Investigative reporter and cable show host Maxine (Max) Revere returns home to Atherton, California for the first time in years. The occasion is the funeral of her estranged friend Kevin O’Neal who committed suicide. They were close friends through high school until a tragedy divided them. At the airport, an elderly couple approaches her and asks if she would look into the murder of their grandson who died on the campus of her high school alma mater, Atherton Prep. She agrees to do so solely because of where he was killed. When she meets with Kevin’s sister, she also asks her to look into his suicide. As Max explores both, she’s drawn back into the mystery of who killed her best friend, Lindy Ames, in their senior year of high school, which deepens the wedge between her and her family.
If it appears as if there’s a lot going on here you’re absolutely correct. While Max had every intention of only attending the funeral and immediately returning to New York, her investigation of Jason Hoffman’s murder led down paths that put her squarely into those of family and acquaintances. Her probing of Kevin’s suicide just reopened old wounds that needed to be re-examined. It was tough at times keeping track of three cases but I kept up. They were each interesting in their own right so I was highly engaged. I figured out the resolution to one of them really early on so I spent most of the book trying to disprove my theory, which had the effect of me being even more immersed in the story.
I’m glad the subject of this story took us back to Max’s home town and dealt with the murder that separated her and her family. It gave insight into what drives her and the reason for the family rifts. She’s a complicated woman who was raised by an equally complex grandmother. I went back and forth in forming an opinion of her. Max has lots of flaws but has more admirable qualities. I like her fearlessness and independence though she can be rather ruthless in her delivery. I enjoyed all of the mysteries and thought there were sufficient clues to solve each case. I got some parts of it right but completely missed on one of them. It was also my first experience with the narrator and felt like she gave strong voice to Max, capturing the essence of her personality. I hope she continues the rest of the series, which I definitely plan to continue.
- Release Date: March 25, 2014
- Series: Max Revere #1
- Narrator: Eliza Foss
- Audio Length: 12 hours, 50 minutes
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio