The Innocent (Vanessa Michael Munroe Series #2)

The Innocent (Vanessa Michael Munroe Series #2)

by Taylor Stevens

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Overview

Vanessa Michael Munroe—the fearless heroine of the New York Times bestseller The Informationist—returns in a gripping new thriller.

Eight years ago, five-year old Hannah was spirited out of school and into the closed world of a cult known as The Chosen. Ever since, followers of its leader have hidden the child and shielded her abductor. Now, childhood survivors of The Chosen who have escaped to make a life for themselves on the outside know here to find Hannah and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help. Munroe reluctantly takes the job, and travels to Buenos Aires to infiltrate the cult and save the girl. Inducted in to a world unlike anything she has faced before, Munroe must navigate unpredictable members and their dangerous cohorts, the impatient survivors who hired her, and the struggle against her own increasingly violent nature so she can rescue the child before the window of opportunity closes and Hannah is lost forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307717139
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Series: Vanessa Michael Munroe Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 853,588
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

TAYLOR STEVENS is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Catch, The Doll, and The Informationist, all featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe. Her novels have received critical acclaim, have been published in twenty languages, and The Informationist has been optioned for film by James Cameron's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment. 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, where she is currently at work on the next Munroe adventure.

Read an Excerpt

Ten in the evening local time meant late afternoon in Dallas, still within the office hours of most businesses, although Logan expected that Capstone Consulting kept the phones running far later than the standard nine to five.

He picked up the handset, exhaled, and dialed a call he’d never expected to make. 
Capstone was owned and operated by Miles Bradford, former Special Forces turned private contractor, the man who’d been by Munroe’s side when the world had turned upside down. If there was ever a person who’d want to know about her current state, who’d be willing to get involved in a nightmare predicament for no other reason than that it involved her, that man was Bradford.

Anticlimactically, Logan was put on hold. During the frustrating wait, he moved methodically about the room, scanning surfaces and opening drawers, careful to leave everything as he’d found it while the phone to his ear provided background music. He was checking beneath the sofa when Beethoven’s Ninth was clipped short by a cheery voice announcing Capstone, as if it were some high-stakes New York marketing firm instead of the bullets-and-blood mercenary outfit Logan knew it to be.

According to the receptionist, Bradford was out of the country.

“I know you have a way to get in contact with him,” Logan said.

“Tell him that Michael’s in trouble and that if he wants to talk to me, this line’s only going to be clear for the next three or four hours.”

He recited the apartment’s phone number, and after a routine reassurance that someone would get back to him, he hung up and moved on to the meager pantry.
He was violating Munroe’s space and her privacy, a deed not done lightly, hunting for what he knew was hidden somewhere nearby. He didn’t need a visual to confirm his suspicions, but he did want the specifics in order to assess the damage.

He was in the middle of Munroe’s bathroom when the phone rang. Logan fumbled and then recovered. The wait had been thirty minutes, not a bad measure of Bradford’s concern.

There was static on the line and a few seconds’ delay, but even through that Logan could hear the clipped, impatient quality of Bradford’s tone.

“I just got your message,” he said. “What kind of trouble is she in?”
Carefully scripted, Logan said, “The self-inflicted, oops-look-at-that-I’m-dead kind of trouble.”

There was a pregnant pause and Bradford said finally, “Suicide?”

Logan closed his eyes and exhaled slowly. “No, she’s very much alive. But she’s self-medicating. And she’s started carrying knives again.”

Silence, and then, “How long has this been going on?”

“I have no idea. I flew into Morocco this morning and she met me at the airport. The signs are all there, she doesn’t try to hide them—flaunts them, even—she’s poking at me with them, like she wants me to know. I’m going to take a guess and say it’s only been a few weeks. She just moved to Tangier, and it could be related.”

“Any idea what she’s taking?”

“Not sure,” Logan said. “I’m trying to find out. Never thought I’d see the day she started this shit again, but if history’s any predictor, it’ll be legal and she’ll have a fake prescription.”

Logan searched the nightstand drawers. “Anyway, she’s out with Noah right now. I’m ransacking her apartment.” 
Bradford exhaled a low whistle.

“She won’t know,” Logan said. “Been there, done that, won’t get caught.”

There was another pause and then Bradford said, “Logan, I’m in Afghanistan. There’s no way for me to get out of here for another weekand until then I’m at a loss as to what I can do.”

Logan knelt to look under the bed. “I’m not sure either,” he said.“I just figured you’d want to know. You’re the obvious intervention partner of choice—I mean, you were there, you know better than anyof us why she’s doing it—and really, Miles, I think you’re the only other person who cares the way that I do.”

Logan opened the doors of a large armoire and glared at a small box barely visible under a pile of clothes. “I think I’ve found it,” he said.

From the box he pulled a smaller box, opened it, and shook free a bottle of syrup. He read off the label, “Phenergan VC.”
“Is that the codeine version?” Bradford said.

Logan searched the label, lips set tight. Bradford knew his pharmacopoeia. “Yes, codeine,” he said. “The box holds twelve and two are missing.”

“If we’re lucky, that’s the first box,” Bradford said. He hesitated.“Okay, look, I understand why you called and I thank you for it. The earliest I can get out of here is next Thursday. Do you think you can find an excuse to get her to the States?”
“You know how she is about returning.”

“I could come to Morocco,” Bradford said. “But I really don’t think that’s a good idea.” There was a long silence, and although Bradford never verbalized it, Logan understood the reason. Noah and Bradford around Munroe at the same time brought far too much potential for conflict.

“Best would be to get her to the U.S.,” Bradford said. “Or really anywhere out of Morocco.”

Logan nodded agreement to the empty room. “I’ll figure something out and let you know how it goes,” he said, although in truth his favor already required that he take her from here.

“I’d give you a number,” Bradford said, “but it’s pointless, I move around too much. Call the office. They’ll be able to reach me. If you can’t get her to go back, I’ll come to you, but I need at least a week.”

The call over, Logan continued to stare into the armoire at the box and all that it stood for. Codeine wasn’t the heaviest stuff she’d taken, nor was it the worst to be abused; the issue was that she was self-medicating at all.

Heavy, burdened, he replaced the bottle and rearranged the clothes.

He could work this thing. Getting Bradford involved was a definite step forward, and pulling him in had been rather easy.
Logan shoved away the stab of guilt.

He would have made that call even if he didn’t need Munroe’s help, and Bradford wasn’t offering to do anything he didn’t want to do.
 
Logan returned to the bedroom and the weight of two days’ travel pressed against his eyelids. Intent on remaining alert until whatever god forsaken hour Munroe came back, he closed his eyes for a second and opened them to bright sunlight streaming through the curtains.

He bolted upright with no recollection of falling asleep or of Munroe returning, or with any concept of how much time had elapsed. He fumbled for his watch.

Seven in the morning, local time.

God, he was tired.

He rolled his legs over the side of the bed and listened, shook his head in an attempt to clear the fog that wrapped around his brain. There was no sound or movement in the apartment, so he stood and padded to the window. Parked along the curb were a few cars, but no BMW.

Logan opened the bedroom door and, with the stealth of a kid preparing to sneak into the kitchen to grab a cookie, peered down the hall.

Munroe’s door was slightly ajar, definitely not closed the way he’d left it the night before. Barefoot against the tiled floor, he moved toward her bedroom, and there, hearing nothing, pressed his palm to the door.

She was alone: sprawled across the mattress, face in a pillow and tangled in sheets that trailed to the floor. The knives sat on the night-stand and against the foot of the bed lay the clothes she had shed before climbing into it. The armoire doors were partially open, and although there was no visible sign that she’d helped herself to the contents of another bottle, crashed out and dead to the world as she was, Logan had no doubt that she had.

He left her room for the guest bathroom, irritation and anger washing over him. He needed her right now, needed her to be herself, lucid, aware, not this—brain- and emotion-numbed, and half-alive.

No matter the reasons, what she was doing was such a goddamn fucking waste of brilliance.
He turned on the shower and let it run. There was no point in keeping quiet; the insomniac woman who would normally go from a dead sleep to a fighting stance over less than a whisper had drugged herself into a state of unconsciousness.
 
It was afternoon when the light tap of footsteps first echoed downthe hall. Logan waited until they passed, then left his room in search of Munroe and found her in the kitchen filling a coffeepot with water,dressed in a tank and boxers and sporting a case of bed hair so bad he would have laughed if things had been otherwise. He didn’t see the knives, but then she’d never needed them to kill, and that wasn’t why she carried them anyway.

“Want coffee?” she said.

“Sure,” he replied.

“Where’s Noah?”She yawned and scratched the back of her neck. “He’s at his holiday house. What time is it?”
“Around three o’clock,” he said.

Munroe placed the pot on the stove and lit the burner. She sat at the kitchen table, then tilted her head up and smiled. A real smile. And in spite of himself and the frustration and anger, Logan smiled back.

“I needed the sleep,” she said. “And thought you might need some too, what with the jet lag and the long trip. I won’t make you wait on me like that again.”

This was as much of an explanation as she’d give, but Logan knew she did it with calculated reason. The sleep and making him wait had been as much a deliberate display as the knives on the train.

She wanted him to know her state of mind, to take it all into account should he continue toward whatever favor he must ask.

Logan said nothing, and she smiled again—that killer smile.

“Have a seat,” she said. “I’ll make you lunch.”

He nodded toward the empty cupboards. “From what?”

With a straight face she said, “Coffee,” and the heartbeat of silence was followed by commingled laughter that came as a welcome release of tension.

Logan couldn’t help but grin, so good was it to see her lucid and to have her again, the real her, the Michael that he knew and loved; and he relished the moment because he knew it would be short-lived.

As if she’d read his mind, she said, “Tell me why you’ve come—what is it you need?”

He froze.

The coffeepot percolated on the stove, but Munroe made no move to get it. She nodded toward the seat opposite. It wasn’t an invitation, it was an instruction. There was no point in arguing, so Logan sat in the proffered chair. Forearms on the table, he shifted forward, and as he opened his mouth to speak, she put a hand on his wrist.

“Hold the thought,” she said. She stood, stepped to the stove, and turned off the burner.

She’d so perfectly disarmed him. He watched her move about the kitchen: fluid, methodical, neither hurried nor pausing, much like a well-trained dancer. She turned to catch his eye, smiling conspiratorially as she set out the coffee mugs.
She placed a cup in front of him and held her own while she sat, her posture taut, her face relaxed. “Go on,” she said, blowing steam as she held the coffee to her lips.

He reached for his wallet and slid the faded photo with its beauty and tragedy, memories and heartbreak, across the table. Munroe paused to look.

“Is that Charity’s daughter?”

Logan nodded.

Charity.

The person he’d loved longer and truer than any other being. Charity, who was his fellow childhood survivor. She’d lived the life, knew the pain and trauma better than he, and shared the burden: the lies, the secrets, and the scars.
Logan gazed down at the photo of the little girl with the blond ringlets and bright green eyes, traced his fingers along the edge of it, and then stopped. All reason, all argument, all the words that had been turning around in his head for the past three days fled, and he was left vacant. Logan looked up and staring into Munroe’s eyes said only, “I’ve found her.”

Customer Reviews

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The Innocent: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
ccourtland More than 1 year ago
The worst has happened, someone thought it'd be a great marketing technique to compare this book to Steig Larsson's series The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Honestly, who wants to read a rip-off of the same thing? I was skeptical, but relief came when I realized I actually did enjoy this book. There are some similarities to Larsson's thrillers, but not a hijack of the bandwagon. Set in Buenos Aries, the search to locate The Chosen's various haven cult houses moves steadily and at a good pace. You won't have to wade through 600 pages of tiny print to get to the end. However, I felt there was enough description, action and background given to make this a feasibly believable story. It is incredible, but the building blocks are there, and everything is checked off and in place. Explanations are given, without lengthy pages of reasoning. I liked the get-to-the point approach and strong characters. My attachment to them was a bit lacking, but I did not read the first book and took that into consideration, placing the fault on myself, not the author. I'd recommend taking this book along on vacation or picking up when in the mood for a snatch and grab thriller. Not a deep-thinking mystery, but contains action and an interesting plot-line that will entertain and hold the readers interest to the final page.
BobJay More than 1 year ago
I read Taylor Stevens' first book, 'The Informationist,' on the heels of reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy and I can say in all honestly that I like them all equally. That being said, I thought 'The Innocent' is not quite as good as the first book but better by a mile than most thrillers being published today (including the regurgitated crap by such noted authors as James Patterson, Vince Flynn, Stuart Woods, Jack Higgins, Brad Taylor, etc..). I think Ms. Stevens has a long and lustrous writing career ahead of her and we all will benefit greatly from that. You go Taylor!
TaraCh More than 1 year ago
The second Vanessa Michael Monroe novel is gripping, hard hitting fiction ... just the way I like it! Vanessa and crew do not disappoint as they head off to South America for a dangerous rescue of a child from a cult. I love this heroine because she's tough but human! Fast paced action and plenty of suspense! I am looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every bit as good as her first! Cant wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like Michael so much! I loved this book-maybe not quite as much as the Informationist but I am so looking forward to her next book. It really opened my eyes about cults and how they operate. But the story and characters are riveting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting characters and suspence that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next.
ChelseaCodyMom More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed reading another Vanessa Michael Munroe book. You don't have to read the first book - The Informationist - as Taylor Stevens gives a very good background of the characters involved. Of course if you want to read a good book then definitely pick up The Informationist. Can't wait for the next one in the series.
VJDJR More than 1 year ago
I read "The Informationist" & was interested enough to want to continue. This novel was even better. Michael Vanessa Munroe becomes her own person here; I forgot all about Dragon Tattoos while completely immersed in this taut novel. Could not put it down and read it in a single day -- it's that good. It's an exciting thriller, a love story (actually, a couple of love stories) and even a bit of travelogue, all set in dazzling South America. The characters are well-developed, though it takes time to do so as Munroe slowly pieces together the background of their lives. It was nice to get to further know previous characters and meet new ones. Ms. Stevens' own background reaches deep into this novel. It's worth googling an interview or write-up on her either before or (as I did) after the read and be even more impressed with this work.
cohlie More than 1 year ago
I liked Taylor Stevens first book and I like this one even more. Vanessa/Michael continues to present as a believable and interesting character.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
