“Munroe is a sensational character and Stevens is a sensational writer.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
For fans of Lee Child, Terry Hayes, and Laura Lippman comes a blistering thriller in which Vanessa Michael Munroe faces the fight of her life
Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and information hunter, has a reputation for getting things done: dangerous and not quite legal things that have taken her undercover into some of the world’s deadliest places. Still healing from a Somali hijacking gone wrong and a brutal attack that left her near death, Munroe joins her lover, Miles Bradford, in Japan where he’s working as a security consultant protecting high-value technology from industrial espionage. In the domesticity of their routine she finds long sought-after peace—until Bradford is arrested for murder, and the same interests who targeted him come after her, too.
Searching for answers and fighting to stay alive, Munroe will soon discover how far she’ll go to save Bradford from spending the next twenty years in locked-up isolation; how many laws she’ll break when the truth seems worse than his lies; and who to trust and who she must kill. Because she’s a strategist and hunter with a predator’s instincts, and the man she loves has just stabbed her in the back.
With break-neck pacing, incendiary prose, and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Mask features Vanessa Michael Munroe: a brilliant, lethal heroine who will stop at nothing to find the truth, no matter what it may cost.
“Stevens excels at depicting pulse-pounding danger, and her prose and plotting are spectacular. . . . Only Dan Brown and Lee Child come close.” —Dallas Morning News
“[Munroe is] a protagonist as deadly as she is irresistible.” —Vince Flynn
“If you are a fan of Jack Reacher, Lisbeth Salander, or Nina Zero, you need to check out Vanessa Michael Munroe!” —BookPage
“A winning series character who has the world at her beck and call.” —Los Angeles Times
“Munroe’s brooding personality and her ability to blend into her surroundings bring to mind the provocative Jason Bourne.” —USA Today
Stevens's underwhelming fifth Vanessa Michael Munroe thriller (after 2013's The Doll) takes the information broker to Osaka, Japan, where her coworker and best friend, Miles Bradford, has taken a job to uncover a corporate spy at a company called ALTEQ-Bio. Munroe can enjoy time by herself while he works, Bradford maintains, though she resents that he doesn't include her in his effort to ferret out the spy. Munroe has an uneasy feeling when Bradford brings her to the ALTEQ-Bio office one day, shortly before he's arrested for murder. Munroe kicks into high action, determined to find out who framed Bradford. Her propensity for rage remains a believable part of this series as she mixes her intelligence with her extreme martial arts skills. The fight scenes, though well choreographed, seem at times like an afterthought, thrown in when the plot frequently stalls. The Japanese setting is under utilized in a slow-grinding story that could be set anywhere.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Love the characters, love the settings, the story, the drama. Hands down one of my favorite all time series.
Took a while to warm up to
***I received a copy of this book from Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.***
When I started reading this book, I did not realize that it was the fifth book in the series and while these books can sort of be read as standalones, I think knowing Vanessa/Micheal's background story is a little important in getting to know her character. I think it would have helped me better understand her history with Miles Bradford.
Anyway, I found that the story is a little dull at the beginning, so much that I considered not reading the rest of it and putting it aside as a "Did Not Finish." It's just so routine and dull that I had a hard time not skipping ahead in hopes of the story getting better. I hit 30% when it finally did start looking up, and 58% when my interest was all-in. I'm disappointed it took until I was past the 50% mark to get fully invested in this book, because I feel it was a waste of my time. But then the action started, and the story really took off with mind-games and trying to figure out who-dun-it. I was actually grinning at 82% because of the mind games going on between Vanessa and one of the guilty parties. It was entertaining to read about, which is why I really resent the first half of the book for taking up space and taking so long to get to the great parts of this book.
This is a good book, but it isn't great, which is why it was docked 1 platypire. The 2nd platypire was docked because the first half of the book was not memorable in any way nor was it exciting or thrilling to read about. It was dull and lifeless, and the book could have been better off without it.
But, I did like the action and spy/espionage portion of it, as well as how brilliantly the author describes her scenes in a foreign country. I felt like I was there and could envision the places being described, which is something I greatly admire. So mad props to the author for that.
Because of all of these factors, I give The Mask 3/5 Platypires.
Excellent book. I think this was maybe the best yet. Not sure how a writer can be so creative but am grateful Taylor Stevens is. A wonderful writer.