Forge Books (August 28, 2018)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Kindle ASIN: B078X31CP2
An accused killer insists she’s innocent of a heinous murder.
A grieving journalist surfaces from the wreckage of her shattered life.
Their unlikely alliance leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game that will leave you breathless.
Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself?
Former journalist Mercer Hennessey is still trying to deal with the car accident that took her husband and 3-year-old daughter when her former editor, Katherine pitches her a true-crime book idea. Ashlyn Bryant is on trial for murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Bryant has proclaimed her innocence since she was arrested. Katherine wants Mercer to watch the trial and write about having the book ready shortly after the trial ends. Mercer agrees hoping it will help her start to move on from her grief but the trial and aftermath effect her in ways she never imagined.
As a mom who has lost a child, an adult child, not a toddler, I felt Mercer’s grief really resonated with me and as the story continued by heart just broke for this character. I know that pain and the author brought it out in her words with an expert hand. Mercer has a little ritual that was very similar to one I have which gave me a link into her “new” normal.
The author also created a very unlikable character in Ashlyn Bryant. Totally shady and more twisted as the story continues. While she has a problem telling the truth she came across as very real.
The book is broken into 3 parts and Ms. Ryan takes us on quite a journey as we work our way through a complicated story. I liked the step by step process of part 1 very much and seeing Mercer’s start on the book. I am a big fan of courtroom drama. The story takes a huge turn at the start of Part 2. I admire Mercer for her strength to take on a true crime novel and stick with it until the end and all she has to endure. I would not have been able to deal with half of what Mercer did. The characters in this story are full of depth.
In the midst of what really is a dark story, there is just a little thing that does cut through. On the feeds that Mercer is watching there is a man, a “voice” that announces what will be happening at the trial at the beginning of the day, breaks in if need be with announcements, and signs off at the end of the day. It is just his voice, he is never seen on camera, but he does his best to put a smile on people who are watching the feed.
I hesitate to give too many details because to get the full impact of this story you must read it fresh for yourself. The author not only manipulates the characters she manipulated my thinking too. The story is a true psychological mystery that is so twisted you don’t know who to trust. But TRUST ME, this is a book you will want to read, preorder so you have it immediately when it is released next Tuesday!
You can find out more about Hank Phillippi Ryan and her books on her website here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”