Literature / Vanessa Michael Munroe

A series of thriller novels by American writer Taylor Stevens. There are two novels so far: The Informationist (2011) and The Innocent (2012), with a third novel, The Doll, scheduled for release in 2013.

The series focuses on a strange young woman named Vanessa "Michael" Munroe, who is the titular "Informationist:" she deals in "expensive information." Munroe is essentially a highly-paid mercenary force all to herself. For obvious reasons, she is often compared to Lisbeth Salander and Jack Reacher. The series has been highly acclaimed and the first two books are both New York Times bestsellers.

Examples of tropes in this series are as follows:

  • Action Girl: Munroe.
  • Amoral Afrikaner: Pieter Willem, a South African in Beyard's old group, repeatedly raped and tortured Munroe when she was a teenager.
  • Cult: The Chosen of God in book two.
  • Darkest Africa: The series itself begins here. Specifically, in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Expy: The above Cult is one of the Children of God, which Stevens was born into.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The main character herself. A master of disguise, Munroe once shaved her head, dressed as a man, and adopted a male name as part of a mission. The nickname stuck.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Munroe suffers a particularly bad one after Beyard dies.
  • I Warned You: Two guys attempt to rape Munroe in book two. She gives them a variation on this before summarily whaling on them as they deserve.
  • Omniglot: Munroe speaks 22 languages "at last count."
  • Rape as Backstory: Back during her mercenary days with Beyard, Munroe was repeatedly raped and tortured by one of the men on her team. She finally killed him after he fell out with Beyard; she was afraid that he would force her to go with him when he left.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Munroe responds to Beyard's death by murdering all the soldiers who shot him and then hacking off their commander's head.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: As part of her efforts to rescue Emily, Munroe briefly adopts the identity of a male IDF soldier, even going so far as to pursue a (chaste) relationship with the daughter of an IDF officer in order to gather intel on their methods.
  • Victim Blaming: The many, many, MANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! victims of child sexual abuse in the Chosen of God are given this by their leaders, whose reasoning basically amounts to this: the children were possessed by demons who tempted the adults around them, so any rape they endured was their fault. Add the fact that they can't get the police from "The Void" involved for fear of being forced out of the cult for several weeks at a time into a world they have zero knowledge or understanding of.
  • Waif-Fu: Makes Munroe about as dangerous as the average Summer Glau character.