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The Catch: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel Hardcover – July 15, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this sequel to The Doll (2013), Vanessa Michael Munroe is utilizing her gift for languages, living in Djibouti as Michael, a man, and working as an interpreter for a maritime security company. Her latest assignment finds her aboard a ship, which she quickly discovers is running guns. The ship is attacked by pirates off the Somali coast, but Munroe escapes, taking the captain with her. Turns out the captain is really what the pirates were after, and she hides him in a small private hospital while she tries to figure out her next move. The plan? Hijack the ship back, of course. This action-adventure thriller moves along at breakneck speed with the requisite violence peppering most of the pages. Munroe is a smart, fiercely strong, yet damaged woman in the vein of Lisbeth Salander, and she could hold her own with Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne or Barry Eisler’s Rain. For fans of high-energy action. --Stacy Alesi

Review

“A great page-turning choice for a read-it-in-one-sitting airplane ride or lazy afternoon on the back porch…The novel transports readers to another world, giving a solid dose of action-adventure and a kick-butt female protagonist. The Catch…is a great escape.” —Star-Telegram
 
“The writer makes her protagonist more empathetic and likable than ever —
startlingly so, because the Michael (her preferred name) Munroe we see here is at her most focused, ruthless and emotionally distant. It’s a difficult balancing act, but one that Stevens pulls off with her usual wit, precision and grace… [An] exceptional novel.” —Dallas Morning News

“Think Catwoman in plain clothes. Lisbeth Salander sans dragon tattoo. Jack Reacher with an extra X-chromosome. Whatever—Vanessa Michael Munroe has to be among the cleverest, fightingest and all-around baddest heroines in contemporary suspense fiction. …
A straight-up adventure tale about a woman who thinks on her feet (that is, when she is not using them to kick bad-guy booty) and always stays one step ahead of her adversaries. My prediction: This will be one of the summer’s most popular beach reads.” —BookPage

"This writer is fabulous and the characterizations are thrilling... You get what you see, and that includes the cleverness, the grit, and the pain. A definite keeper!” —Suspense Magazine

“Taylor Stevens continues her saga of Vanessa Michael Munroe, begun in The Informationist, with a fast-paced action thriller that vividly shows why Munroe is probably the best new action hero.” —Huntington News

“Thriller fans will immediately be sucked into this life-or-death tale as Stevens’s fast-paced plot and indomitable and justice-driven heroine keep the pages turning.” —Library Journal
 
“This action-adventure thriller moves along at breakneck speed with the requisite violence peppering most of the pages. Munroe is a smart, fiercely strong, yet damaged woman in the vein of Lisbeth Salander, and she could hold her own with Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne or Barry Eisler’s Rain. For fans of high-energy action.” —Booklist

“Munroe makes for an intriguing action hero, and the fight scenes are refreshingly stark and well paced.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stevens resurrects Vanessa “Michael” Munroe, her dangerous, androgynous antihero, for another dark adventure…Fans of the series like that Stevens’ writing takes them to little-known places and offers glimpses into the day-to-day life of the economically developing world. Stevens continues her spare, gritty approach to storytelling, which has made Munroe one of the genre’s most compelling characters, in this latest installment of the haunted heroine’s troubled life.”Kirkus
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Product Details

  • Series: Vanessa Michael Munroe
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385348932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385348935
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the fourth action thriller to feature Vanessa Michael Munroe, usually called Michael, and able to pass as a man or a woman with a change of clothing and a little makeup. Michael’s in Djibouti now and is pressed into serving as an armed guard on a cargo ship bound for Kenya. She neither trusts nor likes her boss, who nurses a grievance against her, and when she sneaks down and takes a look at what they’re carrying on the ship, she’s worried –the hull is loaded with contraband weapons. They are attacked by Pirates–someone tipped them off. There’s a fight and Michael escapes on a small boat with the wounded captain. They make it to the coast of Somalia but the captain is in bad shape. He needs hospitalization, so at least for a few days Michael has to hide out. While she’s hiding, she learns something disturbing: the pirates weren’t out for the ship –their real target was the captain—and they’re still looking for him. Michael’s a player in a very deadly game and she doesn’t even know why. Michael’s good at killing but she doesn’t do it lightly. Still, by the end of this intriguing story, a lot of blood has been spilled.

Michael is part Jason Bourne and part Lisbeth Salander. Like them both, she’s a killing machine when she needs to be and like them, she has half-buried demons in her past. Like them too, she is very smart. She absorbs new languages almost by osmosis –two weeks in a country and she talks if not like a native, at least understandably. In this novel more than in the previous installment (The Doll), Stevens seems to draw on her own past: she was raised in a religious cult and shipped all over the world to beg for the cult; she escaped as an adult by moving to Africa where corruption was endemic and violence never far beneath the surface.
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Pre-ordered and couldn't wait to read the next in the Michael series but was a little disappointed. The end seemed to drag on and on and I almost began to root for the captain. Good read, just not nearly the read that "The Informationalist" (one of my favorite books ever) was.
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I’ve read all of Taylor Stevens’ fantastic books and I was really looking forward to the release of this one. If you’ve read the editorial blurbs, as well as some of the reviews, and taken advantage of Amazon’s “look inside” feature to read some of the book you should have some idea of what the book is about. There is no need for me to reiterate the whole plot but I do suggest you read the author’s bio to understand why her books read so much like non-fiction.

As soon as the book was released I downloaded it to my kindle cloud on a 23 inch monitor then I called up “google earth” on the adjacent 32 inch monitor and settled in for an enjoyable afternoon. I find the books much more interesting and exciting when I “travel” along with the protagonist Munroe, looking at the streets and building where the story plays out. Of course the locale for this book is Africa so the “street level” views were fewer but I still found many streets, the hotel and the ferry ,also aerial views and “stills” of many places mentioned in the book.

As for the book itself, I’m sorry to say I was a little disappointed. Maybe it was my fault. I just failed to understand why “the catch” was so important or worth dying for. I don’t know how to explain ,without spoilers, but I saw no reason why Munroe would care about saving people who were basically worthless.

Still a great book just not as good as the others, in my opinion.
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The Catch, by Taylor Stevens, is a riveting tale of piracy off the Somali coast of Africa. The heroine, Vanessa Michael Munroe, needs some down time after the harrowing adventures that took place in the last book, so she returns to Africa, and in the Michael persona, takes a thankless job as a problem solver in Djibouti. Her circumstances soon change, and she finds herself as an unwanted outsider, helping to guard a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia. Pirates attack the ship, and the story roars off from there.

THE CATCH, told entirely from Michael’s perspective, is a brilliantly written page-turner that shines an insider’s light into modern day Somalia and Djibouti. The story line is complex, and Michael’s motivations are nuanced, but both added greatly to the depth of the storyline.
Michael is completely on her own, with extremely limited resources in this book. Seeing how she gathers and sifts through information, while dealing with an ever more difficult set of circumstances was fascinating to this reader.

Taylor Stevens' consistently delivers smart, fast-paced adventures that take readers deep into exotic locations. We're able to learn about different cultures while being carried along on a high-stakes thrill ride. THE CATCH is my favorite book of 2014 and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy smart, well-written thrillers.
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One of the best ones yet from Taylor Stevens. This is equal to the others in a superb continuing series about Vanessa Michael Munroe. Extremely well written, good action, a great look at the geographic setting and the inhabitants. One of my favorite series, and the author works hard to earn her reputation as an exceptional storyteller. HIGHLY RECOMMEND the entire series as well as this particular book.
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