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Reckless (Max Eden Crime 7)
DI Max Eden is investigating cold cases in the Warwickshire Police Force area. One of the cases she has prioritised for a new investigation suddenly comes to the fore as a local journalist has already been investigating the brutal and apparently motiveless murder of a 14 year old girl, on a path near her home. It is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the girl's death and her sister and brother want answers to the questions they have posed to the journalist: "Why Ellie? Why did it happen? How did it happen? Who killed Ellie?". In the course of the investigation Max uncovers a complex web of crimes and criminality, old and new, leading to lies and half-truths that almost thwart the successful investigation of the original murder.
Maxine (Max) Eden is black, lesbian, Jewish and, obviously, a woman, born in a poor London neighbourhood to Ethiopian Jewish immigrant parents, who tragically died in a malicious fire when Max was eleven, leaving Max an orphan in local authority care. After troubled early teenage years Max was fostered in a loving and inspiring family and, coupled with attendance at the excellent local comprehensive school, she found a sweet spot in her life, as she also came to terms with her sexuality. With this background it might be expected that Max would experience prejudice in the police force, especially on transferring from cosmopolitan London to a small town in Middle England but though there was some subtle prejudice she again finds she had landed in a relatively benign environment and even finds she had acquired some champions, not because of who and what she is, but due to her undoubted, though off-beat, investigation skills, and despite her messy love-life which sometimes threatens her professional life.