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Hank Phillippi Ryan

Truth Be Told

Hank Phillippi Ryan Truth Be Told
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Series:

Jane Ryland

Biographical note:

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate, and has won twenty-eight Emmys and ten Edward R. Murrow awards. A Boston Globe bestselling author, Ryan has won two Agatha Awards, in addition to the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, and Mary Higgins Clark Award. She's on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and is the author of The Other Woman, The Wrong Girl and Truth be Told.

Excerpt from book:

1

 

“I know it’s legal. But it’s terrible.” Jane Ryland winced as the Sandovals’ wooden bed frame hit the tall grass in the overgrown front yard and shattered into three jagged pieces. “The cops throwing someone’s stuff out the window. Might as well be Dickens, you know? Eviction? There’s got to be a better way.”

Terrible facts. Great pictures. A perfect newspaper story. She turned to TJ. “You getting this?”

TJ didn’t take his eye from the viewfinder. “Rolling and recording,” he said.

A blue-shirted Suffolk County sheriff’s deputy—sleeves rolled up, buzz cut—appeared at the open window, took a swig from a plastic bottle. He shaded his eyes with one hand.

“First floor, all clear,” he called. Two uniforms comparing paperwork on the gravel driveway gave him a thumbs-up. The Boston cops were detailed in, they’d explained to Jane, in case there were protesters. But no pickets or housing activists had appeared. Not even a curious neighbor. The deputy twisted the cap on the bottle, tossed away the empty with a flip of his gloved hand. The clear plastic bounced on top of a brittle hedge, then disappeared into the browning grass.

“Oops,” he said. “I’m headed for the back.”

“That’s harsh,” TJ muttered.

“You got it, though, right?” Jane knew it was a “moment” for her story, revealing the deputy’s cavalier behavior while the Sandovals—she looked around, making sure the family hadn’t shown up—were off searching for a new place to live. The feds kept reporting the housing crisis was over. Tell that to the now-homeless Sandovals, crammed—temporarily, they hoped—into a relative’s spare bedroom. Their modest ranch home in this cookie-cutter neighborhood was now an REO—“real estate owned” by Atlantic & Anchor Bank. The metal sign on the scrabby lawn said FORECLOSED in yellow block letters. Under the provisions of the Massachusetts Housing Court, the deputies were now in charge.

“Hey! Television! You can’t shoot here. It’s private property.”

Jane felt a hand clamp onto her bare arm. She twisted away, annoyed. Of course they could shoot.

“Excuse me?” She eyed the guy’s three-piece pinstripe suit, ridiculous on a day like today. He must be melting. Still, being hot didn’t give him the right to be wrong. “We’re on the public sidewalk. We can shoot whatever we can see and hear.”

Jane stashed her notebook into her tote bag, then held out a hand, conciliatory. Maybe he knew something. “And not television. Newspaper. The new online edition. I’m Jane Ryland, from the Register.

She paused. Lawyer, banker, bean counter, she predicted. For A&A Bank? Or the Sandovals? The Sandovals had already told her, on camera, how Elliot Sandoval had lost his construction job, and they were struggling on pregnant MaryLou’s day care salary. Struggling and failing.

“I don’t care who you are.” The man crossed his arms over his chest, a chunky watch glinting, tortoiseshell su Ryan's smart, well-paced third Jane Ryland novel (after 2013's The Wrong Girl) takes aim at the housing crisis of recent years. Ryan, a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner, cleverly ties the plot together, offers surprising but believable plot twists, and skillfully characterizes the supporting cast. She also provides just the right amount of romance between Jane and Jake, with a delectable hint that Jake might have some competition.


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