Author: Allison Brennan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date of publication: April 2016
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.Poisonous is book three in the Max Revere series. Each one can be read as stand alone book, but it doesn't hurt to start from the beginning to understand Max a bit more. This time around, Max has received a letter from Tommy who has asked her to find who killed his step-sister Ivy. It's not the normal kind of case Max would take, but something about Tommy's letter hits her in the heart and she can't resist.
The thing I love about this series is the characters. I love getting to know more about Max with each book. I really sympathized with her over her feelings of not fitting into any family. I also totally thought she was right regarding David and Nick over their custody situation. I lost a bit of respect for Nick when he wouldn't share with Max. I really felt bad for her. Tommy has to be just about the sweetest character that I have read in a while. He is mentally delayed but so sincere and honest that you can't help but root for him. He just about broke my heart in every scene he was in. I loved Max's interactions with Tommy, it made me like her that much more.
The mystery was really good and solid. I was definitely kept guessing until the end. I had my suspicions. In the end, I was wrong, but that made me love the book all the more. I definitely recommend this one as well as the others in the series. I can't wait to see what Max gets into next!