Last year, when Hank Phillippi Ryan released The Other Woman, it was a dramatic shift in her story-telling style. Gone were the days of the first-person narrator readers found in her much-loved Prime Time series; and in its place was a much more complex storyline with multiple arcs and character depth that wasn’t possible in those previous “lighter” reads. With the release of The Wrong Girl, the second in the Jane Ryland series, this trend continues and once again, Hank has proven herself to be a writer to reckon with.
As with the previous novel, The Wrong Girl features two main storylines. The first of these plots focuses on Jane and a new investigation that she begins. When Tucker Cameron shows up at her door asking for help, both readers and Jane are surprised. To say that they have not always been on the best of terms would be an understatement. But Tuck really needs Jane’s expertise and connections. It seems that Tuck has recently been reunited with her birth mother, except that she is convinced that this woman is not really her mother.
Not exactly believing this claim, Jane also can’t seem to shake the feeling that she needs to look into it further, unaware that she is about to stumble upon a much bigger story. This situation also allows the author to explore the real-life conditions of the foster care system in this country. With Hank Phillippi Ryan’s background in investigative journalism, readers can always count on her plots being peppered with accurate information on a wide variety of news-worthy issues.
Meanwhile, Jake Brogan, a detective who just happens to be secretly dating Jane has also stumbled across a new crime. What first appears to be a fairly standard domestic violence case suddenly becomes much graver when Jake notices the empty crib in the home nursery. Where is the baby?
Eventually, these two cases will dovetail together in the most unexpected of ways. The cold wintry setting of the novel will match the chill readers feel when they realize that the human desire and need to make connections can drive people to the most unthinkable of acts.
Hank Phillippi Ryan has always been able to create characters that readers care about, but with Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan, she has created a power couple that will leave readers breathless. The scenes between these two sizzle with electricity worthy of the steamiest romance novel. Since they are often required to work together and share professional information, they really shouldn’t be engaging in these extra-curricular activities, but the forbidden nature of their relationship only makes it more irresistible to readers.
Finishing The Wrong Girl will leave readers craving the third installment of this series. The fast-paced plot and short chapters will keep readers engaged and turning the pages as the action twists and turns to its unexpected conclusion. Hank Phillippi Ryan is able to manage the multiple storylines and manipulate the various viewpoints in order to write a suspenseful and believable tale that readers won’t soon forget.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the author. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.