“The Catch”, the upcoming novel by Taylor Stevens
I first read about author Taylor Stevens in an interview in Vogue magazine. I was thoroughly intrigued and anxiously awaited the publication of her first book, The Informationist. I was not disappointed. Stevens’ protagonist, Vanessa Michael Munroe, is a true modern day hero. Despite her own difficult background, she stays true to her own moral code and, for the most part, concentrates her skills on helping the helpless.
So-to date I have purchased and read all of the published novels by Taylor Stevens. I was thrilled when LibraryThingEarly Reviewers chose me to receive a copy of The Catch. Taking a break from her past, Munroe is living and working in Djibouti. Here, she is “Michael”, a young man working as a fixer for a company which provides armed security for cargo ships. Her true skills remain hidden from her employer and the other workers.
The freighter Favorita is highjacked by Somali pirates on its way from Djibouti to Mombasa. Munroe is able to escape with the ship’s captain, who has been injured in the fight to take the ship. Although there are illegal arms hidden on the ship, Michael soon relaizes that the captain was the true target of the raid.
Making her way to Kenya with the captain, Michael must discover who is responsible for the hijacking. And then she must devise a way to re-capture the ship and its crew.
Among Michael’s many gifts are her intelligence, her fluency in many languages, her chameleon-like ability to blend in with her environment and, last but not least, her skill with knives. She uses all of these in her efforts.
The Catch is a fun addition to the series. It is not my favorite of the four books, but I definitely recommend it highly.
Hardcover edition-To be published-Crown Publishers-July 2014
The Catch: A Novel
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
The Doll: A Novel (Vanessa Michael Munroe)