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REVIEW: Talyor Stevens' prose, plot twists make 'The Informationist' a solid thriller
Review by Michelle Simon

"This is where he would die." When a novel opens with such a comment and it's from an event in West Central Africa, the reader knows to expect some chilling scenes, perhaps a haunting past. 'The Informationist' by Talyor Stevens (Crown Publishers) is a thriller set in Dallas and North Africa that lives up to its early promise.

The debut novel centers around a woman, Vanessa Munroe, who is an expert at collecting information for large corporations, private clients and heads of states. Things are business as usual until she receives an unusual request from billionaire Richard Burbank, who wants her to track down his daughter who has been missing in Central Africa for a year. Munroe reluctantly takes the assignment as it draws to her to where she spent her childhood. 

She reunites with the a mercenary she worked for as a teen, bringing back unpleasant memories. The story is full of twists that will surprise even the more seasoned fans of thrillers. Stevens' experiences in Africa -- and perhaps her unusual background as a survivor of a doomsday cult -- lend a sometimes forlorn tone to the novel. And Richard Burbank's motives aren't as noble and innocent as they seem.

I give this book four out of five stars. The storyline was very interesting, Stevens has a fluid and direct prose style that belies her debutante status, and I enjoyed the various plot twists. Stevens kept me wanting to read more.

Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!... 4 stars: Excellent... 3 stars: Good... 2 stars: Mediocre... 1 star: Lame!

Rating: 4 stars

For more information about Random House imprint Crown Publishers and its authors check out their website. The Informationist is available in hardback and paperback at Amazon. More on Taylor Stevens is here.

Michelle Simon, a graduate of Holy Names University, is an assistant director at a San Francisco Bay Area university and a political activist. She still fits into her Catholic high school uniform.


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