'One of the best thrillers of the year!' Tess Gerritsen
Taylor Stevens has a remarkable life story - raised in a religious cult, she was denied basic education, her storytelling quashed by cult leaders, and her writing confiscated and burned. When she finally broke free of the movement, she was determined to write a novel. She has lived in central Africa but now lives in Dallas.
When hired to locate the missing daughter of a billionaire, the skilled information-tracker, Vanessa "Michael" Munroe must use her skills to track down possible leads and determine if the girl is even still alive. Munroe's information moves her into increasingly dangerous predicaments as she moves (and is moved) about the world to find the daughter. Stevens spins a compelling and suspenseful narrative that is only enhanced by Hillary Huber's performance. Huber's cool delivery adds to Monroe's toughness and well-composed persona. She's vocally lively but controlled, befitting the character who must keep a level head as she survives perilous encounters. At other times, Huber's voice has a certain sardonic tone that works equally well with the narrative. Additionally, Huber executes strong dialogue among characters, not only keeping consistency but also maintaining necessary tension among certain characters. A Crown hardcover. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In Stevens's debut novel, Vanessa Munroe's current case might be her last. Having spent her life distancing herself from her sordid childhood in Africa, Munroe has based her career on the skills she acquired there. She is an informationist and linguist with the ability to blend into any country and obtain the knowledge sought by her high-paying clients. Her current client is a distraught father whose daughter, Emily, vanished four years ago in Africa. After Emily's safari group finished its tour, she decided to stay on to travel more with two men she met on the tour. Of the three, only one returned. Emily disappeared, and the last man who saw her now resides in a mental institution. Munroe is intrigued by what previous investigators might have missed, but she is unprepared for what awaits her in Africa. VERDICT Stevens has penned a fast-paced, gripping, edgy mystery with a heroine whom even Lisbeth Salander would admire. Recommended for all contemporary thriller fiction fans who like thrillers similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/10.]-Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L., MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.