Thursday, July 23, 2015

REVIEW: THE MASK by TAYLOR STEVENS


TITLE: THE MASK
TAYLOR STEVENS
GENRE: MYSTERY, THRILLER
PUBLISHER: CROWN
PUBLISHED: JUNE 30, 2015
PAGES: 352

BUY LINK: AMAZON


“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. 



I discovered this author when I entered and won a copy of The Mask through Penguin’s First to Read program.  The blurb grabbed my attention and I figured that this would be an exciting read. The Mask is book 5 in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series; however, it can be read as a standalone.


Vanessa Michael Munroe is one of the most complicated characters that I have ever encountered.  Her past was not pretty. She had lived through hell and in a bid to escape the atrocities she was driven to perform the unthinkable.  She is one hell of a killing, fighting machine that you would not wish to encounter. Being that this is the fifth book in the series it was great to see the author providing detailed background information about Vanessa.  As a result, I got to know her and was able to understand what made her tick.

In this installment we see Vanessa travelling to Japan to spend time with her lover, Miles Bradford.  During this time she was hoping that she would have the chance to assist him with his latest job, however he had a different agenda. All this changed, however, when Bradford was framed for murder and Vanessa had to step in to prove his innocence.

The story started out with a bang; however, things slowed down after a while.  During this time I had difficulty getting into the story.  Nevertheless, I kept reading hoping that things would get better.  I am glad I did as the story picked up midway into the book.  During this time the action was intense and I was compelled to keep turning the pages.  The story kept me guessing at every page turn.
I was provided with a glimpse into the Japanese culture. I learnt about their traditions, standards and morals. The author’s writing was so descriptive that I was able picture all that was taking place.  What I found confusing about this title was the way the book was broken down. It was not broken down by chapters, but rather by datelines. It was a bit confusing at first, but as I got deeper into the story I was able to understand what was taking place.

Overall, this was an interesting read and I definitely will be reading the other books in the series.





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