My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Allison Brennan has written over twenty thrillers and I’ve read a lot of them. Her latest–‘Compulsion‘ (Minotaur Books 2015)–is her best, again. Investigative reporter Maxine Revere believes that the serial killer on trial for four murders is actually responsible for at least five more, but no one believes her. Here we have a fairly typical story of one person raging against a storm, standing tall despite a tidal wave of adversity. But before predictability can jell, the plot takes a dramatic turn and becomes something else entirely.
From that moment on, I couldn’t stop reading.
The heroine, Max, carries the story. Most of the main characters are likeable, but flat–they serve their purpose as pawns in the story. Max, though, is different. She is driven, a successful journalist with a boat load of confidence and a track record that makes people listen. She teeters on the edge of being too self-centered to be likable. She has no humility about her superhuman abilities, rather like the neurosurgeon who performs surgeries no one else can, accepts them as her due. But her hubris is tempered by a solid moral compass that points to justice for the little guy. In this story, it is an older retired couple who have disappeared while on vacation. They are forgotten by law enforcement, but not their children. They can’t move on, their lives frozen in time, their world dissolving, friends and jobs all secondary to the desperate search for what happened to their parents. When Max offers to help, she is not only is a chance to solve the mystery, but save their lives.
This is a gripping story with a non-stop action. I highly recommend it for those who enjoy plot-driven stories with strong characters.
More on super-human characters:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.