If you’ve read one Hank Phillippi Ryan book, you know to clear your schedule for the day because you won’t be able to put the book down until you get to the twisted, unpredictable, often socially timely conclusion. Say No More (Forge Books) was no different.
Say No More is the fifth book in the Jane Ryland series. I had read the first (The Other Woman) but hadn’t read numbers two through four, so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to follow the plot. I shouldn’t have been worried! Each book reads like a standalone and this installment was as riveting as I remember book number one being!
Jane Ryland, a Boston area reporter (much like Hank herself) reports a hit and run while investigating a series of sexual assault allegations at a Boston college for a documentary with her intrepid partner in crime-solving, Fiola. When Jane receives an anonymous message, “Say No More,” shortly before her coup interview, Jane is truly nervous. Is the anonymous messenger connected to the hit and run or to the documentary research (or, thinks a wily reader, could it be both)?
Simultaneously, Jake Brogan, the detective-turned-love-interest, is investigating the murder of Avery Morgan, a high powered Hollywood screenwriter. The murder occurred in a wealthy gated community where the residents may or may not have secrets of their own to hide.
As a fan of Hank’s, and a frequent reader, I knew these three story threads would come together seamlessly, but I couldn’t figure out how. Ryan is skilled at tying up all the loose plot ends, developing recurrent characters we can all feel invested in, and ramping up the tension and suspense.
This book was published in 2016 and I know as a writer, it was written long before that. Still, the themes that are deftly woven throughout feel timely. Sexual assault, speaking out, dealing with the repercussions, both professional and personal. The sexual assault, and theme of unmasking, deftly mimics Jane’s personal life and secret engagement to Jake.
It’s no secret why Hank Phillippi Ryan has an impressive collection of awards –she’s won 5 Agatha Awards and 34 Emmys! She’s a master at storytelling, and Say No More reads like a how-to on thriller and suspense novels.
Say No More is now available for purchase.
About Hank Phillippi Ryan
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV. She’s won 34 EMMYs, 14 Murrows, and dozens more honors for her ground-breaking journalism. The nationally bestselling author of 11 mysteries, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, two Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and for The Other Woman, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a superb and gifted storyteller” and “a master of suspense.” She is the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her novels have been named Library Journal‘s Best of 2014 and 2015—and Ryan’s Say No More is a Library Journal Best of 2016. It is also honored as a Mary Higgins Clark, Daphne and Agatha Award nominee. Her newest novel, the psychological standalone TRUST ME, received a Booklist starred review: “Its a knockout.” It is now an Agatha Award nominee. Hank is a founder of MWA University and past president of National Sisters in Crime.