Monday, August 24, 2020

What You See by Hank Phillippi Ryan


It's a busy, confusing twenty-four hours.  Jane Ryland, former TV reporter and Jake Brogan, homicide detective, are moving towards a serious relationship and deciding if their careers will be an issue.  Jake is called to the scene of a homicide.  A man has been killed-knifed in the back-right outside City Hall.  Jane has gone in to talk with the executive at a rival TV station now that she is back on the job market, and when the news comes in about the homicide, he asks Jane if she can rush down there and file a report as a contracting reporter.  She agrees.

Inside City Hall, there is controversy.  A young college student is monitoring the cameras.  She sees the activity and starts to record the scene, only to be overruled by her supervisor.  When the police come to see if there is footage, she has to report that there isn't but she doesn't know about the secret cameras that record everything.  On the street, Jane is approached by a young man who happened to take pictures of the event and who now sees his big break into journalism if he can only get someone to pay attention to what he thinks he has; the biggest scoop of the year.

But there are other things going on.  Jane's sister is about to get married and has flown in for the weekend for the rehersal dinner and other events.  She is staying with her groom's ex-wife and young daughter but the daughter, Grace, doesn't seem to be there.  Jane's sister calls her and asks her to come over as Grace is missing as is the ex-wife's new husband.  Does someone have them both?  Is a ransom demand soon to be delivered or is this a case of the husband using his stepdaughter in a power play with his wife?   As all these subplots play out, the cases start to converge and secrets are uncovered.

This was my first Hank Phillippi Ryan book and it won't be my last.  The plotting was intricate and the characters are faced with dilemmas that could happen to anyone in their situations.  The book explores the ideas of everyday privacy in the age of CCTV located everywhere, the tensions inherent in marriages breaking up with children involved and the difficulties the police face as they go about their work.  Jane is an interesting woman with an interesting career and her ability to juggle work and her relationship with a police detective is another relevant theme.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

No comments: