Abandoned (Max Revere Series #5)

Abandoned (Max Revere Series #5)

by Allison Brennan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250164483
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Series: Max Revere Series , #5
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 33,180
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

ALLISON BRENNAN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the Lucy Kincaid series (Cold Snap, Stalked, Reckless), and the Max Revere series (Abandoned, Maximum Exposure, Compulsion). She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers and the Daphne du Maurier Award by Kiss of Death. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison lives in Northern California with her husband, five kids, and assorted pets.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

PRESENT DAY

Maxine Revere had been an investigative reporter, in one capacity or another, for more than a decade. In the beginning, she had been the sole collector of information. She'd spent thousands of hours in libraries, interviewed hundreds of people, and traveled across the country to collect key pieces of intelligence to solve cold cases.

Now that she had a monthly cable crime show, had written four true crime books, and recently published her seventy-sixth article in a major trade magazine, she enjoyed the benefits of her success: a staff that was as good at research — and sometimes better — than she was; an assistant both smart and disciplined; and a real career that had garnered her both respect and animosity, praise and criticism.

She liked her job and she made a difference. Max solved cold cases that seemed unsolvable because of the limited resources of law enforcement. That, and her driving need to uncover the truth wherever it led.

Now, for the first time, she had a real chance of learning the truth about what had happened to her mother sixteen years ago. She might even find out why her mother left her in the first place to be raised by grandparents she had never known before that fateful Thanksgiving, only weeks before her tenth birthday.

The disappearance of her mother was personal, and she wasn't going to film a segment for "Maximum Exposure." She had no plans to write a book, an article, or even a blog about Martha Revere's life and presumed death. Max had the resources — namely, money — to investigate this case on her own, and could take the time to do it, even if it cost Max her career.

Some things were worth sacrificing everything. The truth — especially the truth about her life — was one of them.

Two months ago, she'd learned from a private investigator, Sean Rogan, that her mother had bought a car in Miami under a false identity, and that car had turned up abandoned in Northampton County, Virginia, three months later. Max hired the PI to dig deeper into the identity and the timeline of Martha Revere's whereabouts from when she left Max at her grandparents' house that Thanksgiving weekend, until she stopped sending Max postcards shortly after Max's sixteenth birthday.

It was difficult and tedious work for many reasons, the passage of time being an almost insurmountable factor. Martha left Max twenty-two years ago. All Max had — she'd turned copies over to Rogan — were sixteen postcards sent over a six-year period. Financial records were archived and not readily accessible. Someone with one false identity may have additional false identities. And the one thing that Max had learned after living with her mother for the first ten years of her life — Martha Revere was smart, unpredictable, and wild.

Rogan had made great headway, but he had a life and a business and had been unavailable for the last few weeks due to a major case he was working on. Max was antsy. She needed to get into the field and learn the truth. She already knew where Martha's car had been found, the name she had been using — that of her elderly aunt. She had basic information that Rogan had dug up, enough that she could go to Northampton herself and find more answers. And she'd filmed two shows for "Maximum Exposure" in the time it usually took her to do one — just in case the investigation took longer than she planned.

Her producer, Ben Lawson, wasn't happy that she was taking time off with no set return date. She recognized if she were any other person, she'd be fired or her series canceled. And maybe it would be. At this point, she didn't care. For the first time in her life, she had a hint about what happened to her mother, and enough clues to follow the bread crumbs. This was more important than anything else in her life. It was more important than her fledgling love life, more important than her career, more important than her family, who didn't want her digging into the past at all.

This was the most important investigation she'd ever undertaken.

On Saturday morning, she emailed Rogan and told him she was taking the information he'd gathered and would be leaving the following morning for Cape Haven, a small community in Northampton County. She had reserved a small beach house at a resort for the entire month of April, and she'd stay longer if necessary. She hadn't heard back from the PI, so she assumed he didn't have anything new to share with her.

She packed Saturday evening, then poured herself a glass of wine and made herself a chef's salad. She lived in a penthouse in Greenwich Village with a view of the Hudson River. She bought the place after she graduated from Columbia and renovated it to suit her needs and lifestyle. She had no plans to move. She traveled extensively, but this was her home. Maybe because she hadn't had a real home growing up. First, living like a nomad with her mother for nearly ten years, then living with her grandparents for the next nine years in their subdued mansion in a prestigious northern California zip code. Nothing had been hers. But this penthouse was all Max. Her space. A place for her things.

She didn't have much — not because she was a minimalist, but because she didn't see the need to accumulate stuff for the sake of having stuff. But she cherished what she did have. Art she bought because she liked it, not because it was valuable — though much of it was. Furniture that was both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. A kitchen of state-of-the-art appliances, because she loved to cook when she had the time. An entire wall devoted to books because she loved reading. It was an eclectic collection. History, especially books that discussed how history was reflected in the art of the times; architecture because that, too, touched on both art and history; mysteries — give her a good puzzle to lose herself in, and she was happy for the night. Some books she felt she had to read because everyone else had read them. And many, many classics. And she'd always had a fondness for Louis L'Amour, because her grandfather had loved the writer of Westerns. When she bought the penthouse her grandmother had sent her his entire collection with a note from her grandfather, who had died a few years before:

Dearest Maxine,

I used to believe you indulged me when I would read you passages from some of my favorite L'Amour books, but you always listened and humored this old man. One day, I saw you reading The Sacketts by the fire, and realized you weren't simply appeasing me; you enjoyed the stories as much as I did. I hope you have room for my collection in your new home; there is no one else I would want to have them.

With love, Grandfather

He'd died when she was fifteen, long before she bought the penthouse. Her grandmother never told her about the collection, so when she received them as she was settling in to her home she was touched. Reading her grandfather's letter, written before he passed, had been bittersweet.

She finished her salad, washed her plate, and poured a second glass of wine. She sat in her reading corner and reviewed her schedule for the week. She'd already set up an appointment with the sheriff of Northampton County to talk to him about the investigation into the disappearance of "D. Jane Sterling," the owner of the car that Max was certain belonged to her mother.

Still, now that she had made the decision and planned to leave tomorrow morning, she'd become apprehensive. Her assistant, David Kane, would say that it was because she was scared.

"You have always lived in the shadow of your mother's choices," David had told her when she began to pursue the information Rogan uncovered two months ago. "That the truth is so close terrifies you."

"I've never shied away from the truth." His observations made Max more than a little irritated at him.

"While I'll admit that Rogan is unusually gifted in his field, you certainly could have found or paid to find the same information he did."

That was true, and it was something Max had been thinking about a lot since she hired Rogan to dig deeper.

"I'm putting it out there, Max. You have never backed down froma challenge — but with your mother's disappearance, you've never confronted it."

Max trusted David more than anyone else in her life, and when he'd called her on her hypocrisy, she realized that he was right. First her mother lied to Max about her paternity, all the while leading a wild and carefree lifestyle before dumping her to live with her grandparents; then Martha disappeared off the face of the earth when Max was sixteen. Every decision her mother had made, both before and after that fateful Thanksgiving, had colored Max's life and every choice she made. She'd never lied to herself about any of it, because Max abhorred lies — especially to herself. But until David called her out, she didn't realize the deep truth: she was scared. She feared learning the whole truth about her mother because it would de facto change who Max was and how she viewed herself in the world.

Not knowing had driven her for years, and once the truth came to light, what would she do? Who would she be?

Fear was no excuse. Now, there was no turning back.

There was a knock at her door. That meant one of two people: her neighbor who owned the other top-floor penthouse, or David, who had a passkey to the building. He also had a key to her apartment, but he wouldn't use it except in an emergency.

She opened the door. David. "I wasn't expecting you."

"Rogan found something. He wants to talk to both of us."

In the past, Max would have been furious that the PI she hired had contacted her assistant instead of her. Though David had become more of a partner than an assistant, this was still a personal investigation, not affiliated in any way with NET, the cable television station that paid David's salary.

