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BOOK NOTES: Taylor Stevens' 'The Doll' to be Published in Paperback
In the third Vanessa Michael Munroe thriller by Taylor Stevens, "The Doll" ( Crown, 352 pages, $24.00) the heroine needs all her skills to not only save her own life, but the lives of those closest to her professionally and personally.
Not to minimize Munroe's challenges in the 2011 debut novel "The Informationist" (my review:http://www.huntingtonnews.net/11908) or "The Innocent" (my review: http://www.huntingtonnews.net/17462), Vanessa Michael Munroe must use all her androgynous shape-shifting skills to survive an abduction on a Dallas street and perform an extremely hazardous rescue of a Hollywood starlet who's in the hands of a Central European trader in girls and women as "merchandise" who goes by the name "The Doll Maker."
From my Oct. 23, 2011 review of the trade paperback edition of "The Informationist":
So she's conflicted when Houston oil billionaire Richard Burbank wants the Dallas-based child of missionaries -- she was born in Africa and speaks 22 languages and dialects -- to find his stepdaughter Emily, who was 18 when she vanished four years ago while traveling in a particularly dangerous part of Africa. Munroe is reluctant to accept the job, brought to her by her older friend and agent Kate Breeden, saying it's not what she does. She decides to accept the job because it reminds her of her own experiences as a teenager in Africa.
Like Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander of the Millennium trilogy, twenty-something Munroe is attractive in an androgynous way. She's also fearless, a dangerous trait where she's heading to find what happened to Emily and the two men she was traveling with. (I'm wondering what kind of parents would allow their 18-year-old daughter to go to one of the most dangerous parts of the world; probably the same kind who would allow their 18-year-old daughter to travel to Aruba on a spring break excursion).
Spirited away from what appears to be a motorcycle accident by kidnappers pretending to be paramedics in an official looking ambulance, Munroe ends up in the former Yugoslavia, while her friend and colleague Miles Bradford -- who witnessed the abduction from his high-rise office window -- begins a search in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. He soon learns that another friend of Munroe's, Logan, has been captured and will be used to persuade Munroe to do the bidding of The Doll Maker and his gang. The Doll Maker has abducted a starlet named Neeva Eckridge, the daughter of high profile power couple Henry and Judith Tisdale, and uses Munroe to travel across Croatia and Italy and France to Monaco with the woman in a nondescript Opel sedan equipped with tracking devices.
Stevens has drawn on her experiences growing up all over the world -- including four years in Africa -- in the seriously dangerous Children of God religious cult -- to create a truly memorable character in Vanessa Michael Munroe, born to missionary parents in strife-torn Africa. Learning her skills at the hands gunrunners, and tortured by one of the jungle’s most brutal men, Munroe was forced to do whatever it took to stay alive.
Munroe has turned her ability to survive, fight, adapt, and blend into a profession/trade that has since taken her across the globe on behalf of corporations, heads of state, and the few private clients who can afford her unique brand of expertise, and these abilities have made her enemies. If you're looking for a fast-paced thriller, "The Doll" and the two previous Vanessa Michael Munroe novels are pretty hard to beat.
And, on the Big Screen front, Canadian filmmaker James Cameron, director of "The Terminator", "True Lies," "Avatar" and "Titanic" -- and probably the richest guy in Hollywood -- will translate "The Informationist" into a motion picture: From Comingsoon.net:
James Cameron Plans The Informationist
Source: Lightstorm Entertainment
October 23, 2012
Lightstorm Entertainment has acquired motion picture rights to the acclaimed 2011 novel The Informationist by Taylor Stevens, as a vehicle for James Cameron to direct for Twentieth Century Fox Film, the company announced today.
The Informationist will be a project for Cameron after he completes work on the second and third Avatar films, which are currently in pre-production.
Published in October 2011, Stevens' tale centers on Vanessa "Michael" Munroe, an information specialist, whose work is in-demand by corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. When a Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago, Munroe finds herself back in the lands of her childhood. Betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead, she must come face-to-face with the past that she's tried for so long to forget.
Cameron will produce with Lightstorm partner, Jon Landau. The producers expect to hire a writer to adapt the novel shortly.
Cameron stated: "Taylor Stevens' Vanessa Michael Munroe is an intriguing and compelling heroine with an agile mind and a thirst for adventure. Equally fascinating for me is her emotional life and her unexpected love story. I'm looking forward to bringing Vanessa and her world to the big screen."
Added Landau: "This was an opportunity to continue our relationship with Fox and Jim Gianopulos beyond the 'Avatar' films. We were drawn to this book because of the terrific, compelling narrative and the character, who typifies the strong female protagonists that have inhabited Jim's work – in this case Vanessa Munroe is essentially a mix of Lisbeth Salander and Jason Bourne."
About the Author
Taylor Stevens is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of "The Informationist" and "The Innocent", both featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe. They received critical acclaim and have been published in twenty languages. Raised in communes across the globe and denied an education beyond the sixth grade, Stevens broke free of the Children of God and now lives in Texas. Her website: www.taylorstevensbooks.com