not go without a fight.

Meanwhile, Michael's love interest, Bradford, is trying to rescue her brother, who has also been kidnapped in the attempt to coerce Michael. Bradford succeeds, but at great cost.

This book has many twists and turns, and it keeps the reader interested. However, it is a hard book to read because it is so dark. It portrays the worst side of human nature and the only redemption is survival. (Not that everyone survives.)

I did like this book, but not as much as "The Innocent." Michael's personality was toned down so much that she seemed almost like a different person. The ending is also weird. Sometimes, even in a thriller, I want the good guys in a book to conquer the bad guys and live happily ever after. This is not that book.
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