Book #85 was Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten. The back of the book reads:
Max Parkman—autistic and whip-smart, emotionally fragile and aggressive—is perfect in his mother’s eyes. Until he’s accused of murder.
Attorney Danielle Parkman knows her teenage son Max’s behavior has been getting worse—using drugs and lashing out. But she can’t accept the diagnosis she receives at a top-notch adolescent psychiatric facility that her son is deeply disturbed. Dangerous.
Until she finds Max, unconscious and bloodied, beside a patient who has been brutally stabbed to death.
Trapped in a world of doubt and fear, barred from contacting Max, Danielle clings to the belief that her son is innocent. But has she, too, lost touch with reality? Is her son really a killer?
With the justice system bearing down on them, Danielle steels herself to discover the truth, no matter what it is. She’ll do whatever it takes to find the killer and to save her son from being destroyed by a system that’s all too eager to convict him.
I had mixed feelings about this book. It did have its good points: the concept is interesting, and the writing wasn’t bad. I did read to the end, after all, and my patience with books this year is very short. But it definitely had its weak points. We don’t really get to know Max, despite him being at the center of the book. And for being a lawyer, Danielle is awful flippant about jumping bail and breaking the law. I just didn’t find that part of her character believable. Yes, a mother will do whatever she can to help her son, but you can argue that if she was unsuccessful, she would be in a position worse than before. Should a mother take that risk? And because we are never able to connect to Max, her arguments about his mental state sound more like blind denial than an informed opinion. All in all, she just goes about things the wrong way, coming off as hysterical and rigid even to the reader who is supposed to be on her side.
This book was a review copy.
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Page count: 375 | Approximate word count: 93,750