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She was not an action woman: she could not run very fast; she favoured ballet slippers over combat boots, never swore and still suffered from nightmares; she did not enjoy confrontation of any kind. She was reluctant to face risk, and it was a quality that made her very good at her job. Her art lay in her ability to pass unnoticed, to slip in and out of the cracks of life, She was not an action woman: she could not run very fast; she favoured ballet slippers over combat boots, never swore and still suffered from nightmares; she did not enjoy confrontation of any kind. She was reluctant to face risk, and it was a quality that made her very good at her job. Her art lay in her ability to pass unnoticed, to slip in and out of the cracks of life, to be quietly invisible. Aboard a luxury yacht as the minder of the world's greatest-and most temperamental-opera star, Stevie Duveen manages to thwart a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia, but soon realises the attack is merely one salvo in a ruthless campaign of terror. Other vessels are being hijacked, and ransoms in the multimillions are being demanded as shipping lines and insurance companies run scared. On the orders of her adored boss and mentor David Rice, Stevie flies to Sardinia's idyllic Costa Smeralda to recuperate from her injuries. Soon, however, a favour for Rice sees her plunge back undercover: a threat assessment on the young son of Vaughan and Cl?mence Krok. At first the job seems simple enough, WC only Krok happens to run the world's most powerful army of mercenaries . . . Posing as just another jet-setting party girl on the lookout for a wealthy husband, Stevie cruises aboard the Kroks' mega-yacht, Hercules, surrounded by arms dealers, aristocrats and billionaires. The action swings from the sun-kissed marinas of the Mediterranean to diva season in Venice, through the oilfields of Azerbaijan and on to the billionaires' playgrounds of Spain, but Stevie soon uncovers more questions than answers: is the Kroks' son really in danger? What secret deal is Krok brokering? How is he connected to the pirate scourge? And why is someone trying to kill her? At her discreet and dangerous best, Stevie must fight to save everything she holds dear as she finds herself at the heart of a deadly double game.


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She was not an action woman: she could not run very fast; she favoured ballet slippers over combat boots, never swore and still suffered from nightmares; she did not enjoy confrontation of any kind. She was reluctant to face risk, and it was a quality that made her very good at her job. Her art lay in her ability to pass unnoticed, to slip in and out of the cracks of life, She was not an action woman: she could not run very fast; she favoured ballet slippers over combat boots, never swore and still suffered from nightmares; she did not enjoy confrontation of any kind. She was reluctant to face risk, and it was a quality that made her very good at her job. Her art lay in her ability to pass unnoticed, to slip in and out of the cracks of life, to be quietly invisible. Aboard a luxury yacht as the minder of the world's greatest-and most temperamental-opera star, Stevie Duveen manages to thwart a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia, but soon realises the attack is merely one salvo in a ruthless campaign of terror. Other vessels are being hijacked, and ransoms in the multimillions are being demanded as shipping lines and insurance companies run scared. On the orders of her adored boss and mentor David Rice, Stevie flies to Sardinia's idyllic Costa Smeralda to recuperate from her injuries. Soon, however, a favour for Rice sees her plunge back undercover: a threat assessment on the young son of Vaughan and Cl?mence Krok. At first the job seems simple enough, WC only Krok happens to run the world's most powerful army of mercenaries . . . Posing as just another jet-setting party girl on the lookout for a wealthy husband, Stevie cruises aboard the Kroks' mega-yacht, Hercules, surrounded by arms dealers, aristocrats and billionaires. The action swings from the sun-kissed marinas of the Mediterranean to diva season in Venice, through the oilfields of Azerbaijan and on to the billionaires' playgrounds of Spain, but Stevie soon uncovers more questions than answers: is the Kroks' son really in danger? What secret deal is Krok brokering? How is he connected to the pirate scourge? And why is someone trying to kill her? At her discreet and dangerous best, Stevie must fight to save everything she holds dear as she finds herself at the heart of a deadly double game.

30 review for The Siren's Sting

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    THE SIREN'S STING is the second Stevie Duveen novel from Miranda Darling, following on from THE TROIKA DOLLS. These books are thrillers, featuring Stevie who works as a risk assessor in the personal / company protection game. Starting off much where the first book ended, Stevie has been assigned to mind a temperamental opera star travelling on a luxury cruise near Somalia when pirates strike. Helping drive off this attack, there's something a little odd about how easily the pirates withdraw. But THE SIREN'S STING is the second Stevie Duveen novel from Miranda Darling, following on from THE TROIKA DOLLS. These books are thrillers, featuring Stevie who works as a risk assessor in the personal / company protection game. Starting off much where the first book ended, Stevie has been assigned to mind a temperamental opera star travelling on a luxury cruise near Somalia when pirates strike. Helping drive off this attack, there's something a little odd about how easily the pirates withdraw. But there's not a lot of time to consider that until later, as Stevie undertakes her next job - working on a threat assessment for the young son of her bosses ex Clémence Krok and her now husband Vaughan. Stevie has very little trouble posing as a jet-setting party girl friend of Clémence, cruising around on the Krok's luxury yacht, surrounded by a suitably threatening cast of arms dealers, aristocrats and billionaires. To say nothing of love interest Henning and his very glamorous mother. Needless to say there's going to be a connection between all this luxurious sailing around, Krok's mercenary army and arms dealing, the pirates and just about everybody in this circle, even including the glamorous opera star and the Greek billionaire she picks up on the original voyage. THE SIREN'S STING takes what was originally more than just a tad of James Bond type scenarios and settings in the first book and slathers that on plus some. There's glorious women, sinister men, arms-dealing, money, diamonds, luxury yachts, fancy speedboats and all sorts of elaborate machinery and gadgets. There is a plot as well, and whilst there doesn't seem to be quite as much action from Stevie as there was in the first book she's not above a bit of combat, and her own life is under real threat at a few points. There's also an interesting twist with another female character who starts out being one of the villains and comes across to the good side just when she's needed. It really has to be remembered that both of these books are thrillers - they are entertaining, slightly frenetic, often borderline unbelievable and fast paced. The plot in THE SIREN'S STING is made up of quite a few elements, which you know are going to come together (it's a thriller after all!) but there's some nice twists and turns along the way. There's a sprinkle of romantic tension, there's a fair bit of sightseeing around glamorous locations and there is a particularly big twist at the end, telegraphing book 3 in the series. Undoubtedly there's some aspects of this ending that are a risky undertaking for an author. It's either going to excite some readers with the possibility of what's to come, or disappoint other readers who hate that sort of "and in our next episode" closing. Either way, I really liked the first book in this series (THE TROIKA DOLLS). In THE SIREN'S STING Stevie did feel a little more subdued, but really, for a reader like me who wouldn't recognise a "Brand" if she fell over it, who breaks out in an allergic reaction at all that "socialite" stuff and gags at the sight of too much romantic twaddle, I was hugely entertained and happy to spend some time with Stevie Duveen. As far as I'm concerned - bring on the third book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren K

