I don’t know how it is in your family, but I’m a victim of birth order. And funny, “Jane Ryland” and “victim” have probably never been in the same sentence unless it’s about someone I’ve helped with an investigative story, gotten them restitution, or justice. What’s my best TV story? I insist it’s around the next corner.
So I was just about to turn that corner when—of course–my sister had to ruin it. As, actually, always.
See, our dad wanted me to go to law school. I chose journalism school instead.
Mom—who now criticizes the length of my skirts from heaven—wanted me to get married. I chose my career. (For now at least.)
But along comes Melissa. Three years younger. The textbook younger sister. Prettier, more popular. Parents’ pet. She goes to law school. And now, while I toil in the journalism mean streets of Boston—she’s about to get married. And acquire a step-daughter, the adorably nine-year old Gracie.
So picture this. I get a call from the news director of the best TV station in town. Long story shorter, I’m sent on assignment. Huge story. Huge news. A murder, a stabbing in fact, at high noon in Quincy Market, the biggest tourist magnet in town. Witnessed by who knows how many people.
(But wait–why do you need a new job, you’re asking? Another story, for another time. And yes I’m still “with” Jake. Don’t reveal that to anyone, okay?)
So I tell the news director—sure. I’m on it. I head to the crime scene. I’ve got my little Quik-shot camera. I start interviewing witnesses. What did you see? I ask. What did you see? And then, my cell phone rang. . .
“Jane? It’s Melissa.” Meliss—? Oh, Melissa. Jane barely got out a “hello” when her sister started talking. The khaki-suit lady’s interview was wrapped, and Jane was on the hunt for another likely candidate. Should be a man, since she already had a woman on camera. If she got two usable interviews, maybe three, that’d do it.
“Hey, Liss—Melissa,” Jane said. “Are you here? Already? I’m so sorry, I’m right in the midst of someth–”
“Jane, look, I’m a little concerned.” Melissa went on, as if Jane hadn’t said a thing. So what else was new. Melissa probably wanted to change the color of the wedding flowers, or change the font on the place cards.
“If it’s about the wedding, Liss, I do want to hear, and I don’t mean to cut you off.” It was her wedding after all, a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, and Jane had promised herself not to let their relationship get in the way of Melissa’s day–even though Melissa thought all days were Melissa days. “But I’m out on a story, and the police are trying to keep me away, and it’s—“
“A story? I thought you’d been fired again,” Melissa said, “Anyway, this’ll only take a second. This afternoon Daniel and I were supposed to…”
Jane tried to listen, not quite sure what her sister was getting at. She took a deep breath, pressed her lips together, asked the universe for patience and understanding.
And for at least thirty seconds in which nothing new happened.
Holding the phone between her cheek and shoulder, Jane pointed her little Quik-Shot at the crowd. She’d use this brief time to get a few more steady wide shots of the scene, just in case.
The EMTs were still kneeling by the victim. The ambulance doors remained open.
“Melissa?” She tried, though interrupting would never be successful. All onlookers interest seemed to have moved from the body in the park to an alleyway across the street. Something was going on back there, and she needed to find out what.
“Melissa?” She tried again.
She couldn’t blow this very first—she hoped not “only”—assignment because of a phone call from her sister. She needed about fifteen uninterrupted minutes, and there was nothing on the planet that could deter her.
“I have to cut you off,” Jane continued, “because—“
“We can’t find Gracie,” Melissa said.
RTBOOKRVIEWS proclaims WHAT YOU SEE a TOP PICK! “Ryan is a master of her craft—exceptional suspense!” The starred review from Library Journal is a rave.
About What You See
Why would a father abduct his own child? A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland’s family, but there’s a calamity instead. Nine-year-old Gracie–supposed to be the flower girl–has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns there’s a limit to the bonds of family–and learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far.
Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan’s got a doozy of a case. At Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives.
Jane and Jake must explore where their loyalties lie-to each other? To their families? To their careers? If they make the wrong decision, the consequences could be fatal.
In her newest ripped from her own headlines thriller, Ryan explores the terrifying realities of today’s constant surveillance and the dire consequences to those unwittingly in the spotlight. What You See puts Jane and Jake face to face with deception, intrigue, and –if they make the wrong decisions–to disaster.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Wednesday, October 28 for the chance to win a copy of the Mary Higgins Clark award wining The Other Woman, (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!
About the author
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate, winning 33 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. Bestselling author of eight mysteries, Ryan’s won five Agathas (one for the 2014 Truth Be Told/Best Novel), the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She also edited the non-fiction anthology Writes Of Passage, which won this year’s Agatha, Anthony and Macavity. A founder of MWA University and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime, her newest book from Forge is What You See. Visit Hank at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.