Hank Phillippi Ryan
Forge, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
, Hank Phillippi Ryan writes about a reclusive journalist, Mercer Hennessey, still grieving deeply over the deaths of her husband Dex and child, Sophie - and feeling a strong responsibility for them. Is this simply survivor's guilt, or something more?
ike everyone else in Boston, Mercer has read about the mother on trial for the murder of her toddler, killed and dumped in the harbor. She's convinced of Ashlyn Bryant's guilt, and reluctant when her former editor and friend, Katherine Craft pushes her to write a book about the woman, '
an instant bestseller
ath sets things up for Mercer to watch courtroom testimony from home through the same video feed used by TV stations. Readers watch the case unfold along with Mercer and are equally shocked. Mercer starts writing the '
', with a very clear bias, believing that Ashlyn killed the daughter whose '
very existence was an impediment to her party-girl fun.
o Mercer's disgust, the verdict is
. Then Katherine brings Ashlyn (unannounced) to hide out in Mercer's home (there have been death threats) so that they can finish the book together! Ashlyn clearly '
makes her own reality
'. She's very convincing too, making Mercer doubt her own perspective on events.
an Mercer trust anything Ashlyn says, and will she ever get to the truth of what happened? Who in her life can be trusted? Read
and you'll find out - it's quite a journey.
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