    This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf Review: The Siren’s Sting is the sequel to the Stevie Duveen series and takes place about six months after The Troika Dolls left off. The sequel certainly had a different feel to it that I can’t quite put my finger on. It could have been quite simply the different size of the book and print, that stopped me from engorging in the story as I did with The Troika Dolls but I think the cultural and emotional depth that was present in the first no This review was first posted @ The Australian Bookshelf Review: The Siren’s Sting is the sequel to the Stevie Duveen series and takes place about six months after The Troika Dolls left off. The sequel certainly had a different feel to it that I can’t quite put my finger on. It could have been quite simply the different size of the book and print, that stopped me from engorging in the story as I did with The Troika Dolls but I think the cultural and emotional depth that was present in the first novel was not as prevalent in The Siren’s Sting. In the Troika Dolls I had better sense of all the characters but with The Siren’s Sting I felt a bit lost at times and couldn’t quite get the flow. It just didn’t have the same reading experience as the first book, although it was still enjoyable to become part of Stevie’s world again. Stevie and Henning undoubtedly have chemistry and an underlying bond that Stevie is for the most part blinded to. It is becoming clear that Stevie is quite a sensitive creature who fears abandonment and to overcome this barrier she simply does not allow herself to become too close to anyone. She is a risk assessor by day and risk avoider when it comes to relationships. As usual, Stevie takes on a relatively low-key job as assigned by her boss (and idol), David Rice only for it to become a much more complex and dangerous mission than expected. It is life or death for Stevie to solve this case whether David Rice likes it or not. It’s a story full of pirates, gun smuggling thieves and dangerous personalities whose world Stevie infiltrates easily. I believe Miranda Darling is a skilful writer who creates intriguing characters and storylines full of drama and action. I look forward to reading more of this series but I’d like to see Stevie toughen up a bit more and take more risks. Stevie is slowly unravelling as a character and I think there is plenty of room for growth for her in the continuation of the series. I really recommend this series if you enjoy crime and romance and intelligent, interesting characters and adventurous storylines. 3.5/5 rating

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bree T

    Stevie Dureen works as a risk analyst for a high end private security company. She first appeared in The Troika Dolls and The Siren’s Sting is the follow up novel. Stevie has been assigned to Clemence Krok as a favour to her boss David Rice. Clemence is married to the very rich, very dangerous Vaughn Krok – multi-billionaire with an ego to match. Vaughn claims that there is a very real threat to his and Clemence’s young son Emile and the boy cannot do anything, even attend school. Clemence wishe Stevie Dureen works as a risk analyst for a high end private security company. She first appeared in The Troika Dolls and The Siren’s Sting is the follow up novel. Stevie has been assigned to Clemence Krok as a favour to her boss David Rice. Clemence is married to the very rich, very dangerous Vaughn Krok – multi-billionaire with an ego to match. Vaughn claims that there is a very real threat to his and Clemence’s young son Emile and the boy cannot do anything, even attend school. Clemence wishes to know if the threat is real, or if it is just Vaughn a) being paranoid or b) using it as an excuse to restrict her freedom and keep her and their son under his thumb. All is not well in the marriage but Vaughn is not the sort of man a woman just leaves…Clemence knows that. While Stevie is working for Clemence, posing as a vapid society girl whilst privately assessing Vaughn’s state of mind and the potential security risk to Emile, she stumbles across some other activity. Off the coast of Somalia and Nigeria, well funded, well trained pirates have been taking ships – usually shipping tankers moving goods around that particularly busy ocean corridor. They take the crews hostage and force millions out of the insurance companies and shipping companies for their release. They then keep the goods and the ships themselves, turning massive profits. It’s a lucrative business