"I know," David said without her having to say anything.

"You don't."

"Let's go to your office."

"I've already packed." She sat down at the dining table and called Rogan from her cell phone, then put it on speaker.

"Rogan," a voice said.

"Sean, it's Maxine Revere and David Kane."

"Glad I caught you before you left."

"Bright and early tomorrow morning."

"I learned something last week and was trying to get more details before I called you, but since you're jumping now I thought you should know."

"I appreciate that."

"If any of my other feelers pan out, I'll let you know, but I have another job that will keep me busy for the rest of the week."

"You warned me you couldn't devote all your time to the project, so just tell me what you have and we'll go from there."

"Do you recall a man named James Truman? He went by the name Jimmy."

The past slapped Max in the face. She hadn't heard that name in a long, long time.

"Yes." She shook her head, trying to purge memories of the jerk. "He was one of my mother's many boyfriends."

"When you told me you were going to Northampton County to talk to the sheriff about the abandoned car, I revisited the list of Martha's known associates during the years between when she left you and when she disappeared. Martha and Truman were very good at covering their tracks, but I found records in New York, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Italy, and New Zealand that put them together. In fact, I may be going out on a limb here, but I think they were together the majority of those six years."

"My mother never stayed with one man longer than three or four months," Max said. "And that's stretching it."

"You created the timeline of her known locations based on where she withdrew her trust fund allowance. I took that and extrapolated. She was off the radar most of the time, but Jimmy Truman wasn't — until she disappeared."

"I don't see what you're getting at, Rogan." She was trying to wrap her head around the idea that her mother could have been committed to anyone.

"The FBI opened an investigation into James Truman ten years ago. I couldn't get much more than that except that it's linked to a case in Dallas at least sixteen years ago."

Sixteen years? That was the time her mother disappeared. "Was there an investigation into my mother, too?" She would be stunned — she would have known. She'd dated a federal agent on and off for nine years. Certainly someone would have made the connection, and she had never distanced herself from her mother. It was on her Web page, her biography, and she'd even touched on her childhood in articles she'd written. Yet the FBI had never interviewed her — or her grandparents, as far as she knew.

"No, not Martha Revere. If she had a really good fake identity — better than the Sterling identity — maybe they simply didn't know who she was."

David asked, "What was he being investigated for?"

"That I don't know. All I know was that it was opened out of the Norfolk regional FBI office and then attached to an older Dallas investigation. I don't even have an agent of record. I can dig deeper."

"I have contacts in the FBI," Max said. "I'll get it, if it's important."

"Like I said, I'm going to be out of pocket for the next week or two, but I put out a lot of feelers specifically following the money trail. Some of your information isn't accurate."

Max straightened her spine. "What?" Her family had thwarted her in the past, but something of this magnitude — falsifying bank records — that was beyond the pale.

"Most of the information I'm looking for isn't maintained for this long. But I confirmed that on at least three occasions, the money was transferred out of your mother's bank account to an offshore account. So the records are technically accurate, but your mother wasn't present to receive her funds."

Max's mother had never kept a bank account longer than a few months because she had once told Max that she didn't want Eleanor to know what she was doing or who she was doing it with. It made no sense then, and now Max wondered why. Was it just Martha's way of flipping the bird to her family? Or did she have another, more logical — more criminal — reason?

"Thank you," she said.

"I also have a request into the State Department for her passport travel records — I should say you made the request, you're next of kin. It's faster and easier that way, but I put myself down as the contact. If I hear anything, I'll call you."

David said, "I'll be in Miami following up on Martha's alias. Max is going to Virginia."

"Which brings me to the other information I learned about Truman. First, I believe he was using the alias J. J. Sterling in Miami, so David, you might want to follow up on that as well. He was born and raised in Virginia — in a small town called Cape Haven. It's less than fifteen miles from where Martha's car was found."

David stared at Max. "I should go with you."

"It's been sixteen years," Max said. "Truman isn't around, or if he is, he's not going to remember me. We need the information from Miami, and you're the only one I trust — other than me — to get it."

