Hank Phillippi Ryan made her novelist name with the Charlotte McNally Mysteries, starting with “Prime Time” in 2009. Those were taut, well-plotted mys...moreHank Phillippi Ryan made her novelist name with the Charlotte McNally Mysteries, starting with “Prime Time” in 2009. Those were taut, well-plotted mysteries in a short form.
Now, she’s digging in and deepening the plots for long-form novels. The first Jane Ryland mystery is “The Other Woman” published in hardcover in 2012, and now out in paperback.
Jane is a reporter, a star of the Channel 11 news until a businessman denied her report that he was seeing a prostitute and took her to court. When “The Other Woman” begins, she’s starting a new job at a newspaper, the Boston Register. She doesn’t want to rock the boat in her first 90 days, but when she’s assigned to profile the candidates in the upcoming senate race, her investigative journalist skills kick in.
Who is the woman in the red coat at all the rallies and fundraisers? Could she be a candidate’s mistress, in an affair suspected (off the record) by his wife?
At the same time, Jane’s friend – and source – Boston police detective Jake Brogan is investigating a series of murders. The bodies of young woman are turning up under area bridges. The media is already branding the murderer “the bridge killer” – but Jake’s not convinced the killings are linked.
As Jane develops her story and Jake investigates the mounting murder cases, they begin to ask the same question: Are the killings connected to the political race? With the election looming, time to unravel the mystery is running out.
I started figuring out what was going on about two-thirds of the way through, but even so, it was still very suspenseful until the last few scenes. By then, the denouement seemed a bit over-the-top melodramatic and drawn out. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book.
“The Other Woman” is a fantastic murder mystery. The intricately woven plots keep you guessing, and Ryan’s knack for ending her fast-paced chapters on a cliffhanger make the book next to impossible to put down. Ryan is a detail-oriented writer – the settings are easy to picture, every character has a unique voice, and the action is all believable. It’s easy to see why she’s won (or at least been nominated for) all the top mystery-writing awards.
This novel is very suspenseful, but the descriptions never get explicit or gruesome. Jane and Jake have some serious sexual tension, but these books don’t have anything I’d be embarrassed about showing my mother or a teenager. I recommend this for anyone who loves a good mystery. (less)
Two people with dark pasts and dangerous futures team up to stop a deadly plague and the man who created it.
It's not often that I close a book and wis...moreTwo people with dark pasts and dangerous futures team up to stop a deadly plague and the man who created it.
It's not often that I close a book and wish that it had more chapters, but that's exactly what happened with Hidden, by Eve Kenin. The characters and situations are so compelling that I want to know what happens next.
Set in the not-too-distant-future, in a frozen wasteland where no one can be trusted, Hidden centers on Tatiana, a human with genetic enhancements that make her a superwarrior. She's already killed one evil genius. Now she's after two more, before they can implement a plan to kill thousands, if not millions of people. A loner by choice, she unwillingly teams up with the mysterious Tristan, who may hold the key to finding her prey.
Author Kenin describes the settings and actions cinematically, making it easy to picture every setting and each deadly move in the action scenes. She never overwhelms with exposition. The plot is fast-paced, easy to follow, and always fascinating.
Dorchester Publishing describes the book as 'action romance.' It does have a lot of action, with Tatiana and Tristan taking on ruthless ice truckers, vicious Reavers, and cannibalistic mutants. The romance is almost secondary, realized primarily through Tatiana's unexpected attraction to Tristan. Raised by a computer and held prisoner for years by a sadistic doctor, Tatiana has little experience with or interest in social interaction. Her mission comes first.
The story is driven by Tatiana's thoughts, but occasionally we get a glimpse into Tristan's mind. Himself an enigma, product of 21st century Army experiments, he's attracted to Tatiana the first time he sees her. The second time they meet, she's facing down a murderous mob, and the outcome leaves him with a terrible choice to make.
My one criticism is that both Tristan and Tatiana are so focused on their goals, that their thoughts sometimes seem repetitive. They're always thinking the same thing. It didn't bother me enough not to recommend the book, but it's worth mentioning.
Hidden is the sequel to Kenin's Driven, which I have never read, so it's not necessary to read it first in order to enjoy the second book. I plan to read Driven soon, and I hope Kenin writes more in this world, because I'd like to see more of these characters and their fight for freedom in the Waste.(less)
I loved "The Emperor's Conspiracy" from start to finish. The characters are clever and well-drawn, and the plot is carefully thought out. I highly rec...moreI loved "The Emperor's Conspiracy" from start to finish. The characters are clever and well-drawn, and the plot is carefully thought out. I highly recommend it. I have a more in-depth review posted at Fresh Fiction(less)
A telling look at how NBC suits and creatives developed and nurtured series like "Cheers", "Seinfeld", "Friends" and "Will & Grace". If you enjoye...moreA telling look at how NBC suits and creatives developed and nurtured series like "Cheers", "Seinfeld", "Friends" and "Will & Grace". If you enjoyed TV in the '80s an '90s, if you're a writer, or if you hope to someday be a TV network executive, you should read this book. (less)