INTERVIEW WITH MAXINE REVERE FROM ABANDONED BY ALLISON BRENNAN

 

Thank you for doing this. You have had some hard knocks in your life. Your mother left you just before your tenth birthday and then disappeared off the face of the earth a few years later.  Raised by your grandparents you became an independent, strong, determined, person who has little regard for those who are dishonest. Now you use those skills as a cable TV investigative reporter to help solve Cold Cases.

Let’s start out by going back in time.

Elise Cooper: Some of those who know you described how you are ruled by your past, driven, demanding, sometimes arrogant, judgmental, yet passionate and intelligent. Do you agree?

Maxine (Max) Revere: I am driven. Finding the truth is vital to the preservation of a free and just society. The guilty should be punished, and the innocent should be exonerated. I suppose I’m arrogant, but I am usually right and really get annoyed with people who dismiss my arguments when they haven’t even considered the facts. Being judgmental is part of being a Revere, and I have tried to temper that trait. It’s not always easy. I’m particularly annoyed when people attempt to justify their bad behavior or lies. But I’m trying to understand that not everything is black and white. My assistant, David Kane, has really helped me over the years — though he certainly isn’t right all the time.

EC:  Do you think arrogant is a bad rap for you?

MR: I have always accepted my current situation, and have a keen sense of self—which yes, some people consider arrogance. I don’t think that it’s a crime to be self-confident or intelligent. I ignore people, both men and women, who are highly critical of confident and successful women.

EC: Because your mother left when you were nine years of age, do you feel abandoned and/or resentment?

MR: Though my mother left me—and I was angry with her about it—I also realized quite young that my grandparents were better for me than my nomad, lying mother. I suppose when I really think about it, I feel sad — not abandoned so much as not understanding why my mother made the decisions she did. I’ve more or less accepted my mother’s choices even though I don’t understand them; what I do resent is that she flat out lied to me about who my father was. She never told me, or anyone else that I know about, and that bothers and angers me. Not knowing where half my genes come from — there’s a sense that I’m missing something.

EC: How do you view your grandmother?

MR: Even though I was an illegitimate child with an unknown father, my grandparents never made me feel inferior or less of a person. Eleanor is gracious, proud, and a true philanthropist. Even though I butted heads from time to time with my grandmother, I will always appreciate that they took me in, no questions asked. My grandmother—Eleanor—I love her and yet get so angry with her.

EC:  Why get angry with your grandmother?

MR: She would do anything for her family—even manipulate the system or others to get family out of a mess. That’s when we tend to argue. I don’t believe in giving family a “pass” just because they’re family. But, I learned to respect and love my grandmother.

EC:  Were you close to your grandfather?

MR: I miss my grandfather terribly. What made Eleanor human to me was how she acted with her husband. They adored each other, but if anyone told her they were “cute” together she would have looked down her nose and said, “Revere’s aren’t cute.” But they were. My grandfather was a quiet intellectual who believed wholly in family and a strong work ethic. He never had a mean word for anyone.

EC: Looking back, do you see differences in your personality when you were a child versus now as an adult?

MR: I was less likely to confront people as a child, but when I did, I went full-force on them. When I learned my uncle was having an affair with my best friend’s mother, I was livid — and announced what I had learned at a family dinner. While I don’t regret exposing him, I wish I had done it less dramatically. I hurt my aunt, which was an unintended consequence of my actions. Now, I still expose the truth even when it hurts — but I’m cognizant that there is a time and place for these things.

EC: How would you describe your mother Martha?

MR: Martha cares only about Martha. She’s fierce, she’s smart, she’s wild, she’s selfish. I don’t think she is capable of loving anyone but herself. I suppose that may make her some version of a sociopath, but at this point I don’t care. She made her decisions, they had unintended consequences, and she had to live — and die — by those decisions.

EC: Do you see any of yourself in Martha or in Eleanor, your grandmother?

MR: Growing up the first “nearly” ten years with Martha, I think I purposely behaved the opposite of her. I have a difficult time just having fun. Even when I’m on a rare vacation, I have a hard time relaxing and letting myself enjoy something just for the sake of pleasure. Martha was all about self-gratification at the expense of others. Martha was a spend-thrift, wasting money on her own personal enjoyment. Like her, I’m not afraid to spend money, but there needs to be a purpose—such as investigating a cold case. For example, Martha never bought a house or rented anything long-term. I covet my apartment in New York, a home base I never had growing up. Reluctantly, I can admit I am a bit more like my grandmother than my mother. My mother once told me when I was seven or eight that I was judgmental just like her mother. While I don’t wholly agree with that, there is some truth to it. And, like Eleanor, I have a strong sense of pride and duty to my family, my ancestors, and to the Revere name. I simply wouldn’t lie to protect it.

EC: What is the most important to you, family or your profession?

MR: What a difficult question. Family is always important. Career is also important. I would do anything for my family except lie for them. And my career is all about exposing lies to find the truth.

EC: If you ever find your mom, do you still want to continue with the cable show that solves Cold Cases?

MR: Of course. Solving cold cases is in my blood. The cable show wasn’t my idea, and I still have some issues with it — namely, I can’t always do what I want and my time is becoming strained—but we have done some really good things and helped several people find closure. We helped release an innocent man from prison where he’d been convicted of a murder he didn’t commit; we uncovered evidence that helped put a killer away for life. I am proud of our accomplishments.

EC: David, your aide/bodyguard, is he more of a friend or family to you?

MR: David and I didn’t particularly like each other when we first met. I didn’t like the rules he established, because even though I understood they were for my safety, I thought they were overkill—until he saved my life. We became friends because of mutual respect, but somewhere in working so closely together, we’ve become family. I don’t trust easily, but I trust David. He will always tell me the truth about me. We might not always agree on something, but he will give me his honest opinion and that I weigh more than most people.

EC: Can you compare and contrast your different relationships with Marco, Nick, and now Ryan?

MR: I truly try not to live in the past.  But to answer your question, I’ll try. FBI Agent Marco Lopez and I met when the FBI investigated the disappearance of my college roommate. She and I were on Spring Break in Miami. I left college for a year and investigated the case myself. We butted heads a lot, but that was part of the attraction. And he was hot. It was lust, it was passion, it was a desire to achieve a common goal. No one can make me as angry as Marco — but making up was wild. Probably not a healthy relationship, if I reflect on it now. We were on-and-off a dozen times during the nine years we were involved. But ultimately, Marco wanted to change me. He wanted me to be someone I am not, and I didn’t see it at first because, you know, lust.

Detective Nick Santini is everything Marco isn’t. He’s calm, reasoned, quiet. The epitome of the strong silent type. Yet he has the same strong sense of justice, or doing right, that attracted me to Marco. And being older, I wanted that calm after going through the wringer with Marco for so long. And Nick respected my career in ways that Marco didn’t. Maybe because Marco knew me before I became an investigative reporter, so he never took me seriously. The problem with Nick is that he wouldn’t let me in. I don’t need to be involved in everything — okay, maybe that’s not completely true. I have a difficult time not knowing things. But Nick has an ex-wife who has made him jump through hoops to see his son. He moved across the state and took a demotion just to be close to his son. He refused to share with me anything that he was going through. David says it’s because I would be critical, and I think it’s because Nick knows that I’m right and didn’t want to hear it. But when push came to shove, I don’t care how good the sex is or how much I enjoy his company, Nick wouldn’t share the most important part of his life with me—the life that revolved around his son—and I couldn’t sit back and wait for things to change. It was sad, but when I finally let go, I was okay. I knew it was the right decision.

FBI Agent Ryan Maguire. Well. I don’t know, really. He came out of left field when I least expected to get involved with anyone.

EC: Could any these be your soul mate?

MR: I don’t believe in soul mates.

EC: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you want to go?

MR: I can, and I have. One of the advantages of being independently wealthy is that I can pretty much go where I want and do as I please. My job, however, keeps me busy and I don’t have much opportunity to travel for pleasure. I hate living out of suitcases and would much prefer to relax at home. However, I went to Greece once when I was in college and I have always wanted to return. Crete or Santorini or maybe a small, private island. I love anyplace on the water.

EC: What do you do for fun?

MR: I have a difficult time doing something just for fun. To me, “fun” means relaxing. Soaking in a luxurious bath. Reading in my favorite chair looking out at the view of the Hudson River. I enjoy theater, but don’t go as much as I would like.

EC: If you had a crystal ball what would your life be like in five years?

MR: I don’t worry about the future. Thinking about “what ifs” is a waste of time.

EC: What are your hopes and dreams?

MR: Again, I don’t “hope” or “dream” about anything. It’s not practical, and generally leads to disappointment and frustration. However, I do hope one day to find justice for Karen—my college roommate. We may not have found her body, but we know who killed her and when he returns to the United States, I will confront him and find a way to prove he murdered her.

EC: Thank you for doing this, much appreciated!

Abandoned (Max Revere Book 5)

Allison Brennan

Minotaur Books

August 14th, 2018