A Book for People Who Liked Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
While reading The Informationist by Taylor Stevens I was struck by how this thriller has some of the same aspects of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I think people who enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would also enjoy The Informationist.
The main character is Vanessa (Michael) Munroe who gathers information about developing countries for corporations that want to do business there. She is a genius with learning languages, adapting to local customs, and finding contacts. She is tough, resourceful, and works alone. Although Munroe is an American, she was born in Cameroon to missionary parents, lived with the natives, ran off when she was fourteen, took up with the gun runner and drug dealer Francisco Beyard who became her mentor, and learned the geography and power structure of west central Africa. She speaks twenty-two languages and can easily disguise herself as a male if needed. Kate Breeden acts as an agent for Munroe and tells her about a lucrative offer from Richard Burbank, a wealthy Texas oil man. Burbank's step-daughter Emily disappeared in west central Africa four years ago, and he wants closure on the mystery. His wife Elizabeth committed suicide after Emily disappeared. Burbank insists that Miles Bradford, a family friend and former Special Forces officer, accompany her. This is a fast-paced and gripping story with corruption, violence, betrayal, and death at every twist and turn.
According to the Taylor Steven's Facebook page and website, she was raised in communes run by the Children of God, a non-mainstream religious group (she calls it a cult), and lived all over the world. Her time spent in Africa provides the background for the vivid descriptions in her debut novel. She is writing the next Vanessa Munroe novel.