The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.
Abandonedby Allison Brennan takes the Maxine (Max) Revere stories to a whole new level. She is able to create a suspenseful and exciting plot centered around this fascinating character’s background. In this latest she explores why her mother deserted her shortly before her tenth birthday.
The disappearance of her mother, Martha, has haunted Max for years. It has been seven years since she last heard from her and this has left her in a state of limbo. Getting information from another investigator, Sean Rogan, Max feels this clue, a discarded car found in Cape Haven, Virginia sixteen years ago, might provide answers. Knowing Martha left her to be raised by her grandparents, choosing to be with her con artist boyfriend, Jimmy, Max begins to unravel the pieces. She finds out Martha had been living off her trust-fund money and resorting to scams, irresponsibly traveling all over the world having fun. But did the twosome get more than they could handle after becoming involved with art thief Phillip Colter. Max also must contend with the locals who are less than forthright about answering her questions. This includes Jimmy’s brother Gabriel and his sixteen-year-old daughter Eve. Through her research she discovers the FBI has an open investigation into Jimmy about stolen artwork. Knowing she needs help, Max decides to team up with FBI Agent Ryan Maguire. Their quests for answers, sets in motion a chain of events that puts Max and several townspeople in grave danger. As Max sorts through all the secrets and betrayals her world turns upside down.
The hero and heroine complement each other. “I wrote Max as independent, strong, curious, determined, courageous, and a straight-talker. She calls them as she sees them. I totally did not expect Ryan to be her love interest. He walked onto the page and he just took over. He is unique, cute, down to earth, and really smart. What you see is what you get with him, as he is so matter of fact. He does a better job than Max compartmentalizing and is more even-tempered. I think he will be really good for her, because he knows how to have fun and how to turn off the job.”
Brennan uses some details of her own life and inserted her into the story. “People always say write what you know. But taking it literally, I do not think it applies to me as a fiction writer since I have never been a cop, an investigative reporter, a bad guy, or committed a felony. Maybe it applies to the minor details in the story that sometimes evolve around my personal experiences. For example, the Louis L’ Amour books. When I write my observations of people come out in the story. I read a couple of books by him. He was a famous writer of westerns. My grandfather actually had the entire collection. He just loved those books. After he died my grandmother gave them to me, something I put into Max’s story. When my husband saw them on the bookshelf he read them also.”
Brennan does not disappoint in this latest Max novel. Once readers turn the first page they will be hooked. The story is as powerful and electrifying as Max’s personality.