Book Review: The Wrong Girl

Wrong Girl.

Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Publisher: Forge Books, 2013

Format: Audiobook Narrated by Ilyana Kadushin

Awards: 2013 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel

Do you like reading the books that win awards? If so, you’ll like reading this author. Hank Phillippi Ryan seems to have the award people watching her. She won an Emmy for her television reporting in Boston and now she’s racking up a list of awards with the books she’s writing.

The author’s new Jane Ryland/Jake Brogan series is getting a lot of attention. Her first book, The Other Woman, was nominated for both the Agatha Award and the Anthony Award. Then it went on to win the Mary Higgins Clark Award — all in 2013. Now with this 2014 book, The Wrong Girl, she won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel.

You are probably asking: How good are these novels? Pretty darn good, in my opinion. In this second book in the series the author continues the story of Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan as they investigate various crimes that overlap each other. Jane is a newspaper reporter and Jake is a Boston homicide detective.

In The Wrong Girl Jane looks into the possibility of some questionable practices at an adoption agency. It all started when a former colleague of Jane’s asks for help in tracking down her birth mother. They suspect the agency isn’t putting together the right mothers and children. This opens up a whole series of incidents.

Meanwhile, Jake and his partner investigate the murder of a young mother which made orphans of her two little children. When Jake investigates further, he finds an empty cradle. Was there a third child? No one seems to know and the two children are too young to ask. However, when the toddler asks, “where’s baby?” Jake becomes suspicious. Could this murder have been more than domestic violence?

The novel is chock full of various people and things that are happening. There’s the social worker with the two adorable children. There is the teenage crew working on crime-scene clean-ups. They are left on their own and are less than professional and even less than ethical. The people at the adoption agency definitely seem suspicious, but of what? And in the background, the various cops and newspaper people add their own problems to the mix.

As you can see, it’s an intricate and full-bodied story. There are several questions and mysteries going on at the same time. Within all of this we have the relationship of Jane and Jake. Each one of their jobs doesn’t allow them to “fraternize” with the other. Jake, in particular, has to follow strict police procedures which require him to keep quiet around reporters. So far, Jake and Jane have admitted they really care for each other, but haven’t taken this any further in case someone will notice how they feel. The author already has a couple more books in this series so I’m interested in finding out where this relationship is going.

The Wrong Girl was definitely one of those novels I couldn’t stop reading. I like that in a book, although it occasionally makes living my other life a little troublesome. I already have the third book in the series ready to go. The fourth book will be released later this month and I want to be ready to read that one too. The books are realistic and fast-paced. I’m looking forward to a couple more late night reading.

Any book that wins the Agatha Award must live up to the standards set by Agatha Christie. That means the books are good mysteries, but are not filled with blood and gore or explicit sex and excessive violence. If this is the kind of novel you enjoy reading, you’ll want to get this one.

The Wrong Girl was definitely one of those novels I couldn’t stop reading. I like that in a book although it occasionally makes living my other life a little troublesome. I already have the third book in the series ready to go. The fourth book will be released later this month and I want to be ready to read that one too. The books are realistic,

Any book that wins the Agatha Award must live up to the standards set by Agatha Christie. That means the books are good mysteries but are not filled with blood and gore or explicit sex and excessive violence. If this is the kind of novel you enjoy reading, I recommend this book is one you

This entry was posted in A, Awards, Mysteries. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: The Wrong Girl

  1. Yet another author I need to try.

  2. Beth F says:

    Sounds like a great escape series — something for long, dark winter nights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *