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The Informationist: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel (Vanessa Michael Munroe Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Taylor Stevens
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (373 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.01 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Governments pay her.
Criminals fear her.
Nobody sees her coming.

Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information. After escaping a traumatic childhood in lawless central Africa, she is now sought after by corporations, heads of state, and private clients who can afford her unique brand of expertise.
When a Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who has vanished in Africa, Munroe finds herself back in the darklands she once knew so well, fighting mysterious forces determined to keep the fate of the missing girl a secret. If she has any hope of getting out of the jungle alive, Munroe must finally face up to the demons of the past she’s tried for so long to forget.

Now with an excerpt from the latest Vanessa Michael Monroe novel, The Catch



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Stevens's blazingly brilliant debut introduces a great new action heroine, Vanessa Michael Munroe, who doesn't have to kick over a hornet's nest to get attention, though her feral, take-no-prisoners attitude reflects the fire of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. Nine years have passed since Munroe, the daughter of American missionaries, escaped Cameroon at age 15 after a violent incident. She's forged a new life in Texas as an "informationist," a person who specializes in gathering information about developing countries for corporations. Munroe's best friend, marketing consultant Kate Breeden, refers her to Miles Bradford, a high-stakes security pro, who believes she's the perfect choice to help Houston oilman Richard Burbank find his adopted daughter, Emily, who vanished four years earlier at age 18 while vacationing in west central Africa. Munroe returns to Africa, where she reconnects with her ex-boyfriend, Francisco Beyard, a sexy drug- and gun-running businessman, who assists in the dangerous search for Emily. Thriller fans will eagerly await the sequel to this high-octane page-turner. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This intriguing novel�s first chapters summon memories of the sort of cases Robert Parker�s Spenser had a habit of taking. A gazillionaire�s daughter vanished in Africa years ago. The gazillionaire has paid fortunes to PIs with no returns, hence his interest in �information specialist� Vanessa Munroe, a gumshoe for the twenty-first century. She can�t resist the mystery or the paycheck, and the first third here is a riveting procedural about how an informationist does business. Then she�s kidnapped and held captive on a boat in Equatorial Guinea, and suddenly we�re in an adventure tale. Vanessa spends another chunk of the narrative wondering whether she�ll survive and will this make sense. So do we, and yes to both questions. The maneuvers at the end are dazzling, worthy of patience with the puzzling middle, and a tad reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes� matter of the Copper Beeches. Monroe is a model of an emerging action heroine: like Stieg Larsson�s Lisbeth Salander, not a guy in a girl suit but not one to whimper in the corner, either. --Don Crinklaw

Product Details

  • File Size: 1619 KB
  • Print Length: 327 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (March 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8PWS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
133 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite action hero February 16, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Vanessa Michael Munroe is a dangerous loner who bears emotional and physical scars, reminiscent of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. Like Salander, Munroe is adept at acquiring information. While Salander relies upon her skills as a computer hacker, Munroe infiltrates cultures, sometimes posing as a man, working in developing countries for private businesses and organizations like the IMF. Despite her desperate need for down time and the fact that it really isn't her line of work, she accepts an assignment to locate a wealthy businessman's daughter who was last seen in Namibia four years earlier. The businessman insists that Munroe work with Miles Bradford, a mercenary whose job is to keep her safe. The search takes Munroe to Central Africa, where she has some history that she would prefer to remain buried. Yet she remains a product of her inescapable past: fierce and determined, but tormented by the preaching voices that keep her awake at night. Munroe travels to some nasty places and encounters even nastier people who would prefer that the circumstances of the young woman's disappearance remain a mystery. She also meets up with the life she left behind, including a close friend: a gunrunner from whom she walked away nine years earlier.

If the gunrunner brings to mind Humphrey Bogart, Munroe would have to be a warped composite of Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and all three Charlie's Angels. She's a great character: an intuitive, intelligent action hero who speaks multiple languages, practices martial arts, and is handy with a knife; a haunted nomad with a horrific past whose understandable ferocity is barely restrained (except when it's not).
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147 of 162 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lost me about 2/3 of the way in March 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book at first, and the problems I had might not bother other readers at all. I found the setting and characters compelling for the first half. But it slows down 2/3 of the way through, and it was at that point when the writing finally got to me. To be honest, I don't often judge thrillers based on the writing itself. I'm not looking for flowery prose or beautiful descriptions. I just want to know what's happening and who the characters are. But there were parts of the book where the writing was just wrong. Not clunky, or awkward, but just nonsensical. Still, even that is usually okay in a thriller. You can get a sense of what they mean, and move on. What really killed the book for me were the attempts to have every chapter end on a "deep" note. I found I was rolling my eyes every other chapter. It just didn't match the rest of the book. And when the hard-ass heroine ended a chapter talking about sex as opening her soul, well, it was one eye-roll too many.

But like I said, the action is good, and the African setting was interesting. If you enjoyed the setting here, you should check out the graphic novel series "Unknown Soldier" by Joshua Dysart. The Unknown Soldier series is set during the Lord's Resistance Army insurgency of Uganda in 2002 and is amazing.
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120 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a wonderful and amazing accomplishment. February 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Its not often that I can't wait to find the time to read. I looked forward to see where the story went, what new things I'd learn about African culture, what new disturbing episode the main protagonist would get involved in, and what new doublecross would present itself to be unwound.

Given that this is the authors debut novel, I was simply blown away. Its not hard to tell that she has a unique mind, and has lived through many remarkable experiences. The depth of her character exploration, the complexity of the protagonist's perspectives, and the twists and turns that deep African culture and social complexities lead to are just incredible.

The basic story is somewhat standard thriller fare. But the way its told, the way the story is constructed, and the remarkable depth of the characters is simply amazing. Layer that with how the author weaves the story, with her deep knowledge of some of Africa's more seedy cultures and the deeply lonely yet introspective characters that populate her story, and its just some of the finest fiction I have ever read.

This book is a remarkable accomplishment, by any and all measures. That is her first novel makes it even more amazing. The characters, settings, and twists are like nothing you've read, even if you're a prolific reader.

I look forward to her next novel, as I'm sure others who've read this book are. Fantastic, just fantastic
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Vanessa Munroe is Lara Croft, James Bond and Rainman all rolled in to one. There is nothing she can't do. Even things that she couldn't do yesterday (speak a language) she can do today. She zips into town (literally) instantly (almost) learns everything about the culture/community/and people. This enables her to ferret out information that corporations pay big money for.

Did I mention that she was a teenaged gun runner?

It's just too much. The whole concept of a thriller is that things are risky. Things are only risky if there is the possibility of failure. And Vanessa is presented in a way that takes all the risk away. Of course she will triumph. It's inevitable. She will outsmart it or out run it (at 150 mph obviously).

I very rarely give up on books. But I gave up on this one. It is too over the top to connect to. Vanessa is not realistic enough to be likable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I am so glad someone told me about this book
couldn't stop reading. I am so glad someone told me about this book. waiting for my name to come up to have another by this author,
Published 4 days ago by jackie balkenende
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time!
A fast read, but unsatisfying. Unrealistic, unlikeable characters, plus a far-fetched plot and mediocre writing (at best! Read more
Published 17 days ago by Amazon reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very exciting. Kept the adrenaline flowing. Unexpected ending.
Published 18 days ago by booker
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Female Character
Character reminds me of the woman in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However, I think this book was actually more compelling.
Published 1 month ago by Michael Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
Excellent read.. well worth every minute. Looking forward to reading more of this gritty character toes what adventures lie in wait..
Published 1 month ago by Martin OMalley
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Know Where This Went
Never finished reading it. Poor exposition, and unappealing character being developed unconvincingly. I just deleted the novel from my Kindle.
Published 1 month ago by AJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Pretty good read. Enjoyed it. If you like murder mystery books, you'll like this book. Probably would read more of her books
Published 1 month ago by C. Wright
3.0 out of 5 stars One lethal set up to another
This book had gotten such good reviews and I had such high hopes for it. It is an international intrigue sort of thriller, set in politically unstable and corrupt Africa. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sharon G. Mensing
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
The story was good and I liked the characters. I ordered all the rest of the authors books about Michael Vanessa Munroe.
Published 1 month ago by Judith R. K. O'Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book.
Some of this is very hard to read, so if you're squeamish, it may not be for you. I, however, loved it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by A.Baker
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More About the Author

TAYLOR STEVENS is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Informationist, The Innocent and The Doll. Featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe, the series has received critical acclaim and the books are published in twenty languages. The Informationist has been optioned for film by James Cameron's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment.

Born in New York State, and into the Children of God, an apocalyptic religious cult spun from the Jesus Movement of the '60s, Stevens was raised in communes across the globe. 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 reaching 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. She now lives in Texas, and is at work on the next Munroe novel.


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