Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Length: 366 pages
Where Bethany’s copy came from: ARC provided by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Plot Basics: Newspaper reporter Jane Ryland received a tip from former colleague that a premiere adoption agency is reuniting birth mothers with the wrong children. But, she’s called on assignment to the scene of murder (that happens to be investigated by Det. Jake Brogan). The death is a young woman, leaving two small children to go into the bleak world of the foster care system. But Jake notices an empty cradle at the scene and wonders if there’s a child missing. Jane’s pursuit of the adoption story and Jake’s investigation twist together — throwing the two of them together even when they are trying to avoid a relationship. And when Jane starts getting threatened, they know they are on the right track.
Banter Points: The great thing about the Jane Ryland series is how the layers get pulled back one by one until the true story emerges. I remember the executive editor at the newspaper I wrote for saying how there’s always more than two sides to a story and that journalistic truth is reflected in this story for sure. I like how the Jane/Jake relationship (or not… reporter + cop = professional disaster) was a plot point to keep things moving along.
I’m normally not a fan of multiple POV books and there is admittedly a lot of head-hopping in this one, but it works because as the reader, you’re getting the whole picture and seeing how the characters could solve the crime faster if they were talking to each other. Even with that, there were enough twists to keep me turning pages to see how it all wrapped up.
Bummer Points: There’s a minor character in the book named Bethany. Not really a bummer, but I always think it’s weird to see my name in print like that. It’s not a common name, but it’s not uncommon either. Makes me wonder how people named John, etc., handle it.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This is a totally fun series. Go read it. The book is out tomorrow. And Hank will be the Word Nerd’s guest on Wednesday to talk about the book!