Monday, May 9, 2016
The bad news: her investigation makes Charlotte -- and someone she loves -- the real killer's next target. Charlotte knows she has what it takes to get the story. Unfortunately, the more Charlotte snoops around, the more people turn up dead.
Face Time by Boston Globe bestseller and Emmy-winning reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is the second book in the award-winning, out-of-print Charlotte McNally series, now repackaged for her many new fans! -- Forge
I can't swear to this, but I think I read a book by Hank Phillippi Ryan called PRIME TIME in my pre-blogging days. It's actually surprising to me that I haven't read one since because I remember enjoying it quite a bit. And what's even more shocking is that I haven't read another book because Ms. Ryan is an Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author. Ever since I started Mystery Mondays, I've tried to read critically acclaimed mysteries!
I'd say that it was high time that I picked up another novel by Ms. Ryan. I decided on the newly released (or should I say re-released?) FACE TIME. This is the second book is her out-of-print Charlotte McNally series, but as I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty sure I read PRIME TIME, the first book in the series, a few years back. That's not to say that you have to read this series in order. FACE TIME worked very well as a stand-alone novel.
FACE TIME stars television news reporter Charlotte McNally. Charlotte has a number of years experience as a journalist trying to bring people stories that make a difference; however, that also means that she is no longer a spring chicken by television standards. This especially comes to light as her mom is stuck in a hospital recovering from a little cosmetic surgery!
Charlotte is always on the lookout for a good story, and a great one might have just fallen into her hands. Dorinda Keller is locked up in jail for killing her husband. While she admitted to the crime, the evidence just doesn't make sense. Charlotte is intrigued enough to want to talk to Dorinda, but Dorinda doesn't want anything to do with talking to the press about the crime.
As Charlotte begins to explore the murder and the people involved, she finds that she must be getting close to the truth because she becomes a target. Charlotte isn't willing to give up without getting to the truth behind this story, and the stakes are raised as others end up losing their lives in the process!
I found FACE TIME to be a fun read. The characters were great as were their interactions with each other -- I especially enjoyed the relationship between Charlotte and her mom, and it provided some humor to story. I found Charlotte to be very likable, and I liked that I had an inside look at the life of a news reporter. In addition, there was enough about Charlotte's personal life and her romantic relationship with a single dad to make her a more realistic character.
As far as mysteries go, I thought this one was great. I was pretty sure that Dorinda was innocent of the crime and possibly protecting someone (or at the very least hiding something.) There were enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, and I thought the amount of suspense was perfect. I won't say that I figured everything out before the final reveal, but I had enough idea about where the story was going that it wasn't a total shock.
I really want to read more of Ms. Ryan's novels -- her latest WHAT YOU SEE was recently nominated for an Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. I appreciate her characters and writing style, and I devoured this novel, in part, because the pacing of the novel was so good. For the most part, FACE TIME stands the test of time; however, there were some references to answering machines and other technology that reminded me that the book was written awhile ago.
I highly recommend FACE TIME to fans of mysteries with female sleuths.
Thanks to Regan Communications for providing a review copy of this novel.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.