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

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Best-selling author Carl Hiaasen describes Mañana: "A … thriller that moves through Mexico like a scalded sidewinder As always, Hjortsberg delivers wild surprises, cool chatter and raw, unforgettable scenes."

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 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.  

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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 (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,036 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

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nitty's Mom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2011
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By smashaduck on January 24, 2012
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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Philly gal VINE VOICE on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Taylor Stevens is back with a second novel featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe as the central character. The story centers on the recovery of a child (Hannah) from a cult (The Chosen). The child was kidnapped from her mother five years before and has now been located in a cult location in Argentina. The child is the daughter of Munroe's long time friend Logan. Working with Logan and other survivors who have left The Chosen, Munroe hatches the plan to free this child from the cult. Along the way it becomes apparent that the Chosen are also engaged in child sex rings. The action move right along as Munroe inserts herself into the cult family and tries to free Hannah. There are a couple of minor plots that are interspersed throughout the book that also add to the suspense of the story.
Munroe is a flawed heroine at best. Her troubled life has produced a psyche that is deeply damaged. In the first book - The Informationist - Munroe had some violent tendencies that were merely worrying, in this story she has completely broken down and commits some horrifically violent acts while sleep walking (yes, I am not kidding). The author continues to liken Munroe to Lisabeth Salander (Dragoon Tattoo) but these stories are just not that good. They lack the sense of place that comes with the Swedish stories. The heroine lacks the vulnerability present in Salander's character and the violence seems to me over the top and presented to shock rather than advance the story. The plot is well formed and entertaining but I found the characterizations wanting. All in all this sequel is not as good as the first book in the series.
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