The Doll is the third novel in Taylor Stevens’ series about Vanessa Michael Munroe. Michael, as she is generally called, is a deadly operative, currently employed by a security firm in Dallas. Having survived an abusive childhood, Michael now brings her many skills to helping exploited and abused people, particularly young girls.
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