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The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

The Informationist

by Taylor Stevens

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6586014,612 (3.58)62
  1. 40
    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (aliklein, 4leschats)
    4leschats: I too found Vanessa similar to Salander.
  2. 10
    Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré (Lisianthus)
    Lisianthus: Very good book! More than anything else, his John le Carré's style of writing is masterly, there is humour, suspense, human interest... A complete kind of book.
  3. 00
    One Kick by Chelsea Cain (4leschats)
  4. 00
    The Right Hand by Derek Haas (4leschats)
    4leschats: Like Vanessa, Austin Clay is on his own as a CIA fixer that the left hand can't know about.

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» See also 62 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Vanessa Michael Munroe is specialist in gathering information for corporations that no one else seems to be able to get. Her past is checkered and her connections are many, and this aids her in her successful career. Hired by a Texas millionaire to find his long missing daughter is a little outside the boundaries of what she usually does, but the 5 million dollar paycheck makes it an offer she cannot turn down. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it seems, especially when 5 million dollars are involved.

In my opinion there are two types of adventure thrillers. The first where you accept that it is going to be a roller coaster ride from start to finish (Matthew Reilly), you accept it for what it is and enjoy the ride. The second draws you a little deeper into the characters and has not necessarily plausible situations but less improbable ones. Ms. Stevens tries to combine the two and falls short on both. There were times in reading this book that I just wanted to climb between the pages and say enough already. That’s a frustrating feeling so I couldn’t enjoy this book as much as some others. The one saving grace for me was the strong, intelligent, no nonsense female protagonist. Seeing more and more of them cropping up in fiction and I like the trend.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
On the strength of glowing reviews and publishers' over-the-top PR, I've purchased four debut novels in as many weeks, all of them categorised as 'magnificent, original, outstanding, superb' etc.

Two of those I couldn't finish. Derivative, boring, repetitive. One I did finish but only through sheer willpower.

But _this_ book was the real thing. An amazing debut novel coming out of nowhere. Almost perfect -- just a couple of plot holes, one major, one minor, but both easily overlooked in the adrenaline rush of page-turning action and gut-wrenching characterisation.

What an amazing heroine Ms Stevens has created. Totally convincing and totally unforgettable.

Easily the best thriller I've read this year. ( )
  skirret | Jan 2, 2015 |
The Informationist is the ideal escapist read. It’s exciting and fast-paced with a great mystery at its core. The protagonist is more than a little over the top - she’s a brilliant, badass, emotionally damaged adrenaline junkie with ninja-like skills and a tragic past who speaks 22 languages. Ridiculous, I know, but it was so much fun.

A big part of what makes the story interesting is the locale. The author truly brings the setting to life with vivid descriptions and insight into the culture, politics, and socioeconomics of Equatorial Guinea and its neighboring countries. Despite the noticeable (and slightly disturbing) lack of good-guy POC characters, I couldn’t help but enjoy myself as I explored a part of the world completely different from what I normally read.

The story gets surprisingly tense and emotional towards the end. Even though I guessed who the villain was early on, there were still plenty of surprises. I could hardly put it down. I definitely recommend The Informationist for mystery and thriller fans, and perhaps some romance readers as well. ( )
  les121 | Mar 16, 2014 |
I started out thinking I wasn't going to like this novel, but ended up really enjoying it. In the first few pages, there were several bits of language that seemed really clunky and poorly written, and I was about to decide I didn't want to bother trying to read something with such distractingly poor writing,when....the story reached out and grabbed me. I don't know if the technical aspects of the book got better, or whether my mind was just swept away and stopped noticing.

In some ways, the story is the standard spy/suspense plot: Gorgeous/handsome person overcomes tragic background, trains hard, and becomes a super-skilled, super-stealthy, super-deadly, Superhero(ine). It hits all the checkpoints, from genius IQ to physical perfection to incomparable skills at martial arts. Robert Ludlum updated for the 20-teens. And yet, somehow, it captured my fancy, and I was able to overlook all that. I think it was the fact that the author spent considerable time (for this type of book) on letting the reader know how the protagonist got to be the person she had become, and why. Not with pathos - I never really felt sorry for the character despite her having undergone horrific experiences - but with a sense of "Yeah, that happened, and I've dealt with it." Kind of refreshing!

So, not a great book (in my opinion) but an enjoyable read, and I will have an eye out for future entries in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series. I like it -- a solid three-stars. ( )
  duende | Feb 6, 2014 |
The protagonist was absolutely unbelievable--really, deliberately dislocating her thumb, twice, to wriggle out of handcuffs?--but even I will suspend disbelief if the plot merits it. In this case, however, I found this "thriller" ultimately to be boring. I will not be continuing this series. ( )
  librarianarpita | Dec 16, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
The Informationist pushes every one of my buttons: exotic locale, sassy and competent protagonist, crisp dialogue and nonstop action. A fine debut—can’t wait for the sequel!
added by 4leschats | editBook Page, Bruce Tierney (Mar 1, 2011)
Stevens has penned a fast-paced, gripping, edgy mystery with a heroine whom even Lisbeth Salander would admire. Recommended for all contemporary thriller fiction fans who like thrillers similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
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To my fellow childhood survivors - you know who you are
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This is where he would die.
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Book description
Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back.

Until now. 
A Texas oil billionaire has hired her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. It’s not her usual line of work, but she can’t resist the challenge. Pulled deep into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in the lands of her childhood, betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead. If she has any hope of escaping the jungle and the demons that drive her, she must come face-to-face with the past that she’s tried for so long to forget.
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Dealing information to wealthy clients throughout the world, Vanessa Munroe hopes to leave her unconventional past behind her until a mission to find the missing daughter of a Texas oil billionaire forces her to return to the central Africa region of her youth.… (more)

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