Brennan (No Good Deed, 2015, etc.) trots out her newest character, muckraking investigative reporter Maxine "Max" Revere, who's back in California to solve another crime.
Max hosts a cable television news show à la Nancy Grace, only Max has red hair and more money than Queen Elizabeth. Along with her BFF and bodyguard, gay former Special Forces soldier David Kane, she sets her sights on a small town called Corte Madera, where a teenager named Ivy Lake went over a cliff. Much despised by everyone who knew her, Ivy was the town cyberbully. She posted nastiness about everyone from one end of the Web to the other, even sparking the suicide of a young woman who—when her sex tape surfaced, courtesy of the rich, spoiled Ivy—couldn’t handle the gossip. Since the police are at a standstill in their investigation (as they always are in Brennan’s world), Max steps in to save the day while also working through her ongoing dilemma of how much to trust her boyfriend, gorgeous cop Nick Santini, who replaced her former lover, gorgeous agent Marco Lopez. Both men are head over heels about Max, while she (though conflicted) puts her work first. When she arrives in town at the behest of Tommy Wallace, Ivy’s mentally challenged stepbrother, Max steps into her usual snake pit of a couple dozen suspects and plenty of time to reflect on everything from her privileged upbringing to her friendship with David. Brennan is true to form here, with a waterfall of named characters, complicated relationships, and an inept police department that virtually hands the investigation over to Max. But the shocking revelations keep coming long after readers have stopped caring about the villainous Ivy, and, as in all Max Revere outings, the dialogue is regrettable at best.
This novel, aptly named, won’t win Brennan new fans but will doubtless please established ones.