Monday, June 06, 2011


THE INFORMATIONIST by Taylor Stevens: Something about summer inspires me to read thrillers. Perhaps it's a fast-moving plot to counter the slow-moving summer. At any rate, my thriller kick continues with this novel by Taylor Stevens, whose own life, growing up all over the world after being born into a cult, reads like a novel. Is Vanessa Michael Munroe really "the next Lisbeth Salander"? What does that even mean? She's a damaged, resourceful woman who often finds posing as a man useful in her line of work, which is collecting information. She's a chameleon, picking up language without effort, understanding the nuances of culture at a glance, so she is extremely successful at obtaining information no one else can get. What she doesn't do is find people like a private detective, but she can't resist the mystery behind Emily Burbank, who was last seen in Namibia, nor the millions offered by Emily's oil tycoon father. Hostility to her search is immediate and strong, and she ends up enlisting the help of the gunrunner with a heart of gold whom she abandoned years before. We learn more about Monroe's dark past and her reluctance to form attachments (she is horrified to find herself with a partner). As a tortured character, Monroe can't be favorably compared to the more nuanced Lisbeth Salander, but this is a solid thriller that keeps the action going and the reader guessing. I had difficulty putting it down. Highly recommended as a vacation read!

Source disclosure: I purchased this book.

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