Notorious by Allison Brennan

17934483Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 25th 2014

Before I got my hands on Notorious, I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I was reading a few Mystery/Thriller novels that weren’t living up to their potential. Allison Brennan never disappoints me, so I was looking forward to this and hoping that it would provide me with a much needed mystery novel that actually had mystery in it.

Notorious is about Maxine Revere, a rich investigative reporter who has a popular TV show that reminds me of Nancy Grace. Max isn’t afraid of burning bridges or ruining relationships, as long as she can find the truth she’s pretty much willing to do anything.

From that description, it’s clear that Max isn’t exactly the nicest or well mannered person out there. She’s rude, she’s bossy, and she’s horrible to work with. But, she gets results so some people put up with her. Her job is put on hold when her childhood friend, Kevin O’Neal, passes away and she heads down to her hometown to attend his funeral.

Kevin had a troubled past. He was accused of killing Lindy, Max’s best friend. Kevin always claimed that he was innocent, but no one believed him except Max. This alienated her from family and friends and everyone quickly turned their backs on Kevin and looked on in confusion at Max’s devotion to him. But it isn’t until Max learns that Kevin lied about his alibi that she turns her back on him too.

So why go did she go to the funeral? Simple, it’s because Kevin’s sister begged her to come. Not only that, but she also convinces Max to take another look at the case. Not everyone is too happy with Max snooping around, including friends and family, and it doesn’t take long for Max to obsess over this case. But the more she learns the more she’ll find that the truth sometimes isn’t what you’re expecting.

Max isn’t the most likeable of sorts, but she is driven and isn’t afraid of pushing people to get what she wants. She isn’t someone I’d like to hang out with, or even want to meet, but she did make for an interesting character. I loved how self aware she was. She knew who she was and wasn’t shy about it. She owned her colourful behaviour and that made her really stand out to me.

I felt like the mystery here was well done as well. There were enough twists and turns to keep me satisfied and I felt like the ending was good as well. Brennan is one of the queens of Romantic Suspense novels and she clearly knows her craft very well. Everything was thought out and done in a way that didn’t make you feel stupid or lead on.

My only complaint is that there were times I felt like I was missing something, almost like I was reading a book that was in the middle of a series, instead of it being the first one. It didn’t happen very often, but there were a few times when I felt that way. I’m not sure if Max was a character in a previous novel or not, but there were some things that were missing in translation.

Other than that, this was a great read. It had fully fleshed out characters, a great mystery, and a plot that didn’t feel tiresome. Everything worked, so I was pleased.

Notorious was provided by netgalley.

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