Book Review: Truth Be Told

Truth Be ToldAuthor: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Publisher: Forge Books 2014

Awards: Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel

It’s time to see what Jane Ryland is up to. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two novels in this series (see list below) that I couldn’t wait much longer. I think Truth Be Told is the author’s best novel yet. It’s complicated, fascinating and thought and conversation provoking. An all-around good book.

Jane, as a reporter for a Boston newspaper, has been working on a story about home foreclosures. Jane always sees the heart-breaking, human side of a story. It’s one of her hallmarks. Things becomes complicated when it appears somebody is living in those foreclosed homes. Then, it gets deadly when there is a murdered body in one of those houses. What’s going on with these foreclosed homes?

Jane’s secret boyfriend, Jake Brogan a Boston police detective, is working on a cold case that his grandfather, a former police commissioner, worked on twenty years earlier. The case always bugged his grandfather. But now, a man has come forward and confessed to the crime. Jake should be happy about this, but he’s not. Something about the man and the case isn’t right. Jake finds himself looking closely  at his grandfather’s notes and doing some research.

Although Jane and Jake’s relationship has reached the point where they are planning a weekend away together, they have a few problems in this novel. They aren’t big problems — yet. They still aren’t able to tell their employers about their relationship. I think, when their employers do find out, it’s going to be a big problem for them. One of them may lose their job or, in Jane’s case, be manipulated by her nasty boss. Maybe we’ll find out in the next book in the series.

This book added two additional characters that were quite interesting. First there was Peter Hardesty, the lawyer for the guy who confessed to the old cold case. Peter also represented the guy suspected of killing the body in the empty house. But, Peter wasn’t a sleazy defense attorney. He was a nice guy — and he had the hots for Jane!

The second character I liked was Lizzie McDivitt. She worked at the bank that was involved with many of the foreclosures. Lizzie was complex. I wasn’t sure which side she was on. She was numbers-smart and bank-smart, but naive when it came to men and other “ways of the world.” You might call her banking practices a little off too, but then her father was the bank’s president.

This was such an excellent mystery novel with all the elements I like including a satisfying ending. It had several sub-plots and it skipped back and forth between them. It wasn’t, however, confusing. It just kept me absorbed in the story. It was a great clue-following, character-following workout with a small amount of romance thrown in. I highly recommend this series. It won all those awards for a reason,

Previous books in the series: (Click the title for my review.)

The Other Woman (2012)

The Wrong Girl (2013)

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3 Responses to Book Review: Truth Be Told

  1. Beth F says:

    Oh, I’ll have to add this to my list.

  2. It sounds like I need to try this series.

  3. Laurie C says:

    I read the first one with a mystery book club, and need to catch up. The third has been winning awards like crazy, I believe!

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