The Mask (Vanessa Michael Munroe)
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“Munroe is a sensational character and Stevens is a sensational writer.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
For fans of Lee Child, Terry Hayes, and Laura Lippman comes a blistering thriller in which Vanessa Michael Munroe faces the fight of her life
Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and information hunter, has a reputation for getting things done: dangerous and not quite legal things that have taken her undercover into some of the world’s deadliest places. Still healing from a Somali hijacking gone wrong and a brutal attack that left her near death, Munroe joins her lover, Miles Bradford, in Japan where he’s working as a security consultant protecting high-value technology from industrial espionage. In the domesticity of their routine she finds long sought-after peace—until Bradford is arrested for murder, and the same interests who targeted him come after her, too.
Searching for answers and fighting to stay alive, Munroe will soon discover how far she’ll go to save Bradford from spending the next twenty years in locked-up isolation; how many laws she’ll break when the truth seems worse than his lies; and who to trust and who she must kill. Because she’s a strategist and hunter with a predator’s instincts, and the man she loves has just stabbed her in the back.
With break-neck pacing, incendiary prose, and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Mask features Vanessa Michael Munroe: a brilliant, lethal heroine who will stop at nothing to find the truth, no matter what it may cost.
“Stevens excels at depicting pulse-pounding danger, and her prose and plotting are spectacular. . . . Only Dan Brown and Lee Child come close.” —Dallas Morning News
“[Munroe is] a protagonist as deadly as she is irresistible.” —Vince Flynn
“If you are a fan of Jack Reacher, Lisbeth Salander, or Nina Zero, you need to check out Vanessa Michael Munroe!” —BookPage
“A winning series character who has the world at her beck and call.” —Los Angeles Times
“Munroe’s brooding personality and her ability to blend into her surroundings bring to mind the provocative Jason Bourne.” —USA Today
From the Hardcover edition.
softly spoken from down the hall, filtered toward her, and she placed that man in the hall below. Footsteps creaked up the stairs. She pressed palms to her eyes, creating a deeper darkness. When her eyes had adjusted, she lay on her side, floor level, less likely to be seen should someone in the room be looking out, and pressed her upper face to the screen. This was Okada’s wife’s room, where she and the children had slept. The futons were spread across the floor like so many camping mattresses,
morphed into the squeals of multiple children; and, with long, slow breaths, the violence of the moment ebbed and faded. Munroe hefted the pipes and checked her hands, and then her clothes and boots. No blood. That was progress. She walked toward the unconscious man and stood over him, then put a boot to his torso and shoved the body over so that his face turned upward. He was in his very early twenties, maybe five foot seven, all bone and sinew and stylish hair. She stared out toward the
more months, that’s all. Can you last that long—for me? For us?” Munroe stood silent, arms crossed and motionless. Bradford released her hand, cupped her chin, and lifted her face toward his. “I won’t blame you if you feel you need to walk away again,” he said, “if that’s what you need to be all right. But I don’t want you to leave, Michael, I really don’t. Please stay until this is over and then we’ll find a middle ground—something that works for both of us, I promise.” They stood there,
finally reclaimed the happiness she’d had when she and Bradford were last together, before fate had sucked them into a vortex of loss, yet even that wasn’t enough to protect her from herself. The surprise wasn’t that she’d been willing to throw everything away on a two-foot margin of error. It was that she’d stopped before the wheel of chance had finished spinning. She might not be so fortunate again. She’d been in one place, without purpose, for too long. The phone in her back pocket
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