Notorious by Allison Brennan


Notorious is the first in the author’s Max Revere series.  The book is a murder mystery with the main character Max Revere is an investigative journalist and comes back to her hometown and estranged family when a friend accused of her best friend’s murder commits suicide and Max decides to investigate.

I like that the book addresses that many people are presumed guilty until proven innocent by the court and the estrangement that can occur when a person believes that the suspect is innocent as well as how destructive the court of public opinion can be for a person convicted by it. I also love that the main character Maxine is a very intelligent, blunt, stubborn and dedicated to her work. She is described as bitchy in the book, and it is very rare that a female character has this type of personality and is portrayed in a positive light by the book. She doesn’t try to spare people’s feelings but does care about the people she believes she is helping. She also is very rich because of her family but is also estranged from them because she values the truth above all else and her family values their family name. Max is also fairly detached from her love interests and will screw them over when they get in the way of her pursuing justice for victims (they had it coming). There were also only two lines where I cringed at the dialogue about her sex life, which is quite good for me. Like I said earlier it is nice to see these traits portrayed in a positive manner. However, it isn’t entirely positive characterization as a lot of this stems from severe abandonment issues, but she is also aware of this.

The only problem is that the ending of the book is kind of confusing. By which I mean who ended up committing the murders makes perfect sense but the confrontation and what evidence can be used to convict her seems sketchy.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Madeline Rivard
Rating: Highly Recommended
Challenge: Book with a one world title.

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