Author: J. Carson Black
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (June 12, 2012)
Description: Hollywood superstar Max Conroy is A-list all the way—one of the few actors who can guarantee box office blockbusters on opening weekend. Max has it all: the devil-may-care charisma, the stunning movie star wife, and a sizable personal fortune that grows along with his legend.
When Max escapes from a rehab center in Arizona, disoriented and longing to return to his blue-collar roots, he becomes the target of a motley group of kidnappers planning to cash in by holding him for ransom. Max not only outsmarts them; he evens the score. Little does he know that a far more dangerous and merciless enemy is coming for him. But this time, he has an ally in the smart and beautiful sheriff’s deputy Tess McCrae.
For years, Max drifted through an easy superstar life, untethered and without purpose. But as he fights for his life, something turns inside him. He’s ready to live again—on his own terms. He will destroy those who’d rather see him die like an icon than live like a man.
My Thoughts: This story was filled with suspense and danger and the plot had lots of twists and turns. Max Conroy, major Hollywood actor, escapes from a rehab center in Arizona suffering from hallucinations but with his drink and drug problem cured. His escape sets off major problems for the head of the clinic Gordon White Eagle, Max's agent Jerry Gold and his wife Talia L'Apel. They have plotted to kill him so that they can cash in on his fame and his estate. Gordon and Jerry are brothers and would-be partners in crime.
When a couple of Gordon's goons try to capture Max and take him back to the clinic, he is rescued by Sheriff's deputy Tess McCrae who has a photographic memory and recognizes him immediately even though he is dirty, smelly, and mentally messed up at the time. Gordon has also set a freaky sociopathic assassin named Shaun on his trail. Shaun has found a 12-year-old boy who is just as much of a sociopath and claimed him as her son. Together they are going on a killing spree as they search for Max leaving Max to blame for the various murders.
Jerry is the one who came up with the basic scenario. He sees himself as a screenwriter and has done multiple storyboards all leading to Max's death. As things keep going wrong, he starts to get obsessed with making new storyboards all still ending with Max's death.
There are multiple gun battles, furious car chases, and lots of running around the desert. Along the way Max gets more and more clear-headed about what he wants for his life. And Tess puts her reputation on the line because she believes that Max is a victim rather than the villain.
My one caveat with the story was that since it was told from Max's viewpoint, Tess's viewpoint, Jerry's viewpoint, Shaun's viewpoint and from Gordon's viewpoint, it was hard to really identify with Max. Of course, it was easy to see that Shaun was insane, Jerry obsessed, and Gordon the kind of person who thought he could say anything with conviction and be believed.
If you are looking for suspense and are fascinated with Hollywood icons, this is the story for you.
The mother and daughter looked at Gordon in horror, then scurried past them, headed toward the bathrooms. Jerry wondered what the hurry was.I received this ARC for review from the Amazon Vine Program. You can buy your copy here.
But he didn't really care. He didn't care about them. His brother was dead. And he was busy. He had to find a new story line.