It's not often that a mystery brings tears to your eyes, but Hank Phillippi Ryan's second book, Face Time, does just that. It takes a special character to make a reader care about their life.
Charlotte "Charlie" McNally is back, eight months after Prime Time, still working for Channel 3 in Boston as an investigative reporter. Charlie has to answer a question for herself. "When it comes to ambition, politics, and love, how far would you go to get what you want?" And, then she has to ask the same question while probing into a woman's conviction for murder. Three years earlier, Dorinda Keeler Sweeney confessed to her husband's murder, and she hasn't spoken about it since. The Constitutional Justice Project, and Dorinda's attorney are convinced it's a wrongful conviction, and they convince Charlie and her producer, Franklin Parrish, to investigate. However, Dorinda refuses to talk to them. And, someone in the attorney general's office is blocking the investigation. Now that Oscar Ortega, the state's first Hispanic attorney general is running for governor, he might have a reason to impede their case.
Hank Phillippi Ryan skillfully manipulates Charlie's life. Even the title of the book, Face Time, has multiple meanings. Face Time is plastic surgery. It's the pictures used to identify Dorinda as a killer. It's the personal time Charlie realizes she needs to give to the people in her life, her mother, her boyfriend, Josh, and Penny. And, of course, it's the triumph of an investigative reporter who brings home a scoop, a ratings success during television sweeps.
Charlie McNally is every woman in her forties, trying to balance her hectic work life with the needs of two generations. Her mother recuperates in the hospital, following plastic surgery before her wedding. Charlie is struggling to meet the needs of her boyfriend's eight-year-old daughter, Penny. At times, she sounds absolutely frantic, juggling phone calls. Ryan's Face Time is Charlie McNally's story. However, it's a mystery for every woman who struggles with life, and triumphs over obstacles and opposition.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.