Book Review – Live Free or Die by Max Gordon

Live Free or Die
Max Gordon
File Size: 361 KB
Print Length: 207 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher:, Inc. (March 1, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

BOOK BLURB: When travel writer Katherine “Kit” McCormick honestly reviews her life, she can give it just three stars out of five, until a freak accident catapults her out of her lethargy and into the middle of a grisly murder case: a loathsome real estate mogul turns up dead in her office. As the ex-lover of the dead man’s wife, Kit makes the shortlist of suspects—and becomes the killer’s next target. Kit finds herself drawn deeper into the intrigue, and toward Detective Kasey Chakarian. Together they unravel the complicated knot of corruption, illicit liaisons, and shameful secrets, but every clue leads to further entanglements—and traps Kit in the killer’s deadly web.

The book opens with a dramatic moment for Kit, who had hopes of a nice normal birthday. Instead she has an accident when the brakes go out on her car while she’s driving on a country road. “When you’re about to die, people say, your life flashes before your eyes in perfect clarity. Apparently, I was not about to die, since what flickered into my head as I hung upside down by my seat belt in a glassless sedan was a tired cliche: bad things happen in threes.

This was a very engaging introduction to the protagonist, and I liked her right away as she hoped that this was number three, and no more bad things would happen. The reader quickly learns that Kit is accident prone, and maybe I could relate because I share that trait. I also liked the way the mystery slowly unfolded and suspects emerged, then faded into the background as new ones were discovered.

Kit and Kasey were well-drawn characters and how their relationship developed in the face of professional boundaries worked. Those boundaries can be tricky, and the author made this believable. At least for me. Dana, Kit’s ex-lover, was an interesting character, but I had a hard time seeing her as a real person. While there were some good scenes with her, in others she came across as too much of a type – selfish, self-absorbed, and a user, and some of the things about her that were revealed at the end came with no foreshadowing.

Still, I really enjoyed the story and the writing was engaging. Scenes were set well, and I could picture the lake in New Hampshire and experience the emotional ups and downs along with Kit. Many things about the way the people in the small town interacted were so much like any small town in America, and this passage reminded me of my little town here in Texas. “No one knew for sure if Margaret herself were a widow, a divorcee or just a single woman in her fifties – but then, small towns feed on innuendo and intrigue. It’s what keeps them together.”


MAX GORDON’s grandmother was the librarian in their tiny upstate New York town, and never restricted Max to kiddie books: if she could reach it, she could read it. Inspired by what she read, and by the desire to share a shelf with her favorite authors, Max probably wrote and illustrated her first story the day she learned to hold a crayon—and she’s been scribbling ever since. After earning a master’s degree in writing and publishing from USC, she worked in publishing, typesetting, marketing, design, and procrastinating, but has never stopped being a writer. She has one son (the light of her life) and a partner (the soundtrack of her life), and lives contentedly wherever there’s waterfront, WiFi, and great coffee.

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