Review: Vanessa "Michael" Munroe, living in Djibouti as a man and working in business development for a maritime security company, is coerced into participating in a job when one of the regular crew falls sick, discovering too late that it is a gun-running operation off the coast of Somalia, in The Chase, the fourth thriller in this series by Taylor Stevens.
The job, predictably, goes bad when pirates attempt to take over the ship. After the captain is wounded, Michael manages to escape with him by turning the tables on the pirates, taking one of their rubber fast boats and fleeing to shore. Feeling betrayed by her employers and accompanied by a man barely clinging to life, she isn't sure what her next step should be. But she suspects that guns weren't the only reason pirates had boarded the ship, and she knows herself well enough that until she learns the truth behind the raid, she won't be able to rest.
There is a nice balance of action and intrigue in The Chase, and the pacing throughout is nearly ideal for a thriller. Michael is a very complex character, able to seamlessly switch between the roles of a man and a woman. In less capable hands, her constantly changing roles might come across as incredibly unrealistic, cartoonish even, but here the author is so adept at keeping everything in context that it is completely natural and believable. It's exciting to follow Michael along as she develops a scheme to discover the truth, sometimes with meticulous planning, other times doing things on the spur of the moment, but always leveraging to her advantage whatever she has available to her. A fine thriller start to finish, one that will likely have new readers going back to earlier books in the series to learn more about this most remarkable character.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided an eARC of The Catch for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Catch: Djibouti; Somalia
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The Catch by Taylor Stevens
Publication Date: July 2014
List Price: $24.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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