New York Times best-selling author Brennan (Maximum Exposure, 2014, etc.) explores murder among the rich and arrogant in an exclusive California enclave.
Maxine Revere is the illegitimate daughter of one of the heirs to a great California fortune. Beloved by her great-grandmother, who left her a fortune even though her own mother abandoned her, Max doesn’t have to work, but she does anyway. And, since Max is also tall, willowy and drop-dead gorgeous, it only follows that she would be an investigative journalist with her own nationally televised show and four true-crime books under her belt. When Max returns to her hometown to attend the funeral of a good friend, she stirs up a hornet’s nest by digging into two apparently unrelated murders, one of which took place more than a decade prior to her friend’s death; she takes it upon herself to reopen the investigation and stumbles across the second murder. Throw in a hot male detective who rings all of her bells, a gay former Special Forces assistant bodyguard, a dysfunctional but extremely good-looking and rich family and more cast members than the phone book, and the constantly smug Maxine spends the majority of the time justifying putting her own life and those of others in danger while she plays amateur sleuth—that is, when she’s not flaunting her wealth, good looks or power. The first few chapters of this book will either draw readers in or send them packing: Brennan introduces more than 15 characters by name in the prologue and first two chapters alone. Brennan’s infodump style and tendency to linger over the perks of being Max Revere will do little for readers who demand substance over window dressing.
A story that probably won’t attract any new Brennan converts but will likely find favor with her hard-core fan base.