Friday, May 24, 2013

Julie's Review: The Doll

Summary: Information specialist Vanessa Michael Munroe has a reputation for getting things done, often dangerous and not-quite-legal things. Scarred from a life of violence, pursued by her own demons, and as proficient with languages as she is with knives, when a human trafficking ring kidnaps her to transport a high-profile starlet, she’s prepared to destroy those responsible—until she discovers that to save one life, she will condemn the person she loves most. Plunged into an underground world where women and girls are merchandise and a shadowy figure known as The Doll Maker controls her every move, Munroe must choose who lives, who dies, or find a way to outthink and outsmart a man who holds all the cards. In this high-octane thriller for fans of Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and Robert Ludlum's Bourne trilogy, Vanessa Michael Munroe will have to fight fast, smart, and furiously to overcome a dangerous nemesis and deliver her trademark brand of justice.

Review: I love the Monroe series. It always gives me the adrenaline rush I crave. Ms. Stevens always seems to write about a subject matter that creeps me out and yet I find intriguing. She obviously does her research on these subject matters because it's in the details where it can get tricky and she gets it seem probable. The fact that this kind of business exists outside of novels is disheartening.

In The Doll, she looks at the disturbing business of human trafficking. The money that is made from this "business" is disgusting and how it is hidden from authorities is a web of lies and legal businesses.

The Doll is told in two different viewpoints almost simultaneously. This is what I truly loved about this novel. It's what makes it standout from the other two in the series. Monroe is taken down immediately as the book starts, which is when Bradford's narration begins. It then switches Munroe's narration when she is being held hostage. The novel goes back and forth like this until the very end.

In a race against time to protect and save those she loves, Monroe might have to sacrifice an innocent life. This goes against her core being, which is why it is the perfect set up for The Doll Maker. I love this quote early in the novel:

For nine months the rage and violence that had defined so many of her years had finally ebbed, and now those who had no right had come with impunity to rip her out of her new found calm, throwing her into an impossible situation where no matter what she did or what she chose, the end result would be a return to madness.
 ~page 47

Monroe is a lot of things but vicious without reason isn't one of them. Ms. Stevens does a superb job of humanizing    Monroe and not making her a robotic killing machine. She does what needs to be done in unique situations. 

The third in the series left it quite open for Ms. Stevens to take Monroe places where only her skill set will be needed. I can't wait to read what situation she has to resolve next. I am almost sure that at some point Lumani will show up again and I can't wait to see if he's on the good side this time.

The Doll is on sale 6/4/2013 by fine booksellers everywhere.

Final Take: 4.50/5

Thanks to Crown Publishing and Taylor for my ARC copy of the novel.



Anonymous ,  June 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM  

I loved meeting her last year at Bouchercon and really liked the first book. Now that the third one is out I am officially behind in yet another serious :)

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