Investigative reporter Maxine (Max) Revere receives a heartfelt letter from Tommy Wallace, the stepbrother of Ivy Lake who died when she fell from a cliff fourteen months ago. The investigation is still open and it hasn’t been definitively decided if she committed suicide or was murdered. But Tommy’s stepmother is accusing him of killing Ivy and has barred him from her home and from seeing his half sister, even though there’s no evidence to support her assertion. Max accepts the case and soon finds that Ivy was a viscous social media bully like no other and finding her killer may be impossible given that her list of potential enemies was long.
What a tough story. It didn’t take me long to care more about clearing dear Tommy’s name than finding out who killed Ivy. She ranks as one of the most unsympathetic victims I’ve encountered in fiction, which is hard to admit given she was only sixteen years old at the time of her death. The Lake-Wallace “blended” family was a toxic mix created by ill-behaving adults. It’s a cautionary tale of what can happen when adults use their children as weapons once a marriage dissolves. It’s also contrasted by how her assistant David Kane and her boyfriend Nick Santini manage their relationships with the exes, always putting the interests of their children first even when they’re being treated unfairly.
It was almost impossible to deduce who killed Ivy until it was close to being revealed. Max learns some lessons herself, forcing her to reflect on her own past and how it has shaped her attitudes and levels of tolerance. She has some tough moments that I found painful on her behalf. I continue to listen to this series and the narrator has completely captured the essence of Max, her high notes and those lower ones when her inner child emerges. Her overall performance is stellar, which includes storytelling, pacing and character distinctions. Even though the subject matter was difficult, its relevancy made it a must read, especially as Max continues to evolve with each story.
- Release Date: April 12, 2016
- Series: Max Revere
- Narrator: Eliza Foss
- Audio Length: 13 hours, 58 minutes
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio