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Truth be told
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1 "I know it's legal. But it's terrible." Jane Ryland winced as the Sandovals' wooden bed frame hit the tall grass in the overgrown front yard and shattered into three jagged pieces. "The cops throwing someone's stuff out the window. Might as well be Dickens, you know? Eviction? There's got to be a better way." Terrible facts. Great pictures. A perfect newspaper story. She turned to TJ. "You getting this?" TJ didn't take his eye from the viewfinder. "Rolling and recording," he said. A blue-shirted Suffolk County sheriff's deputy--sleeves rolled up, buzz cut--appeared at the open window, took a swig from a plastic bottle. He shaded his eyes with one hand. "First floor, all clear," he called. Two uniforms comparing paperwork on the gravel driveway gave him a thumbs-up. The Boston cops were detailed in, they'd explained to Jane, in case there were protesters. But no pickets or housing activists had appeared. Not even a curious neighbor. The deputy twisted the cap on the bottle, tossed away the empty with a flip of his gloved hand. The clear plastic bounced on top of a brittle hedge, then disappeared into the browning grass. "Oops," he said. "I'm headed for the back." "That's harsh," TJ muttered. "You got it, though, right?" Jane knew it was a "moment" for her story, revealing the deputy's cavalier behavior while the Sandovals--she looked around, making sure the family hadn't shown up--were off searching for a new place to live. The feds kept reporting the housing crisis was over. Tell that to the now-homeless Sandovals, crammed--temporarily, they hoped--into a relative's spare bedroom. Their modest ranch home in this cookie-cutter neighborhood was now an REO--"real estate owned" by Atlantic & Anchor Bank. The metal sign on the scrabby lawn said FORECLOSED in yellow block letters. Under the provisions of the Massachusetts Housing Court, the deputies were now in charge. "Hey! Television! You can't shoot here. It's private property." Jane felt a hand clamp onto her bare arm. She twisted away, annoyed. Of course they could shoot. "Excuse me?" She eyed the guy's three-piece pinstripe suit, ridiculous on a day like today. He must be melting. Still, being hot didn't give him the right to be wrong. "We're on the public sidewalk. We can shoot whatever we can see and hear." Jane stashed her notebook into her tote bag, then held out a hand, conciliatory. Maybe he knew something. "And not television. Newspaper. The new online edition. I'm Jane Ryland, from the Register. " She paused. Lawyer, banker, bean counter, she predicted. For A&A Bank? Or the Sandovals? The Sandovals had already told her, on camera, how Elliot Sandoval had lost his construction job, and they were struggling on pregnant MaryLou's day care salary. Struggling and failing. "I don't care who you are." The man crossed his arms over his chest, a chunky watch glinting, tortoiseshell sunglasses hiding his expression. "This is none of your business. You don't tell your friend to shut off that camera, I'm telling the cops to stop you." You kidding me? "Feel free, Mr.--?" Jane took her hand away. Felt a trickle of sweat down her back. Boston was baking in the throes of an unexpected May heat wave. Everyone was cranky. It was almost too hot to argue. "You'll find we're within our rights." The guy pulled out a phone. All she needed. And stupid, because the cops were right there. TJ kept shooting, good for him. Brand new at the Boston Register, videographer TJ Foy was hire number one in the paper's fledgling online video news department. Jane was the first--and so far, only--reporter assigned. "It's a chance to show off your years of TV experience," the Register 's new city editor had explained. Pretending Jane had a choice. "Make it work." Pleasing the new boss was never a bad thing, and truth be told, Jane could use a little employment security. She still suffered pangs from her unfair firing from Channel 11 last year, but at least it didn't haunt her every day. This was her new normal, especially now that newspapering was more like TV. "Multimedia," her new editor called it. "We're doing a story on the housing crisis." Jane smiled, trying again. "Remember the teenager who got killed last week on Springvale Street? Emily-Sue Ordway? Fell from a window, trying to get back into her parents' foreclosed home? We're trying to show--it's not about the houses so much as it is the people." "'The people' should pay their mortgage." The man pointed to the clapboard two-story with his cell phone. "Then 'the cops' wouldn't have to 'remove' their possessions." Okay, so not a lawyer for the Sandovals. But at least this jerk wasn't dialing. "Are you with A&A? With the bank?" Might as well be direct. "That's not any of--" "Vitucci! Callum!" The deputy appeared in the open front door, one hand on each side of the doorjamb as if to keep himself upright. He held the screen door open with his foot. His smirk had vanished. The two cops on the driveway alerted, inquiring. "Huh? What's up?" one asked. "You getting this?" Jane whispered. She didn't want to ruin TJ's audio with her voice, but something was happening. Something the eviction squad hadn't expected. "Second floor." The deputy pulled a radio from his belt pouch. Looked at it. Looked back at the cops. His shoulders sagged. "Better get in here." Copyright © 2014 by Hank Phillippi Ryan Excerpted from Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Boston's Register news reporter Jane Ryland is covering a human interest foreclosure story when she stumbles onto several murders committed in recently foreclosed homes. Investigating further, Jane becomes entangled in one dangerous situation after another. In the meantime, the reporter's clandestine love interest, Boston police detective Jake Brogan, is actively pursuing answers to a 20-year-old unsolved murder. The cold case turns personal as Jake consults case files written by his deceased grandfather, a former police commissioner, to determine if the individual confessing to the crime is truly the killer. As Jane and Jake each gets closer to the truth, they find their lives and their romantic connection precariously hanging in the balance. Danger and intrigue surround them both as they desperately seek closure. VERDICT The third entry in the "Jane Ryland & Jake Brogan" series (The Other Woman; The Wrong Girl) packs a powerful punch, and offers a clever mix of mystery, corruption, and romance. Mystery enthusiasts will want to drop everything and binge-read until the mind-boggling conclusion. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/14.]-Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Ryan's smart, well-paced third Jane Ryland novel (after 2013's The Wrong Girl) takes aim at the housing crisis of recent years. Boston Register reporter Jane Ryland is at work on two stories: an apparent murder in a recently foreclosed house and a supposed puff piece about banking customer service. Both assignments lead straight to revelations of institutional financial malfeasance and possibly more death. Meanwhile, Det. Jake Brogan of the Boston PD receives the solution to a 20-year-old cold case-or has he been handed an inexplicable false confession? Ryan, a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner, cleverly ties the plot together, offers surprising but believable plot twists, and skillfully characterizes the supporting case, which includes a widower attorney, a bleeding heart banker, and an expectant mother who might be married to a murderer. She also provides just the right amount of romance between Jane and Jake, with a delectable hint that Jake might have some competition. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* A prominent cold case is back in play. Women are being murdered in empty houses that have been foreclosed, and reporter Jane Ryland and Boston PD detective Jake Brogan are wondering if their relationship, right at the edge of ethical, in his view, can ever work. When a recent parolee confesses to a 20-year-old unsolved murder that bedevils Brogan as it haunted his late police-commissioner grandfather, Brogan's colleagues accept the confession as valid, but Brogan is dubious. Working both old and new cases, Brogan continually runs into Ryland, who's on assignment with Peter Hardesty, a widowed lawyer who's attracted to Ryland and arousing Brogan's jealousy. At the heart of it all are foreclosures, which are being manipulated by a cabal of bank employees for personal gain as well as by new customer-services bank officer Liz McDivitt, who's playing Robin Hood. In the third entry in this award-winning series, investigative reporter Ryan again takes on a social issue the harm to individuals caused by bank foreclosures and puts it at the center of a fast-moving procedural with a strong journalistic bent. In Ryan's adroit hands, with her brisk prose, appealing protagonists, and well-limned characters, even foreclosures can be sexy.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2014 Booklist
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