In reviewing the debut novel featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe, “The Informationist,” I pointed out that ordinarily I react poorly to super-heroes, and called her sort of a bionic woman. However, in that case I set aside my prejudices and looked upon the character favorably. Not so this time. In this sequel, Munroe is considerably less appealing, but no less destructive as an assassin and action figure. The plot is relatively simple, built around a kidnapped child hidden away for eight years in various cult sites, now located in Argentina, subjected to sexual abuse. Munroe is asked by her best friend to rescue the child, now thirteen, and she agrees, in part out of obligation and also to give her something to occupy herself to escape her own demons. It seems that she suffers violent nightmares recounting her past murders. Certainly the novel is as well-written as the first in the series, and the topic obviously is worthwhile. Somehow, however, the overwhelming detail tends to drag, and this reader, at least, found the mind often wandering. The information about the workings and philosophy of the cult seemed superficial, though the rescue of the girl was vivid. I felt, however, that the conclusion was a little too simplified to be realistic, sort of “Oh yeah, let’s end this now.” But on the whole, it is not a bad read, and is, despite the aforementioned reservations, recommended.
carolNJ More than 1 year ago
Excellent, Could not put down this book. Can't wait for her nex book
Lovetoread57GHTX More than 1 year ago
I like the series and the main character - Michael. Storylines are very topical, fast-paced with great supporting characters. Overall well-written books - I can't wait for the next one.
cjoneslibrarian More than 1 year ago
Stevens has another hit on her hands with this 2nd Munroe thriller/adventure. She lets us peek into more of Munroe's past as she shows us how Munroe helps locate an abducted child held in a South American cult. Munroe's demons and skills provide thrills; cult details provide the creepy in this novel that's hard to put down.
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Innocent is a second good book from Taylor Stevens, as her take-no-prisoners heroine, Vanessa Michael Munroe, goes deep inside a cult to extricate a kidnapped child. One of those books that keeps you turning pages long after you should have gone to sleep. I should note that it's a bit hard to read in (more than a few) places, given the difficult subject matter.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Taylor Stevens roared onto the scene (and the New York Times Bestseller list) with her debut thriller The Informationist. She's back with her second novel featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe called The Innocent.Vanessa Michael Munroe is capable of just about anything. She's brilliant, beyond tough and loyal. How does she earn her living? Taking on cases that no one else is capable of seeing through or even wants to attempt. When her close friend Logan comes to her with a request for the seemingly impossible, she can't turn him down. Five year old Hannah was kidnapped by her mother's ex boyfriend almost eight years ago. She has been taken and secreted within The Chosen - a cult. After so long, they finally have word that Hannah might be in one of The Havens in Argentina. Armed with inside knowledge from three adult survivors of The Chosen, Munroe agrees to take the case. For above all else - she will protect the innocent.Taylor has painted a frightening picture of the inner workings of a cult and the treatment of the children trapped in a situation they didn't choose. The everyday life, the lack of schooling, the begging, the hierarchy, the running, the hiding, the abuse.... And she's not making it up. Author Taylor Stevens is writing what she knows. She grew up in a 'communal apocalyptic cult', finally getting out in her twenties.Stevens has crafted yet another unputdownable book. Hannah's chapters are alternated with Munroe's. We know what is going on with Hannah and can only will Munroe to get there faster. The ratcheting tension made it really hard to step away. What made it hard to put down? I loved the character. We learn more about Munroe with each book, but she is still an enigma. It was fantastic to have such a kick a** female protagonist, one who can hold her own in almost any situation. Over the top? Maybe - but a delicious piece of escapist reading. (but still kind of scary, when you realize that the cult descriptions are real.)Think of all those tough guy Jason Statham movie type characters and make them female.I chose to listen to The Innocent in audio book format. The reader was Hilary Huber. She has a well modulated voice. She conveyed Munroe's voice perfectly, never raising it, but transmitting her purpose and strength by talking even quieter.Another excellent thriller and number three is in the works - The Doll, due out in 2012.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this second book of the series. Michael is a very unique character and her ability to process information is different ,as is her ability to quickly learn languages. This book covers the kidnapping of a child by a cult, a situation the author is very familiar with and informative to me as a reader. Look forward to the third book.
