Monday, 21 August 2017

Review: Shattered by Allison Brennan

Shattered (Maxine Revere #4) by Allison Brennan
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication date: August 22th 2017
My rating: 5 Stars
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Over a span of twenty years, four boys have been kidnapped from their bedrooms, suffocated, and buried nearby in a shallow grave. Serial killer or coincidence?

That’s the question investigative reporter Maxine Revere sets out to answer when an old friend begs her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son’s recent murder. But Max can do little to help because the police and D.A. won’t talk to her―they think they have the right woman. Instead, Max turns her attention to three similar cold cases. If she can solve them, she might be able to help her friend.

Justin Stanton was killed twenty years ago, and his father wants closure―so he is willing to help Max with her investigation on one condition: that she work with his former sister-in-law― Justin’s aunt, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. Trouble is, Max works alone, and she’s livid that her only access to the case files, lead detective and witnesses depends on her partnering with a federal agent on vacation. She wants the career-making story almost as much as the truth―but if she gets this wrong, she could lose everything.

Haunted by Justin’s death for years, Lucy yearns to give her family―and herself―the closure they need. More important, she wants to catch a killer. Lucy finds Max’s theory on all three cases compelling―with Max's research added to Lucy’s training and experience, Lucy believes they can find the killer so justice can finally be served. But the very private Lucy doesn’t trust the reporter any more than Max trusts her.

Max and Lucy must find a way to work together to untangle lies, misinformation, and evidence to develop a profile of the killer. But the biggest question is: why were these boys targeted? As they team up to find out what really happened the night Justin was killed, they make a shocking discovery: Justin’s killer is still out there … stalking another victim … and they already may be too late.

My Thoughts:
I LOVE the Maxine Revere series! She’s an investigative reporter driven to solve cold murder cases.  Max can be abrasive, but she’s principled, and loyal, and underneath all the prickle she’s got a heart.  These stories start off tackling the evidence, witnesses; a bit crime procedural, but the tension increases bit by bit as we get closer to the truth! Shattered was a nail-biter by the end!

Maxine is approached by a John Caldwell, a former boyfriend from college, when his wife is accused of murdering their eight-year-old son, Peter.  He wants Max to look into similar cases and prove his wife is innocent. Max is intrigued by the three cold cases and quickly spots similarities, but one of the unsolved cases is of seven-year-old Justin Stanton and she’s facing a major road block if she doesn’t agree to work with FBI agent Lucy Kincaid, Justin’s aunt.

Max is infuriated by the forced partnering; both Lucy and Max like to run the show and don’t trust easily.  Max isn’t certain that Lucy won’t take over and run with all the information she’s uncovered, and Lucy’s not certain that Max won’t exploit her family’s tragedy for sensationalism and ratings.  Surprisingly, they end up working very well together; respect, trust, and admiration slowly growing between them. The dynamic between Max and Lucy was fascinating, each trying to figure each other out. They were great together, and I hope we get to see them work together again!

The process of getting to the bottom of the murders, trying to find a connection between them and understand the motivations of the murderer was riveting.  Lucy and Max both bring their talents to the table and tackle these heartbreaking, unsolved crimes.  It becomes imperative to find this person when they realize another child might be in danger! By the end things were very intense, and I was so nervous for all involved!

As far as reading the Lucy Kincaid series first, I don’t think it’s necessary. I have read the first Lucy Kincaid book and others where she’s a secondary character or in the periphery, so I did have some prior knowledge of her past, but her background is detailed enough in Shattered to grasp the emotional toll Justin’s murder had on Lucy and the family.  Justin and Lucy were best friends, both seven when he was abducted and murdered, a tragic event that forever shaped her future.

I think you could read Shattered as a standalone, but without reading the past Maxine Revere books you’d miss fundamental parts of her personality.  She’s driven to find the truth, and get justice for victims.  She can be kind of a bitch sometimes, but she’s totally grown on me!  Also, you wouldn’t understand the relationship struggles she’s having: with Nick, her boyfriend and David her assistant/bodyguard and platonic friend. I was pleased with the final outcomes. I wasn’t thrilled with Nick at all by the end of the last book. I’m happy that Max is finally recognizing that she needs and deserves more, especially after seeing the love and absolute trust between Sean and Lucy.

While this current mystery is solved to satisfaction, the last scene has me chomping at the bit to get the next Maxine Revere book! I haven’t seen any information on a release date, but I can’t wait!


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  1. I like the sound of this one, especially with the slow suspicion- to- trust angle and the fact that they have to figure each other out as well as solve the case. And I love it when the end is a nailbiter! I've been having a lot of luck with thrillers this year, definitely adding this one!

  2. I'd rather read the ones before then :)

  3. Oh I haven't read this series but I love the sound of it. I will definitely have to start with the beginning but one this sound of this one. Great review!

  4. I haven't heard of this series, but this sounds like nail-biting fun, Rachel. I like that the book kept you hooked all throughout. I need to search the library for this one!
    Wonderful review! :)

  5. I've never heard of this series before; however, I love a good mystery/thriller so I'll have to check it out! Max sounds like an awesome main character. I always like characters that have some prickle to them. Great review, Rachel! :)

    Lauren @ Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

  6. Ohh, sounds like an exciting book :D So glad you loved it tons Rachel. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it :) One day I will read more adult books too. I hope :D


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