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The Doll

(Vanessa Michael Munroe #3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,665 ratings  ·  370 reviews
“A heroine every bit as provocative as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.” –The Dallas Morning News
   Haunted by a life of violence and as proficient with languages as she is with knives, Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and hunter, has built her life on a reputation for getting things done—dangerous and often not-quite-legal things. Born to missionary parents in lawless
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Crown (first published June 4th 2012)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,665 ratings  ·  370 reviews

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Patrice Hoffman
I'll start by summing up my review: I loved this adventure with Vanessa Michael Munroe!!!!! Taylor Stevens has made a fan of me after only reading one novel, out of order in fact. Sure it's not flawless but is exactly what I want in an action, suspense thriller.

The novel begins with Bradford checking out leads for where Vanessa Michael Munroe could be. The teams' intel suggests that she was involved in an "accident" that set the stage for her kidnapping. This kidnapping was orchestrated by the i
JoAnne Pulcino
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Taylor Stevens

Its official I’m a complete Taylor Stevens junkie now!!! After three books I’m convinced she is the real thing. There is so much that could be said about her thrillers from the sensational, scary and violent character of Vanessa Michael Munroe to the pulse pounding, spellbinding plots.

THE DOLL is a riveting action plot driven adventure that begins with Munroe being kidnapped and thrown into an underground world where women and young girls are merchandise. The maste
L.A. Starks
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a natural follow-on series for anyone who likes the Stieg Larsson trilogy, or any other thriller series, such as books by Vince Flynn, Brad Taylor, Patricia Cornwell, Ben Coes, Alex Berenson, etc. While/because Vanessa Michael Munroe is deeply psychically wounded, she is also phenomenally capable and self-aware--an action heroine for the times.

Stevens gives readers nonstop conflict on every page and writes with ease about settings as diverse as Croatia, Italy...and Texas.
Jamie Arledge
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the 3rd book in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series and I’ve read them all. I absolutely LOVE this series. From someone that reads about 60 books a year I’ve got to say that not only is this the best series that I’ve ever read but Vanessa Michael Munroe is my all-time favorite female character. She is very one of a kind and can kick some major butt.

This story was just as good as the first 2 books in the series but since Munroe played a different role in this book she didn’t get the opportu
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This is a tautly written thriller that serves up a nasty tale of human trafficking. The tension is non-stop with lots of action.

The antagonist here is the Doll Maker, a cruel, diminutive man who dresses in impeccably tailored suits. Smug, sometimes displaying a sly smile, he dispenses his horrible orders to his minions with a soft voice filled with gloat. He ensconces himself in his office which houses a collection of dolls - lots of them. He holds them, strokes their hair, fusses with their cl
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The thing about this series is that it is so gleefully violent and dark that it makes you go with the flow. Michael is being forced to help a sex trafficker but the woman she has to transport has more mettle than Michael originally anticipates. They start to work together while on the homefront, Bradford Miles tries to save the day. I love this series but I hate how when we have tormented characters like this, they never get to stay, consistently, in a relationship. Like, BREAK THE MOLD, writers ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This is book three in the Vanessa Munroe series, I have a feeling I might have got more from this book if I had read prior books in the series.

This book left me with very mixed feelings about it, I liked certain aspects of it then was bored and uninterested in others, so this is not an easy review to write.

Information specialist Vanessa 'Michael' Munroe has a global reputation for getting things done, often dangerous and violent things.

But her reputation has brought her dangerous enemies.

On a
May 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
The previous book actually raised some interesting questions about joining a cult, while this one, which could have raised equally interesting questions about human trafficking chose to stay with the violence and mystery behind Michael's life. As a result, I was less impressed with this one. We get a lot of clues into her back story, more than in the previous book, which supposedly explain how she got to be the way she is. We're also told - repeatedly - that she has some weird wiring in her brai ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimi-thriller
Tak děsivě realistické, až se tomu bojím dát pět hvězd.
Michelle Lancaster
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel
By Taylor Stevens
Crown Publishers, 335 pgs
Submitted by Crown Publishers
Rating: 4.5

And they're off! The Doll bursts out of the starting gate like Secretariat at Aqueduct. This is no exaggeration: page one and our heroine is darted like a bear and kidnapped by homicidal Croatians masquerading as paramedics in an ambulance stolen from the city of Dallas. Miles Bradford, lover, PTSD-sufferer, spy extraordinaire and Boy Robin, witnesses the scene from hi
Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Taylor Stevens Vanessa Munroe series has been marketed extensively and compared favorably to the Lisbeth Salander series. Both series do share a strong female character who fights violence and investigate crimes against women, and both Salander and Munroe do not fit established images of how women are to behave. The Munroe series also takes on tough world situations.

Vanessa Munroe, dressing like a man, and sometimes mistaken for a man, is a trained killer and experienced in the various ways tha
Luanne Ollivier
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Doesn't the cover of The Doll just promise an 'edge of your seat' read? And Taylor Stevens delivers one....again!

I've deoured the first two books featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe - The Informationist and The Innocent - and have been early awaiting the third novel to feature this kick*** character. The Doll releases today.

Vanessa Michael Munroe is....well, she's deadly, with incredible physical skills and she's brilliant - she speaks many languages and easily assimilates into the situation or c
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller-mystery
Taylor Stevens gets better with each book. This--"The Doll" (Crown 2013)--is her third in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series, and in my estimation, the best. Her Munroe character is unlike any other out there in the thriller genre. She is severely damaged by events in her life, but uses those scars to thrive as an informationist--finding information and sometimes people for others. With spot-on instincts, the ability to connect the dots even when she can't see them, and a facility with both menta ...more
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears on my novel, TV & movie review blog. Note that there are links in the blog review which are not reproduced here, and that any updates or modifications to the blog review will not be replicated here.

I rated this novel WARTY!

Note: Some Spoilers!

So why would a nation which overthrew the monarchy sport a publishing company called Crown Publishing? Another mystery for Vanessa Michael Munroe to crack?! This novel, published by Crown, is the third in an ong
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book to read and it did not disappoint. If you are a fan of that other famous trilogy about a young woman in peril, then you'll like Taylor Stevens take on a similar protagonist, even if it feels a bit familiar.

I read the first two books in quick succession and then there was a lag before this one came to me. I found that I couldn't quite remember some of the details of the first two books which had some impact on my following this plot in the b
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
When Munroe is taken away by an ambulance after crashing her motorcycle outside Bradford's office, he immediately becomes uneasy. Bradford's worst fears are confirmed when Munroe's wallet is found at a local emergency room, but she's nowhere to be found. Certain that she's been kidnapped, Bradford and his colleagues try to determine where she's gone. The people that have taken Munroe have severely injured her best friend, Logan, in order to get Munroe to agree to their demand: deliver famous act ...more
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Vanessa Michael Monroe is a killer. She was taught to kill by a man in Africa, a long time ago. She fights against this darkness every day. She is in love with Miles Bradford, who tries to teach her to set aside this darkness. But, Bradford is helpless when he watches Michael get kidnapped. Her task is to transport a young Hollywood starlet to her new owner, who has purchased her through a human trafficking operation. The Doll Maker holds hostage one of the few people Michael loves and Logan wil ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great entry to this series, story flowed well and I didn't want to stop reading...always a good sign. As others have noted, the author has "expanded" the action to include Bradford and as a result we see more depth to both Michael and Bradford. This series should appeal to fans of both Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson.
Stacy Bender
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Addictive read
Patrick Blackburn
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Taylor Stevens is a terrific thriller writer. She burst onto the literary scene in 2010 with “The Informationist,” the first in a five-book deal from Crown Publishers. In it, we were introduced to a new and exciting heroine, the androgynous and seriously badass Vanessa Michael Monroe. Not only can see pass as a man in situations that call for, well, a man’s touch, but she has a photographic memory and a knack for learning languages. While her past has left her damaged, she lives her life by a co ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
On page one of The Doll, book three of the Vanessa Michael Munroe series, Stevens mysteriously whisks off her protagonist. With my heart pounding, biting my nails, I tail Munroe’s lover Bradford in frantic pursuit. The hunt leapfrogs back and forth between a rank and menacing cesspool hidden in Central Europe, and its operations in the U.S. The deeper I progress into the pages of the novel, I find myself in a battle between my urge to tap the screen and advance and my gnawing fear about what I m ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-are, edelweiss

Plunging straight into the action from the first page, The Doll is an addictive, fast paced thriller. The third book in Taylor Stevens series featuring Vanessa Michael Munroe sees 'Michael' kidnapped by an international human trafficker known as The Doll Maker and forced to deliver a young woman to a violent sadist or forfeit the life of those Munroe loves.