Stephanie_Ward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Innocent" is the second novel by Taylor Stevens that follows fearless heroine Vanessa ¿Michael¿ Monroe. Monroe¿s best friend Logan contacts her from across the globe to ask for her help concerning his dark past involved in a religious cult called ¿The Chosen.¿ Even though Logan is openly gay, he reveals to Monroe that he has an 8-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has been kidnapped by the cult and he needs Monroe¿s help to find her and bring her home. Monroe accepts the challenge of infiltrating this cult and finds herself in the middle of much more than she anticipated ¿ including drug lords, high-ranking government officials, and the unspoken horrors of child abuse.Stevens¿ second novel is a taut, action-filled adventure that takes the reader inside the secret world of a religious cult. The story takes awhile to pick up in pace, but once it gets going, there is no shortage of thrills and page-turning twists. Monroe has made an American heroine that can be compared to Steig Larsson¿s Lisbeth Salander ¿ complete with all the quirks that made her so different from other leading ladies. This book is a solid thriller with a good plot and a storyline that makes it stand out from others in the genre.Disclosure: I received my copy of this book free from Goodread¿s First Reads program. This had no impact on my opinion of the book or my review.
LaBibliophille on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Innocent is the second novel in the series about my favorite action hero Vanessa Michael Munroe. Munroe is contacted by Logan, an old friend of hers. A girl named Hannah has been kidnapped into a cult known as The Chosen. After looking for Hannah for eight years, Logan knows that the now thirteen year old is living in one of The Chosen's "havens" in Buenos Aires.Logan and a small group of former cult members wish to hire Munroe to abduct Hannah out of the haven, and return her to her mother. Only because of her long-standing friendship with Logan does Munroe agree. The assignment will be dangerous for Munroe, but more so for any one who stands in the way of her mission.Author Taylor Stevens was raised in a cult and she understands the indoctrination process and how a child with limited experience can be taught to fear the outside world. Stevens herself broke of the Children of God in her twenties, and she has special insight into Logan and his friends and how they deal with the world.This book is fast-paced and exciting. It is very violent and there are strong allusions to sexual abuse of children. But it is all necessary to explain why Logan and Munroe are desperate to rescue Hannah.Apparently, Stevens has finished the third book in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series and I look forward to reading that.
Ronrose1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Innocent is good, but lacks much of the in your face, edge of the knife, fast paced action of Taylor Stevens' first novel, The Informationist. In contrast to the unexpected twists and turns of her first novel, The Innocent covers territory that will seem familiar to readers of the action, thriller genre. While this is a good, stand alone story, if you haven't read the first book of the series, you really won't see the full depth and complexity of the main character, Vanessa Michael Munroe from this book. It would be a shame not to realize the full range of this character, so definitely start this series from the beginning. Provided for review by the good folks at Amazon Vine.
justmelissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Do-gooder vigilante Vanessa Michael Monroe is back, this time she¿s helping spring a young woman named Hannah from The Chosen, a religious cult, in order to return Hannah to her parents. Michael¿s background as the child of zealous missionaries, her friendship with Logan (an escapee of The Chosen), & her extensive training in combat techniques makes her a sympathetic and capable candidate to infiltrate the cult to retrieve Hannah. In the first book in the series, The Informationist, Michael was ruthless and single-minded; in The Innocent, we see a slightly softer side. Michael is suffering from nightmares as she tries to accept her role in the deaths of aggressors. During this assignment Michael bonds with her clients, three ex-Chosen members. She also gets to know her long time friend Miles Bradford much better. The first book was more brutal, this one has more heart. Together they show Michael as a well rounded character. I look forward to the next entry in the series.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: She moved in a crouch, blade between her teeth, all four limbs connected to the earth; cocked her head, listened, and then continued on again, through the undergrowth and past the body at her bare feet.Once again Vanessa Michael Munroe has been asked to do the impossible. Hannah had been rescued from a religious cult called The Chosen once, but eight years ago, the five-year-old child was stolen back. For eight years a group of former childhood members of The Chosen have searched for Hannah, and now they've found her. The members of this group were raised within the cult, and they all escaped to make lives for themselves on the outside. Knowing what must be faced, they know that the only person they can trust to bring Hannah back and get her out of Argentina is Munroe.Munroe is already on the edge of a breakdown. Horrendous nightmares have her self-medicating in order to get some sort of uninterrupted sleep. Those who know her best doubt that she should even attempt this