Author: Allison Brennan
Book Name: Notorious
Series: Max Revere
Rating: Really Good
Blurb: Maxine Revere has dedicated her life to investigating murders that the police have long since given up any hope of solving. A nationally renowned investigative reporter with her own TV show and a tough-as-nails reputation, Max tackles cold cases from across the country and every walk of life. But the one unsolved murder that still haunts her is a case from her own past.
When Max was a high school senior, one of her best friends was strangled and another, Kevin O’Neal, accused of the crime. To the disgrace of her wealthy family, Max stood by her friend, until she found out he lied about his alibi. Though his guilt was never proven, their relationship crumbled from the strain of too many secrets.
Now Max is home for Kevin’s funeral—after years of drug abuse, he committed suicide. She’s finally prepared to come to terms with the loss of his friendship, but she’s not prepared for Kevin’s sister to stubbornly insist that he didn’t kill himself. Or for an elderly couple to accost her at the airport, begging her to look into another murder at Max’s old high school. Max is more interested in the cold case at her alma mater than in digging around Kevin’s troubled life, but she agrees to do both. As Max uncovers dark secrets, she finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies that hit far too close to home. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that someone will do whatever it takes to make sure the truth stays buried.
Review: Even though I really enjoy this genre, I struggle to find books that I like because way too often they are written in a cliche loaded, Scooby Doo ending way that drives me crazy. Thankfully, this one is not one of those and doesn’t fall into that category.
This has quite a bit going on, so you have to be in it and paying attention or you are going to miss something important. With the two separate murders that Max ends up digging into, it could have easily gotten to be too much to follow, but this was written well so that isn’t an issue.
I liked Max’s character. She is smart, resourceful, but far from perfect with her trust issues. It is nice to see a character that isn’t capable of doing every last thing without help. I like it when a character has their strengths, but when something falls outside of that, they are willing to acknowledge that and let someone else step in to cover. We do get to see lots of other characters, but the focus is almost soley on Max.
On a slightly negative side, this does skirt the concept that the police are totally incompetent. I think that it was handled pretty well overall, but it comes close to being on the too much side. Nick’s character keeps it from getting into the realm of ridiculous and keeps it realistic.
I did really enjoy this. Even though I had a pretty good idea of who the bad guy was going to end up being at an earlier point in the story, there were enough bits here and there that kept me thinking that there was a chance I was going to be wrong. I like being able to figure it out along with the characters without it being too obvious or too obscure. This had a great balance. I’ll definitely be reading more in this series.