Allison Brennan's two series collide in Shattered, a powerful, enthralling read about the craving for revenge and the desire for justice (available August 22, 2017).
Maxine Revere travels to Phoenix at the request of an old college friend. His wife is about to go on trial for the murder of their son. John, the old friend, has found similarities between his son’s murder and the murders of three other boys over the previous twenty years. The first boy was Justin Stanton, Lucy Kincaid’s nephew and best friend at the time. Max agrees to investigate the cold cases but not the current one.
Andrew Stanton—San Diego DA and Justin’s father—will not turn over anything from the investigation into his son’s death until Lucy agrees that there is something to investigate. She shows up in San Diego with Sean Rogan. He makes it crystal clear that Max had better not look any further into the couple’s past or publish anything about them without their express permission. Of course, this rankles Max. But she’s backed into a corner. Then, Lucy informs her she will be staying and helping with the investigation—off the FBI clock. Maxine is not at all amused with the Rogans.
“I’m a reporter,” Max said bluntly. “I interview cops, I don’t work with them.”
“There’s an exception to everything,” Lucy said. “If I’m going to talk to my family, I have to tell them I’m intimately involved in the investigation.”
“Lucy—” Andrew began.
“That’s not going to work for me,” Max said.
“Fine,” Lucy said. “You found this information, so can I. I’ll look at the cases on my own.”
The conversation had gone from bad to worse. “I’m not backing down from this,” Max said. “You care about Justin’s murder, I care about all of the murders.”
A flash of anger crossed Lucy’s expression—it was the first real unfiltered emotion Max had seen since the fed sat down.
“Do not presume that you know what I care about,” Lucy said coolly.
“I have resources that you do not,” Max said. “Time and money at the top of the list.”
“I have two things you do not. I am a Kincaid and I have experience.”
This could have turned into the cliché of two strong women who can’t work together but have to undermine each other, or they immediately bond and become besties. But Allison Brennan is a better writer than that. While both women start out suspicious of the other’s motives, they come to admire each other. Where Maxine is direct and impatient to a fault, Lucy takes her time, thinks things through, and has a softer approach with the still-grieving parents.
Still, it’s a rocky start.
The elevator opened and Max Revere walked out, her long dark red hair pulled up in a twist. She wore heeled black boots and a calf-length royal blue cashmere dress. A black jacket was slung over her arm. She was a stunning woman with an air of confidence that Lucy both admired and envied.
Max saw Lucy three strides into the lobby. Her lips curved, just a bit. “Better than most feds I’ve known.”
“Nonfat latte,” Lucy said and handed her the drink.
“Who ratted me out?”
“No one. You had a to-go cup in your room last night and I saw what the barista had written.”
“I meant who did you bribe to find out when I summoned my car.”
Max walked past her to the door.
“Max,” Lucy said without moving.
Max turned around. “Aren’t you coming?”
“Don’t attempt to ditch me again.”
Crossovers can be gimmicky, with contrived reasons to put together characters from different series—book, television, or movie—but this one makes perfect sense. Max investigates cold cases. The death of Lucy’s nephew is a cold case the reader knows about from the first book in the Lucy Kincaid series. Nothing could be more natural than the two investigators crossing paths.
Once again, there are plenty of characters whose motives are not always clear. A parent who doesn’t want their son’s case reopened may be trying to hide something. Or maybe they just do not want to dredge it all up again. To put themselves and other family members through the pain another time.
We also get to watch the murderer, who may be getting ready to kill again. Is there a good reason for what they do, or are they simply a monster? Will our two heroines figure it out in time to prevent another murder? How much danger will one or both women be in if they get too close? And will Max’s friend and Lucy’s family be okay with the answers they find?
These questions had me turning pages well past bedtime to get to the answers. Another question I had is “Will this be the last crossover for Lucy and Max?” I hope not because it sure was a lot of fun.
Listen to an audio excerpt from Shattered!
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Debbie Meldrum reads just about everything she can get her hands on. She was the short fiction editor for Apollo's Lyre and the Editor in Chief of the Pikes Peak Writers NewsMag. She's currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel.
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