David didn't look happy, but Max wasn't worried about danger. Her mother had been missing for sixteen years. If it was foul play that didn't mean squat. Sixteen years was a long time.

"What else do you know about Truman?" David asked Rogan.

"He obtained a Virginia State driver's license when he was eighteen that has never been renewed. That doesn't mean anything — he could have gotten one in another state, and I have inquiries in the states I know he spent some time. His parents are deceased — his father died in a fishing boat accident when he was a teenager, and his mother, Emily, died of cancer ten years ago. He has a younger brother, Gabriel, a U.S. Navy veteran honorably discharged sixteen years ago in September. Gabriel Truman lives in the family home in Cape Haven and owns a charter boat business attached to a resort. He keeps a low profile — no personal social media profiles. His business is all business, no personal information other than basic. No criminal record."

Jimmy Truman. Max barely remembered him, but she hadn't liked him. That she hadn't forgotten.

"That's pretty extensive," David said.

"Not as much as I would have liked. I don't have a current photograph of Truman, for example, and no sign of him in the last ten years — which could mean he's dead or he has a solid new identity."

"What are you thinking in this?" David asked. "That Jimmy Truman killed Martha? Is that why there's an investigation?"

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Abandoned"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Allison Brennan.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Abandoned (Max Revere Series #5) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I've actually read this book twice, back to back. Understanding the story of what happened to Max`s mom. Truly knowing the depth of who Max is and the incredible strength, love and yes, hope that Max has, even against all odds, just took my breath away. Throughout the story there are twists and turns, you never know what really happens until it does. Reading this book I cried, laughed, hoped and even wanted one of the "bad" guys to win, until another turn came and I wanted him to die a horrible death. Truly enjoyed this book. Very well written, but aren't all of Allison's books that way?
Anonymous 7 months ago
Nicely combines threads from previous novels to tell the story of what really happened to Max's mom. Enjoyed!
Anonymous 9 days ago
Thoroughly enjoyed.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Loved it
Anonymous 6 months ago
Great read
Anonymous 6 months ago
Loved it!
deb-oh 6 months ago
Abandoned Allison Brennan I received this copy from NetGalley for an honest Review: What happens when we are abandoned by the one person who is supposed to keep us safe? This issue and many others regarding abandonment are explored in this novel. Add in a mystery, some art thieves, likable characters and some not so likable and you have a really good story. I really liked Max, and cheered her on as she tried to find out what happened to her mother after she was abandoned when she was almost 10 years old. Max made a really good life for herself, she is successful yet she can't seem to let go of the mother who let her go. We get a chance to follow her as she traces her mom's life after she was left; we meet some terrific characters along the way and get to examine the difference in families, ie. one-parent families, large families, families that aren't always the norm. We also get to hear from Max's mother and I really enjoyed watching her story unfold. Although some of it is predictable, it was still great to see it all played out. All in all a terrific read! #NetGalley #Abandoned
deb-oh 6 months ago
Abandoned Allison Brennan I received this copy from NetGalley for an honest Review: What happens when we are abandoned by the one person who is supposed to keep us safe? This issue and many others regarding abandonment are explored in this novel. Add in a mystery, some art thieves, likable characters and some not so likable and you have a really good story. I really liked Max, and cheered her on as she tried to find out what happened to her mother after she was abandoned when she was almost 10 years old. Max made a really good life for herself, she is successful yet she can't seem to let go of the mother who let her go. We get a chance to follow her as she traces her mom's life after she was left; we meet some terrific characters along the way and get to examine the difference in families, ie. one-parent families, large families, families that aren't always the norm. We also get to hear from Max's mother and I really enjoyed watching her story unfold. Although some of it is predictable, it was still great to see it all played out. All in all a terrific read! #NetGalley #Abandoned
Anonymous 7 months ago
Cant wait for the next book!
Boohimdanno 7 months ago