What I particularly enjoyed about this installment is the way in which Munroe is forced to leash her prodigious talent for violence to outwit
Marie Cauley
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The Doll" is the 3rd title in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series, and it's Taylor Stevens' best one to date. If you love action with a strong female lead, then this is your book. Michael takes on the world of human trafficking - though reluctantly as she is kidnapped and forced into delivering a high profile actress from the Doll Maker to a wealthy client...dressed to resemble a porcelain doll. Initially she takes on the assignment to save her life, and more importantly, the life of someone she ...more
Tom Tischler
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Information Specialist Vanessa Michael Munroe always gets
things done. Often they are dangerous and not quite legal
She is scarred from a life of violence and pursued by plenty
of her own demons. She is proficient in quite a few languages
and also with knives. When a human trafficking ring kidnaps
her to deliver a high profile starlet she's prepared to
destroy them until she discovers that to save one life she
will condemn the person she loves most. She is plunged into
an underground world where wome
Goldilocks Reads (Jenna Vahue)
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

I am not familiar with the Vanessa Michael Munroe series, but I received this book for free and was thankful for the opportunity. I realized later that this was the third installment of the series. I did not care for this novel. I was really interested with the premise and interested with such an engaging synopsis. The writing style was difficult to read and it felt like the author used too many commas and incomplete sentences.

May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, thriller
The Doll by Taylor Stevens is the third book in Steven’s Vanessa Michael Munroe series, and this would have been very helpful to know prior to beginning The Doll. Naturally, this is not the fault of the author’s, but rather me, the reader. I have a dreadful habit of not reading reviews before hand and therefore I occasionally miss key clues, in this case important clues, since from what I read, the main character clearly develops throughout the series and so I was rather behind from the start. I ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I am a fan of Taylor Steven's Vanessa Michael Munroe series.
I root for Vanessa-
This installment is fascinating, appalling and intriguing. I am So Impressed with the women in this story and my heart goes out to them.
I will not say more than The Doll is a famous actress who is ordered as a commodity by a man who buys women. This is a twist on the trafficking issue and Vanessa is called in because of a clandestine history with the Doll's family. This is a perilous dance by Vanessa and her para
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Vanessa Michael Munroe returns to Dallas only to be kidnapped and spirited off to the Balkans where she is compelled to deliver a package, in this case a gorgeous star to the Doll Maker. The Doll Maker heads an organization which delivers female slaves to billionaires in the Middle East.

Monroe is threatened herself but the simultaneous abduction of those closed to her." Deliver the package or sign the death warrant for someone you love" is the message.

This is a terrifying look into a dark corner
Sharon Michael
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While this book can be read as a stand-alone, it is the third book in the series and there are definitely things covered in the first two books that are integral to the characters and the plot as well.

All three books are addictive in their own way, as are the characters. There are many things I generally don't care for in books, including things about the main character and the fairly dark tone of the plots. It is an indication of the author's talent that I am addicted to the series in spite of
Diane S ☔
May 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This is such a dark, gritty and kick but series. Vanessa Michael Monroe is one of the toughest, physically that is, characters in a series today. Mentally, she has a past, a few ghosts that want to tip her over the edge. So while she is fighting the villains, in this case The Dollmsker and slaver of young woman, she is often also fighting herself, trying to keep herself stable in a business that genders violence. Interesting supporting characters, and non stop action, can't wait to see what the ...more
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TAYLOR STEVENS is a critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers. Her books, known for high-octane plots populated with fascinating characters in vivid boots-on-the-ground settings, have been published in over twenty languages. THE INFORMATIONIST, first in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series has also been optioned for film by James Camero ...more

Other books in the series

Vanessa Michael Munroe (5 books)
  • The Informationist (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #1)
  • The Innocent  (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #2)
  • The Catch (Vanessa Michael Munroe #4)
  • The Mask (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #5)
“Lumani had never managed a failed delivery because, in the end, no matter how skilled or how hard they fought back, pressure applied in the right places caused even the strongest men to fracture.
But this one? He'd watched her. Studied her. Observed what maybe even Uncle, the reader of people, had missed. This one was already fractured, and the lines between her broken pieces were not fissures but scar material stronger than whatever had once filled those spaces.”
“But people like the doll guy who sells women and the dog guy who buys women, and other guys who, say, rape women, or maybe don’t go as far as violent rape but treat women like objects instead of people—sure, there’s a difference in the level of crime, but it’s all the same thing, where women become a canvas for throwing emotional baggage, Jackson Pollock style.” 15 likes
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