COMPULSION – Allison Brennan
Maxine Revere Series, Book 2
St. Martin's Minotaur Books
April 2015

Present Day New York City

Maxine Revere, famed investigative reporter, author of four popular true crime books and host of a cable TV show, specializes in cold cases the police have given up on. Max focuses on missing person cases that often turn out to involve murder. At present, she's following up on the months-long disappearance of a couple from Ohio, while, at the same time, covering the trial of Adam Bachman—the man accused of murdering five women—for her TV show. Something about the two cases triggers her into thinking they are somehow connected, and that the man might not have acted alone. Max tries to interest the police in her theory, but no one believes her. The DA prosecuting the case certainly won't consider it; he doesn't want anything brought up that would muddy the waters. He surely doesn't want any thing that might cause reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury.

Max is determined—you might say driven—to follow her instincts, especially after being allowed to interview Bachman . . .

COMPULSION has a large cast of characters. Max, the star of it all, engenders strong loyalties in her friends and co-workers. To name just a few: Ben, her agent at NET, the network she works for; David Cane, an ex-Army Ranger and her personal assistant and self-appointed bodyguard; and Riley Butler, an ambitious researcher who wants to be just like her boss. There is also a love interest or two.

The plot is a most complex one involving mystery, danger, and heart-pounding suspense in the later chapters. And the villains (more than one in this tale) are truly diabolical.

Because of the intricate plot and large number of characters, as well as the history and complexity of Max herself, I would recommend reading the first novel of the series, NOTORIOUS. It's probably not absolutely necessary, but I often wished that I had. I found myself having some trouble keeping track of who and what in the early chapters, but found COMPULSION compelling in the end.

Jane Bowers