BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review & Friday 56 Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Publisher: Forge Books
Series: Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan #3
Format Read: hardcover
Source: publicist in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe*/OmniLit | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Truth Be Told, part of the bestselling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series by Agatha, Anthony, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan, begins with tragedy: a middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story—and on other foreclosures— reporter Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret. Turns out, there’s more than one way to rob a bank.

Boston police detective Jake Brogan has a liar on his hands. A man has just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and while Jake’s colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But he has personal reasons for hoping they’ve finally solved the cold case.

Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie?

Bea's Thoughts:

Ms. Ryan has been on my radar for a while as she's a local author and news reporter. I've picked up several of her paperbacks, but haven't read them yet. Still, when the chance to review this came up, I happily said yes. When I picked it up to start reading it, I realized that I had the first book in the series so I switched and read that one, then this one. That wasn't necessary; "Truth Be Told" could easily be read as a stand-alone.

There are two stories going on in "Truth Be Told". Jane is doing a story on the rise in foreclosures in Boston and surrounding towns while her sort-of boyfriend, police detective Jake, is trying to determine whether a confession to a murder 20 years ago is genuine. Before long, the cases intersect and more, related, cases crop up. "Truth Be Told" is a complicated, sometimes twisty, occasionally slow  investigation into the financial and emotional aspects of foreclosure that doesn't neglect the human component. It also looks at the effect an unsolved case can have on a police officer. Reading the political portions of the story was fun since I live in the state where the book is set and I kept trying to match the fictional characters with real people.

Jane is a competitive reporter, trying to get her career back on track after an incident several years ago. But she's also compassionate and Ryan did a fantastic job of showing us a reporter who's looking for a story but doesn't forget about the people involved and the conflicts between the demands of the job and being a decent human being.

Jake is determined to do things the right way and to make sure that, instead of simply arresting a viable person, that he arrests the right person. Sometimes, that puts him at odds with his co-workers. They aren't corrupt, but are inclined to take the easy solution whereas Jake is not.

One aspect of the story that I didn't like was the relationship between Jake and Jane. He's a cop, she's a reporter; both their jobs have policies in place about being involved. In the first book, they were fighting their attraction. Apparently, in the second book, which I haven't read, they got together. In this book, they're together but keeping it a secret. There's tension because of their jobs, then a ridiculously long and unnecessary series of miscommunications results in jealousy on both their parts. Of course, this affected their work, which affected how events played out resulting in a few predictable scenes. Also, Jane has conveniently misplaced or left her purse in both books now, leading to predictable results. And the only time she does this is when she's about to be in danger and can't have access to her cell phone or car keys. At least she didn't need saving; she was quick-witted and handled the matter.

The investigative work, both police and news, the local flavor, the variety and realism of story lines were all well done but Ryan really needs to resolve this romantic relationship and move it along, preferably without more cliches or tired tropes.

"Truth Be Told" was a well-crafted mystery with enough twists to keep me reading, and there was one towards the end that completely surprised me. I had to read it several times, certain I'd read it wrong. Ryan has a nice eye for detail, a twisty mind, her reportorial and investigative experience is obvious, and she spins a tale that'll keep you reading.

This is a fun meme to do hosted by Freda's Voice. If you'd like to join in the fun go to The Friday 56.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

Truth Be Told is by Hank Phillippi Ryan, a local author, and I have several of her books. The quote is from page 56  in the hardcover.

"Be great not to have to work, wouldn't it?" Aaron tossed another piece at the ducks. "Sit in the sun and do nothing? Have someone feed you? To be that rich."


  1. I am intrigued by this author, after reading The Wrong Girl; Jane was also in that book. I wonder if Jane misplaces things because she is scattered and disorganized...or if this is just a convenient plot point. LOL

    I do find myself drawn to this book, so thanks for sharing.

    Here's mine: “THE OLEANDER SISTERS”

    1. Sadly, no. Jane doesn't have a habit of misplacing things or being disorganized. I wouldn't mind that. Instead, these occurrences only happen at the author's convenience so she can put Jane in danger.

  2. Oh reporters are SO hard but she sounds fantastic! I love that she's not one that forgets people are real and not just a story.

  3. This sounds like the kind of book I adore. Sounds like the author has taken a real situation (the foreclosure of so many homes during the recent mortgage crisis) and built her story around it. I'd like to meet her characters and see how their stories intertwine. Thanks for including your thoughts on the book.
    My Friday post features Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind.

    1. It was a fascinating story line and certainly current and relevant. I think you'd enjoy this series.

  4. I really do enjoy a good novel with an investigative twist, and thanks for sharing your review along with the Friday 56! It all blended so well; I'm curious about this one :)

    Here's mine:
    Sparrow’s BB & Friday 56

    1. If you read it, I'll be curious to see what you think of it.

  5. I've never read any of her books but heard great things. I'm not surprised by your favorable review. I definitely need to give her a try sometime.
    Happy weekend!

  6. Well, I'm not rich, but your snippet is describing my life. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes - Freeblood by Marny Copal

  7. I definitely don't love the relationship aspect but the mystery sounds really great!


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