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The Innocent: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel (Vanessa Michael Munroe Novels) Hardcover – December 27, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 214 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The best thriller of the year." —San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Impressive. . . . The gripping plot runs on adrenaline as much as does Vanessa, who unleashes her violent tendencies when the powerless are threatened. . . . Vanessa makes for an intriguing heroine—at once tough, fearless, vulnerable, and compassionate.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Much-anticipated. . . . Stevens vividly depicts a dark domain of manipulation, indoctrination, and abuse.” —Booklist
“Part Lisbeth Salander, part Jason Bourne, Munroe comes out swinging hard again. . . . A gritty, suspenseful novel.” —Library Journal

“If you haven’t joined the Munroe bandwagon, now’s the time to climb aboard.” —Dallas News

"Fans of thrillers who haven't yet discovered Stevens are in for a treat...Those who have eagerly awaited this sequel will be delighted to find the same intelligent writing, masterful pacing, and tense and fluid action scenes that feel ready-made for the cinema, and an intensely emotional core that lends Stevens' novel a depth not often found in the genre." —Associated Press

“A whirlwind thriller about a seriously a**-kicking female renegade battle against a hair-raising cult.” —Shelf Awareness

"Vanessa Michael Munroe earns her spot in the roll call next to a certain dragon-tattooed individual by virtue of calculated calm and serious self-defense skills.” —Austin Chronicle

“[A] story about a tough-as-nails spy with a tortured past who is fighting to overcome her demons and save a young girl in the process. This one kept me up all night reading…If you enjoy a fast-paced thriller, check this one out.” —Parkersburg News & Sentinel

“…as fast-paced, exciting and violent as Stevens’ first novel. If you enjoy action thrillers, you do not want to miss “The Innocent.” —Galveston Daily News

"The Innocent...is a provocative story about a women's tortured soul." —USA Today

About the Author

Taylor Stevens is the New York Times bestselling author of The Informationist. The first novel featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe, it received critical acclaim and has been published in seventeen other countries. Raised in communes across the globe and denied an education beyond the sixth grade, Stevens broke free of the Children of God and now lives in Texas. She is at work on a third Munroe novel.  

Product Details

  • Series: Vanessa Michael Munroe Novels
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307717127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307717122
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 http://www.taylorstevensbooks.com/connect.php - she welcomes you to join her.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Innocent is a story about Vanessa Michael Munroe, an assassin, for want of a better word. She is a beautiful, mysterious, driven, highly competent, knife wielding, get-it-done female for hire. Michael, or Miki as she's referred to, is asked by her best friend, Logan, to rescue a 13 year old teen, Hannah from a cult group called the Chosen, located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Logan and two other characters, Heidi and Gideon were all child members of cults, who have escaped into normal society, or as the Chosen call the Void. All three have reasons for wanting Michael to rescue Hannah, as they become clearer as the novel progresses. Michael, along with her friend/lover, Bradford, a para-military hunk, go about planning the precision rescue, bringing all of her talents to bare.

I have read the first Vanessa Michael Munroe title The Informationist, and this a admirable sequel. Michael is the kind of character who you will not easily forget, as all good protagonists are a mix of good and evil, and she surely fits the bill. I can see the comparisons to Steig Larsson's, Lisbeth Salander, but only in the fact they are both Alpha females. Taylor Stevens has a knack for intriguing locations, like Morocco and Argentina and she does a great job in describing them in detail. A fast, two day read left me wanting more.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Vanessa Michael Munroe is an assassin who has nightmares about her past. She understands her killing capability and when her best friend, Logan, asks for her help, she can't refuse.

Logan explains that eight years earlier, his friend, Charity's daughter, Hannah, was abducted from her school and taken across the Mexican border to a cult known as The Chosen. Followers of The Prophet, have hidden Hannah and shielded her abductor. Hannah was age five at the time and Logan and other members of the group who have escaped The Chosen, ask Munroe if she'll rescue her. Since Munroe came from a similiar background, she accepts.

These people who had been childhood members of The Chosen, tell Munroe some of the things that go on there and inform her that they know where Hannah is located.

Munroe poses as a donor and makes contact with members of the cult in South America. Since she will be bringing in wealth, she is accepted without many questions.

She is able to get entry into one of the group homes. As she sees the children, Munroe understands how difficult it may be to rescue Hannah, if she has been brainwashed and is unwilling to leave.

The reader understands the level that the children have been instructed in the Cult religion. They are told that the outside world is corrupt and that people will say bad things about The Cult. Unfortunately, in this day where we learn about young people being abused by people in authority, we see how naive children can be.

The setting is well described as we see the outward life of contentment in these children. Munroe is a character that we want to see succeed.
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Format: Hardcover
Damn it's good. I've gotten so tired of formulaic novels. See, there's a big, bad conspiracy. And then there's this unlikely hero. And he saves the day. And gets laid in the process. No character building. Nothing new. I know the bad guys 'cause they're always the same. I know the good guy and he's as interesting and surprising as a mall food court's fried rice.

And then I picked up this book. At an airport, no less. I'd accidentally brought a book I'd already read and cruised the airport book store with little hope of finding anything. So I bought this. I sorta flipped through it. It had some promise. Cults fascinate me in the same way serial killers fascinate me. But good books on either are rare.

Stevens has serious talent as a story teller. Novelists are everywhere Story tellers are not. When I find one, it's a beautiful feeling. The characters have depth I rarely see. She takes the time to build them, slowly, without slowing down the pace of the story and that takes some skill. The story is dark but not hopeless and doesn't leave you with that feeling of a needed shower like so many do. She draws you in and constantly surprises you. The heroine, Michael Munroe is complex, violent, intriguing and inviting. She's the friend you want when you need not just someone to help you hide the body, but a friend to plan the attack. Child-kidnapping is a subject that doesn't often make for a thrill ride. It is, in and of itself, too horrible an idea for entertainment. And yet, Stevens makes it work. The cult, The Chosen, is clearly not some fantastic caricature conjured for an easy straw man. That it's so believable makes it all the more terrifying as the villain.

I'm not going to tell you the story. Buy the book. You won't put it down and when you finish it, you'll do exactly as I did and go buy the rest of her books.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This second in Taylor Stevens's new thriller series starring Vanessa Michael Munroe is a very powerful novel that is having a strange effect on me. The deeper I dig into it, the more often I find myself needing to put it aside and go do something else for awhile. At this writing, I'm about two weeks into it and only just a little past two thirds of the way through. Far enough in, I think, to write something potential readers might find useful.

This is the story of a mission to rescue a 13-year old girl from a cult called "The Chosen" that is currently located in Argentina, but comprises mostly Americans. The cult's principal beliefs are total obedience to its leader, "The Prophet," and the sexual abuse of young children. Munroe, who's surely the most messed up thriller heroine I've ever encountered, has come to find and rescue the kidnapped daughter of a friend. Accompanying her, very much against her will, are the girl's father and two others who, like Munroe herself, are hugely and irreparably damaged adults who are past victims of just such abuse. Each is driven by a personal and private reason for being there--justified to be sure, but at the same time all too likely to jeopardize Munroe's highly dangerous task.

Scenes of male cult leaders fondling little kids and female cult leaders escorting little girls to rape dates with cult contributors were discomforting to say the least. Another of my difficulties in sticking with this nail-biter of a book is knowing that the author herself was raised in an American cult that traveled the world and cut off its children's education at the age of 12 before casting them off into the world ill equipped to deal with it. And I can't help wondering how much this plot and her heroine's history mirror that of its author.
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