Well I was just wondering what to read next when there in the mail comes the newest book by Hank Phillippi Ryan – 🙂
But since my eyes are not what they used to be I decided to download a copy from Audible and do this my favorite way – read and listen. It’s a good idea because this narrator reads a bit fast but I got used to it – I usually get used to narrators.
Say No More
by Hank Phillippi Ryan
2016/ 382 pages
read by Xe Sands 10h 50m
rating: A+ / crime – procedural
Say No More is the fourth of a series starring Jane Ryan, intrepid television reporter of local live news and documentaries. I don’t remember ever having read a crime novel in which a reporter was the protagonist – it works nicely. (And now I wish I’d read the first three books in the series prior. Oh well, I’ve done this before and I catch up with pleasure.)
Anyway, the first thing we know Jane and her producer, Fiola, are witness to a car-wreck between a Cadillac and an older delivery van. Jane almost automatically writes down the license number. The two women get close enough that Jane gets a very good view of the driver of the Cadillac and memorizes what he looks like before he finally collects his senses, steps on the gas and speeds away. The women call 911 then go to check the van and it’s driver. The cops are on their way.
Very shortly after the call, the DA’s office gets involved with her hit-and-run 911 call to the point of threatening a subpoena to get her to come in for a little chat. Yeah? – Okay fine – and that’s pretty much what Jane thinks, too, “Huh?”
Meanwhile we have Jake Brogan, a homicide detective and Jane’s boyfriend/fiancé, working his own cases and just now finding out about the death of Avery Morgan, the resident of a very classy neighborhood of old Boston brownstones. This was reported by a new young neighbor woman who has her own sections and definitely has her own point of view laden with her own terrifying secrets. The murder victim was a visiting adjunct professor at the college where she taught opera.
Jane’s current documentary concerns campus rape. She is interviewing girls from the campus who are willing to come forward. One in particular with her own code name of Tosca. She was in the opera class the visiting teacher Ms. Avery taught. Tosca connects the two threads.
Thanks in large part to the short chapters and multiple points of view the tension never breaks and everything seems connected with the reader puzzling out how. And then the threads seem to get tangled actually, but in a good way, with a cleverly twisted plot. The main characters are nicely drawn and seem to be people readers would like to know. The books are a series but from this sample there is more emphasis on the crime than on the over-arching character relationships and their development.
An added little interest is that the class opera Tosca is and that motif is used throughout.
Finally, the novel is of completely contemporary interest. What happens when you know you should tell the truth, but it will endanger yourself or others? Or do you “say no more” (great title!) and let a guilty party – murderer or rapist – go free to do it again? – Would you “say no more” to save your own skin? How about “say no more” to protect your sources or some information you have which is protected but necessary to others? And then there are the cases where reporting is mandatory. This idea affects several characters in different ways.
Overall a great sleep snatcher – full of life and action.