rescue, but Munroe knows that she's the only hope this young girl has of a normal life. There's no way the group can pay the expenses of this operation, but that doesn't stop Vanessa Michael Munroe. She's known for a long time that there are many things on this earth more important than money.Once again, Taylor Stevens delivers a lightning-paced thriller that doesn't stop. The story reads like an insider's view of life in a cult, and it should because the author grew up within one herself, but Stevens never lets herself become preachy or self-indulgent. Her take-no-prisoners main character sees to that.Stevens' use of language-- in particular her use of verbs-- conveys the message that Vanessa Michael Munroe does not think like other people. Munroe's wired differently, and she is totally unpredictable. Combine such a character with an adrenaline-charged plot and an insider's-type view of the setting, and you've got a book that's almost impossible to put down.If you like strong, intelligent, kick-ass heroines, you just have to meet Vanessa Michael Munroe!
bookmagic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Vanessa Michael Monroe is a fantastic kick-ass heroine. I loved The Informationist and was thrilled to get a copy of The Innocent.This time, Micheal's best friend, Logan needs her help. Logan grew up in a cult called The Chosen. He eventually got out and later helped his childhood friend, Charity and her daughter, Hannah get out. Charity's boyfriend leaves the cult with them but eventually decides to return, kidnapping Hannah and taking her with them. The Chosen have kept Hannah closely hidden but now Logan and some of his former cult members have information about where Hannah may be kept. But they need Michael to get her out. Michael agrees but not before finding out some other motives of the ex-members, including Logan himself. Miles Bradford, who also appeared in The Informationist joins Michael. She has been having violent nightmares and Miles thinks the work will be helpful.This had less action than the first novel which was a little disappointing. We do see more of what goes on in Michael's head and how she deals with things and more interaction between her and Miles.The novel mostly takes place in Argentina, but I did not feel like a lot was said about the setting. it could have been anywhere. There were also some loose ends that did not feel resolved by the end.All in all, a good book but not as good as The Informationist, which should be read before reading this book or the reader will have almost no background on Michael.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Vanessa Michael Moore is an assassin who has nightmares about her past. She understands her killing capability and when her best friend, Logan, asks for help, she can't refuse.Logan explains that eight years earlier, his friend, Charity's daughter, Hannah, was abducted from her school and carried across the Mexican border to a cult known as The Chosen. Hannah was five years-old at the time and Logan and other members of the cult who have escaped ask Munroe if she'll rescue her.These people were childhood members of The Chosen and tell Munroe some of the things that go on there and inform her that they know where Hannah is being held.Munroe poses as a donor and makes contact with members of The Chosen in South America. Since she is bringing wealth, she's accepted without question.When she gets into a group home and sees other children, Munroe understands how difficult it may be to rescue Hannah if she has been brainwashed and is unwilling to leave.The reader understands the level that the children have undergone instruction from The Chosen. It is a timely novel when we think of the young people who are being abused by people in authority and we see how naive children can be.The book is disquieting at times when we see the vulnerability of the children but it is still a wonderfully evocative novel that will remain in the reader's mind with the thoughts of missing and lost children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intriguing characters and a solid mystery. The romance seems a bit rushed, though, so I hope the author writes more stories about these characters; I would like to see how their relationship develops. -- lyradora
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a book! Through her Munroe character Stevens pulls aside the veil of secrecy protecting the inner workings of religious cults and shows the human costs of how they function. For someone born into ‘normal’ society it is difficult to understand the complete and utter dependence one experiences in such an environment and the countless barriers making it nearly impossible to break away. But Stevens manages to convey all of this in an intriguing, action-packed thriller that draws the reader into an unfamiliar life in another country. The Argentinian / South American environment she describes all but jumps off the pages, and her ongoing development of the kickass character of Munroe continues to amaze and delight. Munroe is easily the most interesting character I’ve read in decades, and one the reader cannot help but root for.