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Mirrors Make False Promises. They Tell You: Look Here, And You'll See Yourself

 

 

Author Hank Phillippi Ryan is highly lauded for her work as an investigative reporter and journalist, having been responsible for new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for victims and consumers, and winning 36 Emmy Awards as an investigative reporter for WHDH in Boston as well as 14 Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative and consumer reporting. As an author of considerable note, she has been the winner of 5 Agatha Awards, 3 Anthony Awards, the Daphne Du Maurier Award, the Mary Higgins Clarke award, a guest of Honor at Bouchercon 2019, and her novels have been Library Journal's ‘best ofs’ for 2014 to 2016. Hank is the founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University.

‘Lead ins’ – that magical moment that opens a fresh book with a few sentences that magnetizes the readers attention – are a learn through experience skill that is certainly one of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s polished tools, as she displays as this novel begins: ‘Without any sneaky fine print and knowing everything you know, if you could start your adult life over as someone else, would you do it? Say you could choose the person. Where they live and what they do. You could choose what parts of your prior knowledge to retain, and what parts to “forget.” Family baggage? Discard it. Friends and lovers and commitments? Erased, along with your vanished past. Obsessions? Obsessions could stay.’ Providing that degree of one on one involvement between the storyteller and the reader pries open yet another excellent mystery novel from Hank.

So how does Hank apply the above invitation to the story? The plot outline follows: ‘We all have our reasons for being who we are - but what if being someone else could get you what you want? After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn't know - she isn't the only one plotting revenge. An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who has to choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?’

Read one of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s novels and an addiction ensues. Not only is the prose eloquently written, but also the author’s ability to maintain suspense throughout this mesmerizing story makes this a completely satisfying journey into legalese and psychological confrontations. She ranks in the top tier of contemporary mystery authors. Highly Recommended.


~Grady Harp