and Stevie’s employer, Hazard Security, have been targeted, seemingly deliberately, by these pirates who are taking ships that Hazard are charged with protecting. Vaughn seems in the piracy up to his neck, along with Socrates Skorpias, a powerful and arrogant rich Greek whom Stevie has already come across on her previous job as a ‘companion’ (security analyst) for a famous opera singer on a luxury cruise. That ship was almost taken by pirates who backed off at the last moment, watched by Skorpias – that was enough to alert Stevie to the fact that Skorpias was definitely more than he seemed. The Siren’s Sting is a fast paced action novel that moves from luxury private ships to the rich playgrounds of Sardinia, Italy and Venice with interesting side trips to places like Azerbaijan. Stevie, the most unlikely looking security operative ever because of her small stature and innocent looks, pokes around in dangerous places, almost getting herself killed in the process more than once. The fast pace is relentless the entire novel as the setting jumps back and forth to different locations and introduces new characters. Apart from her professional life, Stevie is also dealing with upheaval in her personal life – her crush on her distant and unattainable boss and the emergence of a charismatic former lover whom she dare not let close to her lest she totally lose her heart….and get it broken. I haven’t read The Troika Dolls and normally I do not read a series out of order. However I was sent a copy of The Siren’s Sting by the publisher Allen & Unwin for review and I didn’t realise until I received the book that it was the second in a series. The Siren’s Sting can be read as a stand alone but to really grasp the intricacies of Stevie’s job and the relationships between her and her boss and her and her former lover, it’s probably better to have read The Troika Dolls first. My local library has the book and I’ve requested it so that I can catch up on the background information. There’s something inherently likable about Stevie – even though she’s obviously very good at her job, there’s something about the way she gives the impression of not being a very confident and capable person that endeared her to me. She has vulnerabilities – she lost her parents tragically when she was very young, a trauma she witnessed and has yet to move past. Her whole world revolves around her grandmother, who raised her, and her boss, David Rice, who was a friend of her parents. David is much older and Stevie is almost pathetic in her attempts to get close to him, which are either rebuffed by the awkward David, or totally unnoticed. I wasn’t buying at all the pairing of Stevie and David in any capacity so I was pretty glad when the charismatic Henning turned up. Henning was clearly a part of The Troika Dolls and I had to piece together their history but I liked him immediately and thought that he was by far more a realistic and enjoyable option for Stevie. This book sets up nicely a third installment so I’ll be very interested to see where Darling goes with what she has set in motion for Stevie regarding Henning as it ended quite powerfully. I think the only thing I can query in this novel is Vaughn Krok’s openness about his illegal and dubious activities with well, pretty much everyone he comes into contact with. He makes no attempt to hide what he is involved in, bragging about it in front of anyone who happens to be in earshot, even people he regards as insignificant. It’s quite possible that his huge ego just renders him believing that he’s totally untouchable and that the little people could never use the information to harm him, but it did seem a bit odd that he would be so open about what he was doing, regarding the pirates and the ships and the smuggling of weapons. The rich really do seem to inhabit a different world! Apart from that, The Siren’s Sting is a fun read – action packed, fast paced, lots of beautifully described scenery from the gorgeous places it takes part in, a vulnerable and interesting protagonist and the potential of a romance filled with chemistry. The series has been described as James Bond for women and I can definitely see it – it encompasses all of the fun stuff, like the exotic locations, the nefarious villains etc, but without the actual cheesy James Bond movie character. Although it’s terribly far fetched (aren’t all novels of this type?) it’s an great escapist read. Perfect for summer by the pool or on the beach.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Still Reading

