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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Truth Be Told

truth be told

Series: Jane Ryland Series , #3

Narrator: Xe Sands


Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Publication Date: 10/07/2014

Format: Audio

My Rating: 5 Stars

Truth Be Told, part of the bestselling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series by Agatha, Anthony, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan, begins with tragedy: a middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story—and on other foreclosures— reporter Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret. Turns out, there’s more than one way to rob a bank.

Boston police detective Jake Brogan has a liar on his hands. A man has just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and while Jake’s colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But he has personal reasons for hoping they’ve finally solved the cold case.

Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie?


  • Agatha Award Winner for Best Contemporary Novel

  • Anthony Award nominee

  • RT BookReviews nominee for Best Suspense Thriller of the Year

  • Library Journal and Oline Cogdill Best Book of 2014

  • Library Journal Editor’s Pick

"Hank Phillippi Ryan's latest showcases the author's ability to balance humor, gripping drama, romance and contemporary issues. Ryan nails them all in this high-quality reading adventure."

--Associated Press

"Ryan's skill with intelligent, suspenseful plots that echo current issues soars in TRUTH BE TOLD."

--Oline Cogdill

"A fast-moving procedural with a strong journalistic bent. In Ryan's adroit hands, with her brisk prose, appealing protagonists, and well-limned characters, even foreclosures can be sexy."

--Booklist, Starred Review

"...Packs a powerful punch, and offers a clever mix of mystery, corruption, and romance. Mystery enthusiasts will want to drop everything and binge-read until the mind-boggling conclusion."

--Library Journal, Starred Review

"Ryan's latest in her Jane Ryland series is a gem. Deception and greed lead to murder in this excellent novel that is enhanced by Ryan's background as an investigative reporter."

--RT Book Reviews, TOP PICK!

"Ryan's smart, well-paced third Jane Ryland novel (after 2013's The Wrong Girl) takes aim at the housing crisis of recent years...Ryan, a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner, cleverly ties the plot together, offers surprising but believable plot twists, and skillfully characterizes the supporting cast."

--Publishers Weekly

"Foreclosure fraud entwines with a 20-year-old murder case in the latest knotty, engrossing mystery-thriller by an award-winning Boston journalist... Ryland and Brogan are such a cute couple that you wonder how long it'll be before somebody makes a TV series out of them."

--Kirkus Reviews

My Review

Truth Be Told (#3 Jane Ryland Series) by Hank Phillippi Ryan is 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.

Jane Ryland, an investigative reporter is working on two major stories for the Boston Register. An apparent murder of a real estate agent woman in a recently foreclosed house, as well as a bank reputation customer service story for the bank president’s daughter. Not realizing the two are connected, Jane soon learns things are not as they appear and digs deeper into the mystery, and wonders why there are renters in a foreclosed home and who is taking the money?

Detective Jack Brogan, Boston PD is investigating a twenty year old cold case unsolved murder. You have people losing their homes, foreclosures, murders, and a confession which he thinks is false, so the question is why? Who is this person covering for? Who is lying and who is telling the truth? To make this more personal, Jake’s deceased grandfather, a former police commissioner, was involved, so he further motivated to finding the real killer.

An ex-con turned himself in, claiming to be the Lilac Sunday killer, responsible for the murder of a seventeen-year-old girl twenty years earlier, a case that continues to haunt Boston, and the Brogans due to Jake’s family connection. And what is the deal with Peter Hardesty, the lawyer representing the man who has confessed to the Lilac Sunday Murder, and another man charged with the empty house murder? The motive?

If you love crime fiction, intriguing mysteries involving cops, and the media, Truth Be Told, is an engrossing fast-paced thriller, mixed with a human interest twist, keeping you guessing, turning, and listening to the end, to learn the fate of these well- developed characters, while two twisted plots are connected for an explosive resolution of whodunit.

The account is so realistic in today’s world of foreclosures, families going through hard times, dead bodies in vacant homes, real estate and bank fraud, financial manipulation, corruption and greedy schemes and those stopping at nothing to keep their dark secrets.

The author creates a clever mix of mystery, corruption, home, family, and romance, for a riveting thriller. This is my first book by Ryan, as have not read (#1 The Other Woman, or #2 The Wrong Girl), and look forward to reading more from this dynamic duo and love interest; however, Truth Be Told can be read as a standalone.

A powerful combination, author Hank Phillippi Ryan with her vast real life expertise in this world, along with Xe Sands, an excellent performer, making for a captivating audiobook listening experience and thrilling ride!

About the Author

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, with 37 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. Book critics call her “a master of suspense,” “a superb and gifted storyteller,” and she’s the only author to have won the Agatha in four different categories: Best First, Best Novel, Best Short Story and Best Non-Fiction. Her 2019 standalone, The Murder List, won the Anthony Award for Best Novel. International bestseller A.J. Finn says, “exciting, explosive, relentless,” and the Library Journal starred review calls it “A must-read.” Hank’s 2020 novel is the chilling psychological standalone The First to Lie, nominated for both the prestigious Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. The Publishers Weekly starred review says “Stellar…Ryan could win a sixth Agatha,” and bestseller Sarah Pekkanen says “Book clubs will gobble it up.” Watch for Her Perfect Life on September 14, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which called it “A superlative thriller.”

Hank is a founder of MWA University and The Back Room; and National Sisters in Crime past president. Visit Hank online at, on Twitter @HankPRyan, on Instagram @hankpryan and Facebook at HankPhillippiRyanAuthor.

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