Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Notorious by Allison Brennan Introduces Exciting New Series Character, Max Revere! Coming March 25th!

Max parked herself near the carousel opening because she didn't want to be here any longer than she had to. Airports were part of her life, but she grew tire of the waiting part...
"Ms. Revere?" an elderly voice behind her asked.
Max turned and looked down at an older couple. The man, at least eight and maybe five foot four in lifts, stood with his wife, who barely topped five feet. They both had white hair and blue eyes and would have looked like cherubs if their faces weren't so deeply wrinkled.
Max smiled politely. "Yes, I'm Maxine Revere." She expected them to ask for autographs or question what investigation brought her to California. The true crime show she hosted every month on cable television had been moving up in the ratings. When she only wrote newspaper articles and books, few people outside of the business knew what she looked like. Now that she was on camera, people approached her regularly.
There were pros and cons to being recognized. She was on a tight time schedule today, but the couple looked sweet.
"I told you, Henry," the woman said to her husband. "I'm Penny Hoffman." Mrs. Hoffman extended her hand nervously. It was cold, dry, and fragile, like the woman in front of her. "This is my husband, Henry. I knew it was you." She gripped her purse tightly with both hands, the straps worn and frayed. "Do you believe in divine providence?"

By Allison Brennan

When both Sandra Brown and Lisa Gardner comments on the new character, Maxine Revere as an investigative reporter, created by Allison Brennan, I just knew that I would also enjoy meeting her. She's sassy, stubborn, brave and quite reckless--just what is needed to find out what she wants to know... Max had been working for newspapers in the past, but is now doing a monthly true crime show. They had hired a body guard/assistant for her, but David had scheduled vacation with his daughter, so he's not around for most of what Max gets into in this book. But I'm already looking forward to seeing more of him.

You would think that Max would not have needed a bodyguard to return to her hometown for a funeral... But that thinking would be wrong... Not only is she somewhat estranged from her family, but there was a murder there many years ago that had never been solved. Max was the girl's best friend...

And the funeral she had come to attend is that of the man who it was believed had murdered her...

Max had come home at the request of Jodi, Kevin's sister. Max had been the only one who supported Kevin when he was charged for the murder. In their hometown, Kevin had always been held responsible, even though not convicted. Now they found that Kevin had been investigating the case for years, having even asked Max to help him. She had refused...

Now she was there to attend his funeral carrying the guilt of another of her friends' death...

But why had he lied to her? Why had she stood by him during the trial and then turn on him? Now it was Jodi asking. Should she tell her?

"Do you really want to know? Max wasn't sure she wanted to say anything, because after twelve years her reasons for walking away seemed petty. But she'd never forget how she felt when Kevin told her he'd lied about his alibi. It was as if she'd been gutted--not because she thought he was guilty, but because he'd been able to lie so smoothly and she hadn't known.
Jodi straightened her spine. "Yes."
"Kevin lie about his alibi."
"I don't understand. He had no alibi--he said he was home. The prosecutor said he could have easily snuck out of the house."
"He did sneak out of the house."
She looked stricken. "You--you think he's guilty."
"No. But, he made me doubt him because I didn't understand then why he lied, and I understand less now." She sipped her coffee to calm her nerves, because remembering how inadequate and helpless she'd felt back then made her queasy. "After the trial, Kevin told me that he wasn't home, that he was with Olivia Langstrom."
Jodi looked perplexed. "Why didn't he tell the police that?" she asked.

It was intuition that allowed me to pinpoint the individual who had committed the murder, so don't be surprised if you don't solve the mystery before being told! LOL In fact, it had never been Max's intention of becoming involved in an investigation while she was there... Now she was not only committed to one but two!

The second murder had happened more recently. Max had been recognized at the airport upon arriving by an elderly couple who asked her to help them find out what had happened to their grandson, Jason, who had been murdered 5 months ago. The police had indicated they had no leads. When Penny told her that she had already written to Max twice, Max was not only angry but embarrassed because obviously her new assistant had not handled her letters. She promised to listen to their story...and before long she had started to check about the incident.