When I started to read Abandoned I had know idea it was part of a series. This book is a stand alone novel even though it is part of a series. Allison Brennan is able to bring readers into a world of wealth, mystery and death with just a flick of her pen. From the second Max steps food in the small town she realizes there is more to her mother than just a teen looking for a way out. Abandoned has lots and I mean lots of characters that will be hard to keep up with sometimes. I wish I had a characters list to keep track of everyone. The author uses the terms "I like to have fun." Almost to the point of eye roll. The only disappointment was the end of the story. It just ended even though the build up last several pages the end just ended. That being said Abandoned is full of twist and turns readers will not be able to get enough of. As the darker the story turns the more the readers will need to find out the truth too. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy of Allison Brennan Abandoned.
DJTP 7 months ago
A great story. Abandoned by Allison Brennan, book five in the Max Revere series. Even though I haven't read the other books in this series I still enjoyed it. It should be in order as a series but this book would be read as a standalone. Likable characters and a suspense storyline that pulled me in from the first chapter. I look forward to going back to read the past books in this series and more by this author.
cristieu 7 months ago
This thriller was fast paced and well written! I devoured it in one sitting, as the twists kept coming and I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous 7 months ago
As always a great read by a great author
CathyGeha 7 months ago
Abandoned by Allison Brennan Max Revere #5 Max sounded familiar to me though I didn’t remember having read all of the books in the series. I looked back and found I had read one of them when it came out and had enjoyed it and have to say I enjoyed this one, too. Max Revere is a strong female lead with trust and commitment issues after being abandoned by her mother at the age of nine. She has finally decides to use her investigative skills to find out what happened to Martha, her mother, who was declared dead years ago. Was she murdered? Has she assumed another name and moved away? What happened to her? If she is dead then why and who killed her? With clues brought in by a private investigator, her personal journals, postcards sent by her mother and time off from work Rex settles into the task she has set for herself. As in the other book I read in this series - Rex questions many people, follows where the clues lead, suspects various possible outcomes and then toward the end things get stirred up big time as a the threads of the mystery are unraveled to a dark gritty dirty core that leaves some dead, some injured, some with new family members and many with new truths to deal with. And, guess what? There is a new man for Rex to enjoy that (hopefully) will be a better match for her than the ones she has left behind. Did I like this book? Yes Would I read more in this series? Yes Would I have wanted to have Rex’s life? Nope…no way…no how! Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan/SMP/Minotaur for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars
Monnie777 8 months ago
So first off I would recommend reading at least the book before this one to get an idea of some of the background of Max's life. That being said you don't have to understand this book as a lot is explained in this book. This book is finally a personal book to Max. She is finally going to know what happened to her mother 16 years ago. During this book Max stirs up a lot but I think she also finds peace with the past in this book. She also finds the perfect man for her in this book. Now I'm not saying he's perfect just that he is perfect for her. I really enjoyed this book as it did go back into the past so you could see what was happening during a certain time frame. Allison could end the series with this book as it does have a satisfying ending but it would be more fun to have more books with Max solving cold cases, either way it was a great book. *I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
Fredreeca2001 8 months ago
Max is an investigative reporter and she is on the biggest case of her life….finding out what happened to her mother, Martha Revere. Max’s mother left her with her grandmother when she was just a small girl. Max received several postcards from her through out her life. Then the postcards just stopped. Max wants to know why! Max is a no nonsense, get the job done, lady! When she sets her mind to something she is going to see it through. Martha Revere is the complete opposite of her daughter. She is a fly by night, could care less kind of person. Martha is a con artist…a rich con artist. She is living off her trust fun money and traveling the world. And where this lands her? Try art theft! I love this tangled web of deceit created by Martha. She is no dummy. She cons a con and that is hard to do. This puts her in hot water. Max is slowly unraveling Martha’s exploits. This puts Max in more danger than she cares to admit! Plus, it leads her to find out something she never expected. This is a lightening fast read with great characters and a great mystery. Allison Brennan has written tons of books. I cannot believe I have missed her! How?!? She is now on my list! I received this novel from Minotaur Books via Netgalley for a honest review.