The Doll by Taylor Stevens
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The previous book actually raised some interesting questions about joining a cult, while this one, which could have raised equally interesting questions about human trafficking chose to stay with the violence and mystery behind Michael's life. As a result, I was less impressed with this one. We get a lot of clues into her back story, more than in the previous book, which supposedly explain how she got to be the way she is. We're also told - repeatedly - that she has some weird wiring in her brain that makes it easy for her to learn languages (Hungarian is the new one). Understanding her and her motivations doesn't really help make her likable or interesting, sadly.
The plot revolves around the Doll Man's kidnapping of Neeva, an up-and-coming starlet who just happens to be the daughter of two prominent people, who, coincidentally have hired Michael to find their missing daughter. He also kidnaps Michael and brings her to Europe to ensure that Neeva is delivered to her buyer; Logan, one of Michael's closest friends, is kidnapped and tortured to ensure that Michael behaves. Of course, things don't go according to plan. Back in the States, Bradford is doing what he can to help her - and chaos and death ensue.
Neeva never felt like a real character, and the others are expendable. What interest I had in Michael (or Essa... Vanessa... etc.) was lost in the thriller formula.
ARC provided by publisher.