• The Mask

  • A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel
  • By: Taylor Stevens
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (209 ratings)

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The Mask  By  cover art

The Mask

By: Taylor Stevens
Narrated by: Hillary Huber
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Publisher's summary

“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.    

©2015 Taylor Stevens (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"The Mask... is the rare thriller that gets better the more you think about it...the kind of crackling thriller we’ve come to expect from Stevens." – Dallas Morning News

"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

What listeners say about The Mask

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good

Would you listen to The Mask again? Why?

Yes. The book started off a bit slowly - building a sense of place and leaving this reader as off-balance as a "domesticated" Munro. As the story progresses, the pace picks up and the early "lull" makes complete sense. I would listen again in order to be more respectful of the the writer's perfect sense of timing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vanessa/Michael continues to be my favorite character in this series. Taylor Stevens describes the experience of a survivor of extreme trauma without flinching - while compassion and love can exist, the skills and mindset acquired to make survival possible have a life of their own.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where Vanessa/Michael organizes her contract with Capstone for Miles' rescue is one of my favorites. On the surface, it seems wrong for Vanessa/Michael to ask for payment; however, she is doing what she must do to surface the skills that will ultimately set Miles free.

Any additional comments?

Several plot lines were woven into the story, not all of which felt necessary. I would be interested to know more about one of important characters in the story - Munro's "mirror". In all, the story held together very well and it was a very enjoyable "listen".

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another fabulous Munroe story

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Like each of the Munroe novels since the first one (The Informationist), the plot of "The Mask" is rich, intriguing, keeps you guessing, and makes sense. Having lived in Japan, I can also affirm that the setting is well-developed and authentic. I'm particularly impressed that Taylor Stevens consistently creates stories that maintain this level of quality.

What does Hillary Huber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I mostly listen to audiobooks for convenience, so I can listen while commuting, running, etc. But there are audiobooks and there are audiobooks, and Hillary Huber's are definitely in the highest class.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brought me back

loved visiting Japan again. I had almost forgotten some of that.
Also loved the story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent 👍👍

awesome as usual , plot twists, exciting, never can figure out till the end who done it

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow. Just Wow.

Seductive is the best word I can use to describe Taylor Stevens writing. Her ability to pull you into an experience that is so far out of the norm is phenomenal.

Hillary Huber's languid style turns every word into an event.

I'll be coming back for more.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Japan interest

So glad I found this series. Strong woman. Read the first book to help shape the relationship first

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love Vanessa Michael Munroe

Awesome series!!! Love narrator as her voice represents Michael perfectly!
The characters and adventures are spectacular with each new book. Can't wait for the next one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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She has done it again

The Mask is perhaps my second favorite next to The Informationist. The protagonist is so frustratingly good and she is her own best friend and worst enemy. Stevens books give me strength.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love the writer, Love the reader and love the book

Any additional comments?

This book can be read as a stand alone novel but it is the story of a strong female protagonist carried through several previous books.

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