Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Informationist- A Terrific Debut Thriller

Debut novels, especially debut thrillers, scare me.  Is the plot going to be too convoluted?  Will it be too easy and you can guess how it ends by the second chapter?  Writing an effective thriller is extremely difficult, but Taylor Stevens has done a tremendous job with her debut novel The Informationist.

Vanessa Munroe is our main character.  She travels the globe compiling information for private and public companies about various foreign countries, such as local customs, nuances to the languages and who are the most powerful people.  At the beginning of the book she finishes one job only to find herself in quite a different one.  Oilman Richard Burbank hires Munroe as a last ditch effort to find his daughter, Emily, who went missing in Cameroon four years earlier.  Our heroine is very familiar with Cameroon, in ways both good and bad, and reluctantly takes the case. 

Munroe must trace Emily's steps through Africa with the assistance of Miles Bradford, a friend of Richard's whom he insists keep track of Munroe's movements.  However, Munroe has plans of her own as she hires the skills of Francisco Beyard.  Beyard is a gun-runner in Cameroon and has a past connection with Munroe.  As the three of them go through the heart of Africa, they soon begin wondering who they can trust.  It seems that everyone is trying to keep them from finding the truth behind Emily's disappearance.

Also, check out Taylor Stevens' website for information on her past life.  Very powerful stuff.

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