Uncomfortably nice


In Compulsion (Minotaur Books, $25.99), Elk Grove novelist Allison Brennan's second installment in the case files of Maxine “Max” Revere has her going after a serial killer. Already in custody, Adam Bachman is charged with five murders; Max thinks there are two more. She secures an interview with Bachman for her TV show and probes the murder of a middle-aged couple who disappeared on their second honeymoon. A taunt from Bachman lights a fire under her, but not even her bodyguard, David, can get between Max and danger. While the first novel, Notorious, depicted Max as obnoxious but right, she's now edging uncomfortably close to nice. Max started out as a “Nancy Grace with brains” type; now she's gone a bit too far in the emotionally-available direction.