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The Doll    by Taylor Stevens order for
by Taylor Stevens
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2014 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Doll is the third in Taylor Stevens' lightning paced series starring information specialist Vanessa Michael Munroe. This heroine has been compared to Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. Though she's as tough and at the same time as fragile, their stories aren't in the same league. Nevertheless, The Doll is an engrossing read that will frequently pitch you off the edge of your seat.

Munroe has a dark past that has left her scarred in body and mind. She has worked previously with security consultant Miles Bradford and they are very close; in fact she stayed in Dallas to remain near him. But someone has other plans for her. A human trafficker needs her skill set to transport a high profile doll to an important client. How does he force her cooperation? By kidnapping Munroe, kidnapping and torturing her surrogate brother Logan, and threatening others close to her. Someone fed him those details on Munroe - an old friend, Katherine Breeden, now an implacable enemy.

The Doll Maker gives Munroe two days to transport actress Neeva Eckridge to his client in Italy - and with conditions. No bruises, no drugs, and Munroe must disguise herself as a man. The traffickers also watch her every step of the way. To say that Munroe is conflicted would be a serious understatement. But she proceeds with the plan. In the meantime, Miles, who watched Munroe being taken, is doing everything in his power - pulling in any favors he can - to locate and help her. But the Doll Maker anticipated this and Capstone Security Consulting is soon under attack as well.

How will Vanessa Michael Munroe get out of this one and retain her self respect? You'll have to read The Doll to find out, but Munroe has help from an unexpected source as she walks 'the narrow line between instinct and conscience'. If you enjoy a thriller with nonstop violent action, The Doll and its dangerous heroine will fit the bill.

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