Posionous by Allison Brennan
Also by this author: Sudden Death, Fatal Secrets
Series: Max Revere Novels #3
Also in this series: Notorious, Maximum Exposure
Published by Minotaur Books
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense
Source: Public Library
Add to: Goodreads
Teen-aged Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and few people cared ... except her mentally-challenged eighteen-year-old step-brother, Tommy. He loved her in spite of her cruelty. He's distraught and doesn't understand why his blended family is falling apart. After a year, the police still have no answers: Ivy could have jumped, could have been pushed, or it could have been an accident. With too many suspects and not enough evidence, the investigation has grown cold.
Tommy thinks that if someone can figure out what happened to his step-sister, everything will go back to normal, so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn’t the type of case Max normally takes on, but the heartbreak and simple honesty in Tommy's letter pulls her in. She travels to Corte Madera, California, with her assistant David Kane and is at first pleased that the police are cooperative. But the more Max learns about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve.
If Ivy was murdered, it was exceptionally well-planned and that kind of killer could be hiding in plain sight ... planning the next act of violence. Max believes the truth is always better than lies, that the truth is the only thing that matters to gain justice for victims and their families. But for the first time, she wonders if this time, the truth will kill. - via GoodReads
I picked up Poisonous by Allison Brennan for reasons that feel obvious; at least to me. Allison Brennan is to my romantic suspense/thriller as Kristan Higgins is to my contemporary romance. In short? I’m a fangirl. It also helps that Notorious was an awesome start to a new series. I look forward to the release of each new book and mourn the waiting time.
Allison Brennan tackled a pretty current issue in Poisonous: cyber-bullying. Ivy Lake was a pretty horrible young adult but she never got the chance to mature or redeem herself. Most of the plot focused on Max trying to solve Ivy’s 14 month cold case. There wasn’t much focus on Max’s personal life. We did get a peek into Daivd Kane’s personal life. I can’t believe what he has to live with. It makes me sad to be honest.
While the core characters were the same, there were new additional characters related to the new case being solved. Austin Lake was the cliched angry teen but he had been through some hard shit in his young life. He had a right to that anger. Max treated Tommy Lake (a family member and suspect) with such care and respect. It was a high point of the book for me. I work in an accounting firm who handles the finances for intellectually disabled individuals in group homes. I may only work with the numbers and not the direct care but it has opened my eyes. I have heard the stories. Tommy has an intellectual disability. Brennan wrote him with respect. I enjoyed his character and role in Poisonous.
Brennan kept me guessing the whole time. I’d think I’d have my thoughts pegged just to realize it’s what she wanted me to think. I can’t wait for the next one!