I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion or the content of my review. Affiliate links within the post provide a small commission to support blog expenses and giveaways. This is in accordance with US FCC regulations.What You See by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Genres: Thriller, Women Sleuths
Published by Forge Books Source: NetGalley
October 20th 2015 | Pages: 384
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A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland’s family, but there’s a disaster instead. Nine-year-old Gracie—supposed to be the flower girl—has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there’s a limit to the bonds of family—and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far.
Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan's got a doozy of a case. At Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead him to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives.
Jane and Jake must explore where their loyalties lie—to each other? To their families? To their careers? If they make the wrong decision, the consequences could be fatal.
What You See is a fast-paced thriller written with Hank Phillippi Ryan’s signature style of short chapters and small cliff-hangers making for a riveting read. Each time it seems something will be revealed a new scene with different characters opens, and it is just as interesting as the one before. This style keeps the reader on her toes and kept me up all night to discover what was really happening at Boston’s Faneuil Hall Market and City Offices. In this age of Big Brother, Boston’s Mayor has agreed that city surveillance cameras will not record unless the person monitoring sees something suspicious and hits a button. For Tenley, this is a boring summer job after her freshman year in college, but it keeps her close to her mother, Chief of Staff to the Mayor, after a family tragedy the year before. When Tenley sees something suspicious and hits Record Twenty Seconds, her boss stops the recording for political reasons, leaving the police with no footage of a brutal stabbing at a historic tourist attraction. Meanwhile, journalist Jane Ryland has been sent to the scene, unbeknownst to her clandestine boyfriend Jake, who is investigating the murder.
I loved the fast pace of the book and the relationship between Jake and Jane, who love and respect each other, but must keep their relationship on the down-low because of their conflicting careers. Running into each other during their separate investigations they imply a professional acquaintance only, yet signal each other with eye and body signals. They are each careful to not betray their own investigation while serving the greater good in catching a murderer and revealing corruption at the highest level of city government.
Although Jake and Jane are the recurring characters in this series, the secondary characters are as prominent in the individual books like What You See. Teenage Tenley and her mother Catherine have a contentious relationship like many mothers and teen daughters, theirs made more tenuous because of a family tragedy and secrets. Jane’s sister Melissa is about to marry and something strange is going on with her fiance’s ex-wife and daughter, causing Jane to constantly have to leave the investigation to help with the family situation.
The concept behind the murder and the intrigue at city hall is interesting and timely in today’s world, and the relationships between mother-daughter, dramatically different sisters, and lovers Jake and Jane run true. I have read the first book in the series, The Other Woman and plan to read the others soon. Knowing the author as a journalist from my local news makes me feel more connected to the stories of the great city where I live. Although I haven’t read them, there was no problem following the story or the relationship between our heroine and hero. I recommend What You See and the entire series to fans of fast-paced, interesting thrillers, and the touch of Boston makes it even better for those who enjoy New England history.