Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who've searched the longest know where to find her. They are childhood survivors of The Chosen, thirty-somethings born and raised inside the cult who've managed to make lives for themselves on the outside. They understand the mindset, the culture within that world, and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help, knowing that the only possibility of stealing Hannah back and getting her safely out of Argentina is to trust someone who doesn't trust them, and get Munroe on the inside.
Tautly written, brilliantly paced, and with the same evocation of the exotic combined with chilling violence that made The Informationist such a success, The Innocent confirms Taylor Stevens' reputation as a thriller writer of the first rank.
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"Starred Review. In Stevens's impressive second Vanessa Michael Munroe novel... The complicated Vanessa makes for an intriguing heroine - at once tough, fearless, vulnerable, and compassionate." - Publishers Weekly
"Much-anticipated... Stevens vividly depicts a dark domain of manipulation, indoctrination, and abuse." - Booklist
"Part Lisbeth Salander, part Jason Bourne, Munroe comes out swinging hard again... Hannah's story will touch readers as Stevens, herself a religious cult survivor, weaves some of her own painful childhood experiences into a gritty, suspenseful novel." - Library Journal
"Lives up to the hype... Much will be made of the similarities between Munroe and Salander... [A] fiery novel." - USA Today
"Dazzling." - Daily News (New York)
"[Stevens] knows she's hit on a winning series character who has the world at her beck and call." - Los Angeles Times
"A page-turning thriller." - Huffington Post
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Taylor Stevens was born in New York State, and into the Children of God, an apocalyptic religious cult spun from the Jesus Movement of the '60s. Raised in communes across the globe, separated from her family at age twelve and denied an education beyond sixth grade, Stevens lived on three continents and in a dozen countries before reaching fourteen. In place of schooling, the majority of her adolescence was spent begging on city streets at the behest of cult leaders, or as a worker bee child, caring for the many younger commune children, washing laundry and cooking meals for hundreds at a time. In her twenties, Stevens broke free in order to follow hope and a vague idea of what possibilities lay beyond. She now lives in Texas, and juggles full-time writing with full-time motherhood.
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