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Mystery Thriller Review: The Innocent by Taylor Stevens

The Innocent by Taylor Stevens (Vanessa Michael Munroe #2)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
With The Innocent, Taylor Stevens, the bestselling author of The Informationist, returns with another blockbuster thriller featuring the fearless Vanessa Michael Munroe.

Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who’ve searched the longest know where to find her. They are childhood survivors of The Chosen, thirty-somethings born and raised inside the cult who’ve managed to make lives for themselves on the outside. They understand the mindset, the culture within that world, and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help, knowing that the only possibility of stealing Hannah back and getting her safely out of Argentina is to trust someone who doesn’t trust them, and get Munroe on the inside.

Tautly written, brilliantly paced, and with the same evocation of the exotic combined with chilling violence that made The Informationist such a success, The Innocent confirms Taylor Stevens’ reputation as a thriller writer of the first rank.

 
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

9.5/10

* * *
Taylor Stevens is my hero. Her books ultimately keep ending up in my Best Of... lists. They are hardboiled, action packed thrillers with a very unlikely heroine.


 Vanessa Michael Munroe has been compared to Lisbeth Salander many times. I haven't read The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo so I can't confirm if it's true, but what I know is that Munroe is a ruthless, sociopathic, insanely talented killer and an ultimate anti-hero in a female body. She would fit right in with Kate Daniels, Jill Kismet and Celaena Sardothien, she is that tough.

This book is perhaps not as brutal as The Informationist but still delivers an insanely fast and tight plot with Vanessa working on extracting a teenage girl from a cult similar to Jehovah's Witnesses and delivering her to her parents who managed to escape The Chosen years ago only for their daughter to be stolen back.

As with all kind of cults there are some hard topics, lots of fear and abuse, plenty of painful memories which Vanessa has to put behind when she confronts local mafia working in tandem with The Chosen.

There is no point of me explaining what's happened because the book reads really fast. It's exhilarating and edgy and makes you think, and I totally recommend it just as I do The Informationist. Even if you don't read that kind of books but love UF with its tough broken heroine, this will be to your taste. Trust me.

* * *
Дифирамбы Тэйлор Стивенс я пою уже давно, потому как пишет она шикарно, и любому любителю городского фэнтези Ванесса Майкл Мунро придется ой как по вкусу. Я не побоюсь сравнить ей с Кейт Дэниэлс, Джилл Кисмет и Селаэной Сардотьен, так как она не только крута, беспощадна и вообще социопатка - она убивает с удовольствием и помочь этому никак не может из-за того, что ей пришлось пережить  в юности.

После безумного ритма предыдущей книги, Ванесса прячется в Морокко и понемногу проигрывает битву с тёмной стороной своей души когда её разыскивает один из друзей и просит помощи.

Дочь его друзей осталась в культе Избранного, из которого много лет назад сбежали родители, и внезапно у них оказалась на неё наводка. Подросток находится в Аргентине, и её необходимо из культа извлечь как можно скорее, пока тот опять не переместился.

Ванесса соглашается и практически совершает работу про-боно, так как её услуги могут себе позволить только миллионеры. Сюжет насыщен, кровожаден и не отпускает ни на минуту, книга читается очень быстро.  Тэйлор Стивенс не прячется от тяжёлой тематики  педофилии, издевательств и тотального контроля, которыми так известны всяческие культы, и некоторые моменты читать очень тяжело. Однако, хорошо то, что такие темы освещаются и заставляют читателя думать. Безумно рекомендую и первую и вторую книгу серии.
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