The interesting part was the coincidence that he was murdered not very far from where Lindy had been found in the school's pool... Are there really coincidents? Atherton College Prep seemed to be the location to start her investigation. Jason had been working on a new school project when he was killed.

Climbing trees was like riding a bike, but unwise to do in heels. She slid out of her two-inch pumps and pulled herself up to the first thick branch. Her heart raced, exhilarated, reminding her of when she first became an investigative reporter. When she didn't have the obligation of the cable show, when she didn't have staff who depended on her, when she didn't have any responsibilities to anyone, only to herself and her drive to learn the truth. She'd been reckless, brash, and free. She missed it.
She climbed higher than she needed to, mostly because she could and the sensation of height was freeing. The headache that had plagued her since she'd left the Ames house had disappeared and in a moment of clarity, Max saw what she might have been doing had she said no to Ben two years ago. More undercover work. Less responsibilities. More freedom. 
Max didn't like supernatural anything from movies to television to the plethora of ghost hunters and paranormal activities people claimed to have witnessed. But she'd been drawn to the television show The X-Riles because of Fox Mulder's tagline: The truth is out there." She didn't believe the truth was in outer space or in some military complex doing experiments on aliens, but she did believe that the truth was knowable, that it would set those trapped by lies free.
And from her vantage point halfway up the magnolia tree, Max saw the truth.

Truth was extremely important to Max--perhaps even obsessive about it. But could you blame her? Her mother had dropped her off at her grandmother's house and did occasionally write to her, the last on her 16th birthday. She never knew her father. [But I'm ready to make a guess on it...LOL]
Her grandmother had raised her, but was not an affectionate woman, finding out only accidentally on this trip home how she felt about her!

But the stigma of her mother's actions gave many in the family and community easy ways to jab Max... perhaps that was what caused her obsession? She certainly had left her friend Kevin high and dry when he'd confessed he'd lied. Still when she realized that his death clearly included Max being set up to take over Lindy's murder case... And at this point in her life, she was ready to do just that!

She not only solved that murder, but found who had killed the grandson of her new older friends... as well as a cold case! Yahoo! This new character has the ambition, the nerves, and the drive to keep going... Of course... it's not all work with no play... She and the investigating officer were able to "get together" to close the cases... and more! I love a little romance that doesn't overpower the suspense of the investigation, don't you?

An extraordinary beginning for a series! Hope I have time to follow this one! I'm so ready to see what she gets into next! Highly recommended!


New York Times and USA Today bestseller Allison Brennan is the author of twenty-three novels and several short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

Crime fiction, mysteries, and romantic suspense have always been Allison's favorites, so it's no surprise that her romantic thrillers have a dark suspense edge. Reviewers have called her books "terrifying," "mesmerizing," "fast-paced," "pulse-pounding," "wonderfully complex," "layered," and "a master of suspense - tops in the genre." As Lisa Gardner says, "Brennan knows how to deliver."

Writing three books a year is more than a full-time job, and so is raising five kids, but Allison believes life is too short to be bored. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, watching old movies or new television shows, driving to or attending volleyball / basketball / football / soccer / baseball / softball games, and on occasion even makes it to the gym where she enjoys people-watching more than exercise.

Allison is currently writing the Lucy Kincaid series about an FBI recruit. The seventh book, COLD SNAP, is on sale now. DEAD HEAT will be out on June 3, 2014. Also, she's thrilled to announce a new hardcover mystery/thriller series starring investigative reporter Maxine Revere that launches March 25, 2014 with NOTORIOUS.

Advance praise from Sandra Brown: “Brennan’s NOTORIOUS introduces readers to a new and fascinating heroine worth rooting for. She’s an investigative reporter who’s not afraid to kick butt, climb a tree, or go to jail in pursuit of her story. She’s savvy and smart and takes no prisoners. Buckle up and brace yourself for Maxine Revere.”

And her friends...

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