The Doll by Taylor Stevens

The latest international exploits, daring escapes and rescues of Taylor Stevens’s heroine for hire.

In The Doll, Taylor Stevens (The Informationist) brings mercenary Vanessa Michael Munroe back to eager readers for another round of full-speed international intrigue. At the start, Munroe is tranquilized, kidnapped and forced to deliver a Hollywood starlet overseas as part of a human trafficking ring. Munroe’s boyfriend, Bradford, and the associates at his security firm are hot on the case, but the task of rescuing Munroe is complicated because all the other people she loves most in the world have also been kidnapped as collateral against her cooperation. Additionally, “the doll” turns out to be a spitfire with past trauma of her own, determined to give Munroe a run for her money.

With her near-savant linguistic skills, almost obsessive love of and skill with weapons and androgynous appearance, Munroe is a formidable tool in the hands of the “Doll Maker,” the mastermind behind the trafficking trade. But he hasn’t figured on her unpredictability. Even faced with difficult decisions and with her loved ones held hostage, Munroe might be capable of anything.

Stevens again crafts a lightning-swift plot that races across continents and inflicts extreme trauma upon characters she’s taught us to care about. Intelligent action and pacing are a bonus, and other characters like those on Bradford’s team are engaging and provide banter; but it’s Munroe herself who stars, with her wondrous and myriad abilities and her surprisingly soft heart.

This review originally ran in the June 11, 2013 issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers. To subscribe, click here, and you’ll receive two issues per week of book reviews and other bookish fun!

Rating: 7 borders crossed.

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