    In case you haven’t heard of Miranda Darling, she’s also the author of The Troika Dolls, another book about the protagonist of The Siren’s Sting, Stevie Duveen. Although it might be helpful to read The Troika Dolls, The Siren’s Sting can easily be read as a stand alone book (which is what I did). Despite Stevie’s name, she’s a feminine girl who knows her labels as well as her weapons. While this is a high action thriller involving pirates, weapons and secret armies, this book also appeals to lab In case you haven’t heard of Miranda Darling, she’s also the author of The Troika Dolls, another book about the protagonist of The Siren’s Sting, Stevie Duveen. Although it might be helpful to read The Troika Dolls, The Siren’s Sting can easily be read as a stand alone book (which is what I did). Despite Stevie’s name, she’s a feminine girl who knows her labels as well as her weapons. While this is a high action thriller involving pirates, weapons and secret armies, this book also appeals to label lovers (Stevie has some great Pucci clothes) and those with a wanderlust for living the high life in exotic European locales. The book opens with Stevie acting as protector (or officially, ‘companion’) to a famous opera singer on a cruise ship. When the ship is attacked by pirates, Stevie is on the case, helping to stop the ship from being taken hostage. Back on dry land, Stevie is then asked by her boss (who she has a crush on) to assess the security risk of an old flame of his, whose husband happens to run a private army with a few ‘extra’ sidelines… The story then moves to Sardinia where Stevie joins the jet set on one of the flashiest superboats in the sea. Posing as a vacant socialite, Stevie finds out that nothing is as it seems, everyone has an agenda – and one of them is trying to kill her… It’s not all yachts and YSL though. There’s the return of Henning, who Stevie met in the first novel but still knows very little about. She thinks she likes him and there’s a touch of romance. Henning’s mother, Iris, is also a well-written character who influences Stevie’s feelings. Minor characters such as Stevie’s cousin and fiancé (possibly the most annoying girl in the world) provide some light hearted relief. The settings of this book are also envy-inducing. Stevie resides at either her grandmother’s villa in Sardinia (which is described in such glorious terms I’m putting it on my holiday list) or her flat in Zurich. She also spends time in Turin, Venice and Spain. Darling paints the settings very clearly in the mind, and the interiors tend to reflect that character’s place in this shady world. For an action novel, there’s very little use of guns and there’s not endless bodies littering the pages. The action is based on innovative technology (such as ceramic guns – Darling, via Stevie, explains why these generally don’t work), double crossing personalities and characters not knowing each other’s agenda. Darling’s style is intelligent action and the novel would appeal to both men and women. While I’ve been writing this review, I’ve just bought a copy of The Troika Dolls to read. I think Stevie is a character who will be with us for a long time and grow stronger and stronger with each novel. Well done Ms Darling.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    With a James Bond-esque feel, The Siren’s Sting is set among the playgrounds of the very rich in luxury yachts and coastal mansions from Italy to the Mediterranean. It is a lifestyle of privilege and power populated by ruthless business men and glamourous women. As an undercover risk assessment agent, Stevie is supposed to remain removed from her clients lives, but a favour for her boss, David Rice, involves her a deadly game of modern day piracy, kidnapping and the amorality of the uber-rich who With a James Bond-esque feel, The Siren’s Sting is set among the playgrounds of the very rich in luxury yachts and coastal mansions from Italy to the Mediterranean. It is a lifestyle of privilege and power populated by ruthless business men and glamourous women. As an undercover risk assessment agent, Stevie is supposed to remain removed from her clients lives, but a favour for her boss, David Rice, involves her a deadly game of modern day piracy, kidnapping and the amorality of the uber-rich who play by no one’s rules. The Siren’s Sting has a fast paced, action packed plot that teeters on the boundary of believability but nevertheless is entertaining with clever twists. Darling delves into the seamy side of those to whom money and power mean everything and have no qualms at profiting from an innocents fear or death. It’s actually quite frightening to consider there is likely a truth to the author’s fictional auction scene. I liked Stevie, she is determined, capable and keeps a cool head under pressure but I felt she lacked passion. Perhaps the author relies on the reader having read Troika Dolls to get clearer picture of who Stevie is and how she came to join Hazard. There are hints at the events in Troika Dolls, particularly when Henning surfaces, and what I would assume are reminders of Stevie’s background, but they tended to be rather vague. Stevie’s relationship with Henning obviously begun in the first book and his appearance in the middle of this case leads to some fairly low key romantic tension. I wish I had read The Troika Dolls, the book that introduces Stevie Duveen, before reading The Siren’s Sting because though not strictly necessary I think the background would have added to my enjoyment of this thriller by Australian author Miranda Darling. Once a globe trotting lingerie model, Darling entered academia earning a Masters in Strategic Affairs which gives her fictional international story of terrorism and corruption an edge of credibility. The Siren’s Sting is one of the 50 Books You Can’t Put Down chosen for Australia’s Get Reading 2011 Campaign and is an absorbing thriller with a major cliffhanger twist at the conclusion that will lead to the third Stevie Duveen novel. I am interested to see how Miranda Darling will develop the characters and story and look forward to her next release.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Stevie Duveen is a smart and sassy heroine in this second book featuring her. (We first met Stevie in The Troika Dolls.) In this addition to the series Stevie finds herself in some sticky situations, but has the quick thinking attitude that lets her escape each and every one. The novel starts with Stevie acting as a 'companion' (read body guard) to a famous opera singer aboard a luxury cruise ship. The ship is attacked by pirates, giving Stevie her first tricky situation. Pirates are an ongoing th Stevie Duveen is a smart and sassy heroine in this second book featuring her. (We first met Stevie in The Troika Dolls.) In this addition to the series Stevie finds herself in some sticky situations, but has the quick thinking attitude that lets her escape each and every one. The novel starts with Stevie acting as a 'companion' (read body guard) to a famous opera singer aboard a luxury cruise ship. The ship is attacked by pirates, giving Stevie her first tricky situation. Pirates are an ongoing theme in The Siren's Sting, as Stevie sets about unravelling the mystery and details of the evil Krok's pirate empire. This pursuit takes her to a variety of exotic locations, including Sardinia, Turin, Venice, Paris and even Azerbaijan. All these locations are beautifully described, so much so that they almost become characters in the story, giving it a travel writing feel and adding extra interest. There is also a heavy focus on fashion, with the description of what Stevie and the other characters are wearing all the time, somewhat of a distraction to me, as a non follower of fashion. Overall, this is an exciting, action packed adventure. One I couldn't put down! The ending is left wide open for another in the series, which I will await with baited breath.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michele Perry

