The Innocent by Taylor Stevens

The Innocent (Vanessa Michael Munroe Series #2)The Innocent. Finished 3-10-13, rating 4/5, thriller, 331 pages, pub. 2011

Book 2 of the Vanessa Michael Munroe series (The Informationist)

Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who’ve searched the longest know where to find her. They are childhood survivors of The Chosen, thirty-somethings born and raised inside the cult who’ve managed to make lives for themselves on the outside. They understand the mindset, the culture within that world, and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help, knowing that the only possibility of stealing Hannah back and getting her safely out of Argentina is to trust someone who doesn’t trust them, and get Munroe on the inside.

from Goodreads

In this second Munroe novel, she is just as brutal and lethal, but she is also more damaged and vulnerable, and that made this book better than the first for me.  After some after-Africa downtime, Munroe’s best friend Logan finds her and begs her to help him find the daughter of a very good friend a fellow cult survivor.  Munroe needs to work and she loves Logan so she says yes and they head to Buenos Aires and she prepares to infiltrate The Chosen, a religious cult, and get the girl out.

In my review of the first book I said that I didn’t necessarily like Munroe and certainly wouldn’t want to grab a coffee together, but this book had me liking her more. Munroe has her own history of growing up on the streets and living through torturous experiences and so her task of getting close to The Chosen and the survivors felt right.  And her having Miles Bradford as her wingman for the operation was great since I already knew their history and was hoping for a little more heat.  I was not disappointed.

I thought this one took a little more time to get sucked into, but it was worth it because by halfway through I didn’t want to put it down (and only did so to do laundry!).  If you know about the author’s history then you know this book was close to her heart.  She knows about this culture and is living proof that people do break free and thrive.   Here’s a link to her website that gives you a little of her history.

Munroe is a great series heroine – there need to be more thrillers out there with kick-butt women leading the way.  I do think that this should be read only after reading the first one (The Informationist).  I bought this with my own money when I heard Taylor speak last year.

20 thoughts on “The Innocent by Taylor Stevens

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    I’m glad to see you say that you liked the 2nd one better than the 1st. I read The Informationist and thought it was okay. But not good enough for me to continue the series. If #2 is better, maybe I’ll give it a shot. 4/5 is a pretty good rating. My tendency is to give her the benefit of the doubt because I’m a big fan of her blog posts. I really appreciate how forthright she is in describing and explaining how the publishing industry works.

  2. sandynawrot says:

    I really enjoy this series! She is a total badass, but you are right, you get more insight into her character in this book. I did like The Doll, but feel that she is maybe a little more emotionally distant in that one than in the 2nd one. Or maybe I’m just used to her, I’m not sure. It just seems unbelievable that Taylor was able to get herself out of that situation and become a successful author. Amazing, and it makes me want to support her as much as I can.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      I agree about wanting to support her. For me, it’s just that I’ve found her so accessible. Maybe Munroe was more vulnerable in this one because it was so close to Taylor’s heart.

  3. My Home of Books says:

    I have this one on my kindle but haven’t read it yet. I started a few chapters of her first book from the library and didn’t connect with it enough to finish. However I once read an online article about her early life and my hat is off to this incredible woman for surviving what she did and being able to write a fictionalized version of some of the things that happened to her. Therefore I picked this e-book up last year but have delayed reading it so far. I love suspense/thrillers/mysteries etc, as long as they are not extremely graphic. Maybe this will give me the nudge to give this series a try. Thanks!

  4. Lloyd Russell says:

    I just got an ARC of The Catch from Taylor with a personal note that appears to have been signed by her. Although I stopped reading her after The Informationist, I’m going to read The Catch and see if it grabs me better than the 1st one did.

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