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Face Time    by Hank Phillippi Ryan order for
Face Time
by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Order:  USA  Can
Mira, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Still basking in the glow from their latest Emmy win, Charlie and her producer partner Franklin (as well as their station's owner) are on the lookout for another big story that will kill the competition in the Nielson ratings. They soon latch onto what's sure to be a slam dunk. All they have to do is find enough evidence to free confessed husband killer, Dorinda Sweeney.

But how can you get to the real truth if the woman in question doesn't want to talk to the press? Things become even more complicated when the original prosecutor and current Massachusetts Attorney General, Oscar Ortega, claims he and his office did no wrong in prosecuting Dorinda. She had, after all, confessed to the crime, hadn't she? Once Charlie and Franklin begin digging deeper, however, prospective witnesses begin turning up dead - and soon the stellar investigative pair become the real killer's next target.

Ryan has created another fast paced plot where Charlie's not only dealing with a puzzling investigation where nothing is what it seems, but also her budding romance with college professor Josh. Trying to win over his daughter Penny, an eight-year-old who gives new meaning to the phrase cold shoulder, isn't as easy as she expected either. Then there's the ongoing issue of Charlie's overbearing mother, who's recuperating from yet another plastic surgery in preparation for yet another wedding - and helpfully passing along unsubtle hints that Charlie's way overdue for a makeover herself.

Hank Phillippi Ryan knows how to tell an engaging story starring an equally engaging heroine in Charlie. Part mystery and part coming of age as Charlie continues facing her encroaching middle age, Face Time is a great follow up to Ryan's debut novel, Prime Time, and definitely a tale you won’t want to miss.

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