Compulsion: Allison Brennan
The act of compelling, constraint or being compelled defines compulsion. The strong irresistible impulse to perform an act, one that is opposite, contrary to one’s will or even irrational can lead one to be defined as compulsive. Compulsions cause extreme anxiety and some compulsions like OCD, washing your hands over and over again, repeating and act persistently and repetitively and realizing there are no actual rewards or pleasure are just some of what defines compulsive behaviors. Some are behaviors that hope to make obsessions disappear. Within the pages of the mystery/thriller you will meet many characters whose personality traits will border on compulsive, whose actions mirror that of someone who wants to be in control and whose interaction with others often leads to altercations, arguments or isolation. Compulsive behaviors are said to be obsessive-compulsive disorders like shopping, hoarding or even gambling. These people need consistency, control and anything that changes their schedule; regiment or routine can set them off.
Maxine Revere needs to be in control of every situation, story and person working with her or for her. Max has no compulsion when dealing with people to let them know her viewpoint, ream them when necessary and hold them accountable when she thinks they have not follow her directives. As an investigative reporter there is no room for errors and as she learns in an in-depth interview with a serial killer that perfection is not always the outcome and sometimes when you think you are in control you are not. Maxine has her own news show called Maximum Exposure and her producer Ben Lawson would like to think he has control of what she reports and how. Think again! She is hotheaded, persistent and at times speaks before thinking. Not hesitating to speak her mind often alienates her from people that might help her. The police department has few that will deal with her. Her personal assistant David Kane knows the ropes, how to deal with her and provides the security details needed to keep her alive. An author of several books, difficult to deal with at times, a past that has haunted her and the abuse she had as a child from a stepfather all play into her personality keeping people at bay hoping she won’t get hurt. But, when Adam Bachman is arrested for killing five people, kidnapping one her ears perk up, as he just might be guilty of killing two elderly people who disappeared.
Adam Bachman is a serial killer but more than that. Adam Bachman agreed to speak with Maxine in an exclusive interview the day before certain evidence was found in the case of the missing older couple. The trial begins the prosecutor lays out his case and Max is convinced Adam had help. With this thought in mind she is relentless in trying to prove that somehow he had an accomplice and when a certain piece of evidence is made readily available to her she knows she is right. Going to the DA was a waste of time and got her nowhere. Finding out that Adam Bachman was in a rehab facility and going there might have been the first step to endangering her and others. With her new assistant Riley at her side they make their way to Greenhaven and what she learns clinches the fact that there is more to Adam than meets the eye and that somehow he might know where the bodies of these two victims are. But, she is tenacious and contacts another detective and what they find when they go deep inside a tunnel will shock readers and clinch what Maxine already knew about the fate of the older couple whose bodies were doused in sodium hydroxide to hide the evidence and wash away the prints.
Maxine needs a rest from the case and is supposed to visit her boyfriend Nick Santini in San Francisco. But, someone knows her every move. Someone knows her history and her past and someone is going to make her pay for something someone else did but who and why? Her mother left her alone when she was four and at times would not come back for days on end. Maxine was abandoned so many times and had so many poor relationships that getting close to anyone and trusting anyone rarely comes into the picture. But, when getting into the car that the car service sent she does not realize that the driver is a plant.
Things spiral out of control as Max realizes that she has been kidnapped and her fears and doubts about herself come to the forefront. Being left alone by the her mother, lied to and betrayed by the one person that was supposed to care for her, Maxine grew up learning to fend for herself and never really knowing who to trust. Added in what she learned about a man named Victor thinking he was her father and being rejected by him left her more than emotionally scarred. So, waking up in a dirty basement and restrained, covered in blood and cut up and drugged she soon learns who her captors are but what did she do to make this one person think that she took something from him? Adam Bachman was working with two accomplices and there was one other person in the background that no one knows or knew about. But, Maxine is smart and with her will to live and David, her ex-boyfriend and Special FBI Agent Marco and her new boyfriend Nick Santini working together with O’Hara from the police department they just might succeed in finding her but will she be alive? Added in Riley sets herself up as a patient in Greenhaven hoping to access their files and learn more about Bachman and a man named Cole Baker. But, her plan goes south and what happens to her allows readers to understand why Maxine wanted her to remain under the radar and out of harm’s way but Riley is headstrong and was determined to prove to Maxine that she could cut it. While Maxine recounts her past in her drug induced state she recalls the times she was tortured, left alone, the mental and psychological games others played on her and preyed on her mind, allowing readers to understand her compulsions and her fears. The scenes are graphically depicted and are vividly described allowing readers to be in the situation along with Maxine going through the torments and terror along with her.
As Max tries to remember the voice of one of her captors someone else might be lurking around and things will come to a surprising ending when all the pieces of the puzzle are revealed and the reason why someone hates her is known.
When the mystery starts to unravel and Marco, David and Nick have to race the clock along with Sally and others to find Maxine what they find will send chills down your spine and what they learn will alert Max that it is far from over. Just who is after her and wants her erased? Who thinks that she took something from him and who is the other mastermind in this plot? Just who else was set up and paid the price for someone’s psychotic thinking? Maxine is not very likeable to most and hard to deal with most of the times. She is relentless, persevering, unfeeling at times and often does more than just make waves. With a DA that does not want to get involved thinking her theories are way off base, with her bodyguard David risking it all and two men fighting for her affection, will Maxine find a way to stop whoever it is before it’s too late for others?
Characters that are distinct, unique to their own personalities and each one blending or clashing with Maxine creating discord and disagreements just in the right places and time. Author Allison Brennan keeps readers wondering where Maxine will turn and to whom she will turn when faced with both Marco and Nick which one if either will win? Will she ever decide on a real relationship or will her past hinder her?
When the past becomes her present will she be able to stop it before someone else has the Compulsion and drive to stop her? A killer that faces off with her and dares her to get him or even think he might lose. A plot so devious no one saw it coming and when he or she did it might be too late. Nightmares that plague her every waking hour, family members that were never there for her and one young girl just trying to find acceptance, love and understanding from others. Maxine Revere just wants to be herself and will not bend, change or adhere to the rules set by others. Many are broken in the name of solving a case. Many are broken because she feels she can. The ending will surprise readers and her turnabout even more. What happens when your drive, passion and love for your drive ignites a Compulsion inside of you that you cannot control until you get the end result you want? Compulsion: Allison Brennan: Can’t wait to see what happens next!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews