- 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: 218 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Doll: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel Hardcover – June 4, 2013
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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.” —CurledUp.com
“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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Top customer reviews
After a period of reasonable contentment with her lover and business associate Miles Bradford, things spiral out of Michael's control. Bradford looks out of the window one day and is powerless when he sees Michael collapse next to her motor cycle and is quickly spirited away in an ambulance. Then follows a nightmare where Michael wakes up in a cell in the Croatia under the control of the "The Doll Maker" - a notorious and viscous sex trafficker.
His name stems from an obsession with a huge collection of life-like porcelain dolls, hand-painted and air-brushed, perfectly clothed with waxen hair, curled and styled - each doll in perfect condition. "Perfection, they have no flaws, only beauty. ... they bring me joy."
Paradoxically "The Doll Maker" cashes in on the value of the female body and traffics kidnapped human cargo across the globe to continuing misery as sex slaves. His richest and most important clients ask for the most beautiful and valuable - untouched and doll-like. Michael is forced to transport an extremely valuable girl across Europe and deliver her in pristine condition. The Doll Maker pulls Michael's strings to make her co-operate by capturing and torturing a person who is nearest and dearest to her.
Stevens keeps the suspense high all the way, with constant action, a huge body count, and many kidnappings and violence. It is a roller coaster of a ride that taxes all of Michael's strategic and violent strengths.
I really enjoyed "The Informationist" which introduced us to Michael but was a bit disappointed with "The Innocent" that touched on the kind of extreme religious cult where Taylor Stevens grew up. "The Doll" takes us back to the original Michael who is as deadly as any of the male fictional heroes you will read and also has a really dark side that she has to fight to keep under control.
I highly recommend this book for those who like to read intelligent but violent thrillers.
Among Michael's skills is the ability to absorb language. She is also well-versed in hand-to-hand combat and is expert in all kinds of weapons. Michael also uses her androgynous appearance to her advantage, thinking nothing of shaving her head to appear like a man.
One morning, Michael is ambushed while arriving at her office. She is shot with a tranquilizer gun and abducted while her boss is watching. Michael was on her way into the office to sign a contract accepting the assignment to locate a young actress who recently disappeared. Are these events related? Hmmm!
Compared to the first two books in the series, The Informationist and The Innocent, I'd say this is my least favorite. Like the others, The Doll deals with uncomfortable realities of life-in this case human trafficking. But I would say that Munroe's character in this book is more caricature than flesh and blood person. Her motives and her background are fuzzier than in the others, so she is just not as interesting. I'd say that if you just picked up this book without reading the others, that you'd be confused about who this person is.
Beyond that, though, this is another fast-paced, interesting plot. The bad guys are really bad, and there is a very thin line separating them from the good guys. So-not my favorite, but I definitely plan on reading the fourth book in the series which is currently in progress.
Published in hardcover-Crown-2013
This series is very enjoyable and the main character, Vanessa Michael Munroe is a very interesting and troubled person. The stories feature her as she is faced with almost insurmountable odds and seems to find a way. The Doll is the third book in the series and it is still enjoyable. Recommend this series for fans of the action thriller novel.
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