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Saving Max    by Antoinette van Heugten order for
Saving Max
by Antoinette van Heugten
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Manhattan attorney, Danielle Parkman is devastated when her teen son Max (who has Asperger's syndrome) suddenly turns violent towards her. Sfter this happens she finds his journal in which he wrote of thoughts of suicide and confessed to taking drugs. Danielle's career is on the line, as she is being considered for partner at the law firm where she works. Now this means nothing to her - she only wants Max to get better. On the advice of doctors, Max is admitted to Maitland Psychiatric Center in Plano, Iowa.

At the hospital, things go from bad to worse. Danielle meets and befriends Marianne, another mother like herself, dealing with treatment for her son Jonas. After a few days, Max has changed and becomes more aggressive, striking out at Jonas. The two are soon separated but then Danielle finds Max lying unconscious, covered in blood, and Jonas dead from stab wounds. In shock, refusing to believe Max could have done this, Danielle tries to leave the scene and conceal evidence. She is arrested as an accomplice and being guilty of obstructing justice.

Danielle knows her son is not capable of such a terrible crime and begins to investigate the murder on her own, uncovering horrifying evidence that gradually starts to fill in the puzzle. Clues are discovered, cases argued, and time ticks away as the true murderer is brought to light. We learn that patients are not necessarily the most dangerous individuals at the treatment center.

Saving Max is gripping and fast paced. It shows us how far a mother will go to protect her son.

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