The Informationist by Taylor Stevens
(Crown, $23.00, 307 page, ISBN 978-0-307-71709-2)
When I first picked up The Informationist, by Taylor Stevens, I did so because of the praise it was receiving from authors like Vince Flynn, Tess Gerritsen and Colin Harrison, among others, and I wasn’t disappointed. They were all spot-on. This debut novel features a heroine named Vanessa Munroe, known as “Michael.” She deals in information, through her ability to sift and analyze large amounts of often confusing data and reach conclusions that others cannot. Born in war-ravaged central Africa to neglectful missionary parents, Michael emancipates herself at age 14 and joins a gang of notorious smugglers and gun dealers where she learns fighting and survival skills, and discovers her talents as an analyst. She leaves Africa and the gang suddenly and winds up in Dallas, Texas, where she establishes herself as an information provider for corporate cliental. When she decides to accept an unusual missing person assignment from an oil tycoon, everything changes. In order to successfully complete the job, she has to return to lawless West Central Africa . . . where she’s forced to confront all the elements she once ran away from.
The action and pace pick up and never slow down. You’ll find yourself rooting for this unlikely, unconventional woman as she fights her way through enemies old and new, hoping she gets out alive. A fast-paced, tense thriller I found hard to put down, The Informationist kept me reading far into the night. You will too. Don’t forget to check out the new Daniel Pierce Library, or any local library, and remember what Sam Clements said, “Those who will not read have no advantage over those who cannot read.”