    This book has several positives - firstly, the exotic destinations that the main character, Stevie Duveen, gets to go to are beautifully brought to life thanks to the author's skill at writing. Secondly, I am always a fan of a tale where the female character is strong, independent, intelligent and can kick butt if need be, and thirdly, there is nothing like a good old spy thriller novel to take your imagination away from the norm of reality! I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Stevie Duveen and he This book has several positives - firstly, the exotic destinations that the main character, Stevie Duveen, gets to go to are beautifully brought to life thanks to the author's skill at writing. Secondly, I am always a fan of a tale where the female character is strong, independent, intelligent and can kick butt if need be, and thirdly, there is nothing like a good old spy thriller novel to take your imagination away from the norm of reality! I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Stevie Duveen and her jaunts around Morocco, the Mediterranean and Venice while she tries to uncover who is behind pirate attacks on the high seas. Throw in some relationship issues, a behind the scenes look at how the rich live, and some characters that would make your blood boil - and you have an entertaining, adventurous read that stars a well-developed and dimensional character that as I agree with others 'is the female James Bond'!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love Miranda Darling & the way she writes. Stevie Duveen is my kind of girl, not only because she wears Chanel & pearls but she's a great heroine. The Siren's Sting was a great read. Darling entices with her beautiful descriptions of Paris, London, the Costa Smeralda yet keeps you glued to the story at hand. A fabulous follow on from her first novel, The Troika Dolls. My only hope is that Henning is ok & I can indulge in their crazy love story. Please Miranda, a new novel soon. I love Miranda Darling & the way she writes. Stevie Duveen is my kind of girl, not only because she wears Chanel & pearls but she's a great heroine. The Siren's Sting was a great read. Darling entices with her beautiful descriptions of Paris, London, the Costa Smeralda yet keeps you glued to the story at hand. A fabulous follow on from her first novel, The Troika Dolls. My only hope is that Henning is ok & I can indulge in their crazy love story. Please Miranda, a new novel soon.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Not thrilled, understand no "classic Bond" theme and the book world does not require anymore snivelling female characters like Stevie Duveen. I found the writing solid but the story sucked and in my eyes had been built up by James Bond analogies and promises of fast, thrilling action that just didn't happen. Not thrilled, understand no "classic Bond" theme and the book world does not require anymore snivelling female characters like Stevie Duveen. I found the writing solid but the story sucked and in my eyes had been built up by James Bond analogies and promises of fast, thrilling action that just didn't happen.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marj

    It was ok

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bek

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raelene

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  16. 4 out of 5

    michelle

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Still

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allison Willis

  19. 4 out of 5

    Francis McFadden

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

  21. 4 out of 5

    Penny

  22. 5 out of 5

    James Cowlishaw

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ron Arbour

  24. 4 out of 5

    Misha84

  25. 4 out of 5

    jess little

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah McMullan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kerryn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chrissi Snow

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex

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