Judith D Collins
The Wrong Girl
By: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: 07/29/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
Series: Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan #2
Award-winning and Boston Globe bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan presents a spine-chilling, heart-wrenching suspense novel that explores a terrifying scenario striking at the heart of every family.
Does a respected adoption agency have a frightening secret? Tipped off by a determined ex-colleague on a desperate quest to find her birth mother, Boston newspaper reporter Jane Ryland begins to suspect that the agency is engaging in the ultimate betrayal—reuniting birth parents with the wrong children.
For detective Jake Brogan and his partner, a young woman’s brutal murder seems a sadly predictable case of domestic violence, one that results in two toddlers being shuttled into the foster care system. Then Jake finds an empty cradle at the murder scene. Where is the baby who should have been sleeping there?
Jane and Jake are soon on a trail full of twists and turns that takes them deep into the heart of a foster care system in crisis and threatens to blow the lid off an adoption agency scandal. When the threatening phone calls start, Jane knows she is on the right track…but with both a killer at large and an infant missing, time is running out….
The Wrong Girl is a riveting novel of familial relationships—both known and unknown—vile greed, senseless murder, and the ultimate in deception. What if you didn’t know the truth about your own family?
The Wrong Girl is the winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for best contemporary novel.
THE WRONG GIRL (Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan #2) by Hank Phillippi Ryan, offers a complex and suspenseful crime investigation, into the corrupt and scandalous foster care and adoption system; mixed with mystery, intrigue and some sexual tensions between reporter and detective, for an engrossing read.
Jane Ryland, the investigative reporter at the Boston Registry newspaper learns of a former colleague, Tucker Cameron,who was adopted as an infant, and used information provided by her adoption agency to find her birth mother, only to discover that the woman was not her real mother.
Tucker Cameron, needs her help with the investigation of Brannigan Family and Children’s Services, who managed to reunite her with the wrong birth mother. She thinks everything is just too perfect when they meet, and then her suspicious prove correct. A possible conspiracy? What is the motive? Is this a case of falling between the cracks or something more serious?
In the meantime, sexy Detective Jake Brogan (Jane’s love interest), is involved with another case that involves working with the child welfare system when he's called in to investigate a murder and abusive situation leaving two children without a family.
When Jake is investigating the mother of a young woman, he finds two young children and no information about the mother, or any other parent. The children are passed on to a qualified foster mother until another family member can be found; but where is the baby that was in the cradle at the murder scene?
Jane is sharp and utilizes her keen investigative skills to attain answers from Jake’s partner, Jake, Tuc, as well as the adoption agency and everyone connected. Could the two cases be connected?
What comes next, is fast-paced suspense with twists and turns taking them into the middle of a danger zone, with a killer on the loose and a missing infant for a race against time. What a dynamic duo!
My first read by Ryan was her latest TRUTH BE TOLD (#3 Jane Ryland Series) an intense, edgy, and complex suspense mystery drama, of two cases, twenty years apart—from bank fraud, real estate foreclosures, to murder with a hint of romance, between detective and journalist, as they work together, to piece together the puzzle, before the next hit. TRUTH BE TOLD (10/07/14) is a 5 star winner, performed by award-winning, Xe Sands, which I enjoy.
Fans of both THE OTHER WOMAN (#1) and THE WRONG GIRL (#2) will devour the latest. Each can be read as a standalone; however, you will want to read them all.
Ryan’s writing is tight with well-developed characters, as enjoy the intelligent, funny, and sassy Jane. Ryan’s integration of social issues and corruption into this compelling series, is fresh and on key, in today's world--from politics, foster care, and real estate and mortgage fraud. I also appreciate the well-designed contemporary front covers, as this is a big plus when purchasing a book, as I do "judge a book by its cover". Her vast professional experience lends itself useful for an exciting series, as she does not miss a beat.
Let’s hope #4 in the series will allow Jake/Jane a little time in between chasing the bad guys, for some much needed R&R to some exotic island hideaway. I am sure they would find some mischief wherever they land.
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