In the opening pages of the newest book from Hank Phillippi Ryan, Tucker (“Tuck”) Cameron contacts Jane Ryland to ask for her help in what has been a long quest to find her birth mother. Only acquaintances, the lives of both women had taken them along somewhat similar, if negative, professional paths: Tuck had been fired from her job as a reporter at the Boston Register for sleeping with a source. Jane is now working at the Register, after having been an award-winning investigative tv reporter before she lost her job for refusing to give up a source. Her job at the Register is a somewhat shaky proposition, what with all the paring down of personnel at newspapers around the country. The two had only worked together at the paper for about two weeks, but Tuck doesn’t know where else to turn.
Seeking to find the truth about her birth parents, Tuck had years ago gone to Brannigan Family and Children Services, the name her adoptive mother had given her. It had been a closed adoption, with the records sealed, but apparently her birth mother had now given permission for them to be opened. Tuck finally has the information she is so desperate to acquire. We quickly meet some of the personnel at the Brannigan, whose theoretical purpose is making connections and putting families together. But now Tuck has reason to believe that her newly found mother has been sent the “wrong girl” of the title. And soon things take a sinister turn as two of the people at the Brannigan are found dead. And more deaths swiftly follow.
Initially the p.o.v. was constantly and quickly changing and revolving among the lead characters, with many balls in the air at one time. That was a bit dizzying in the early pages, less so as the story picks up speed and suspense, which it quickly does. Jane is still ambivalent about her romantic attachment to Jake Brogan, the cop who is assigned to investigate the deaths that take place, and they still find that their respective professional obligations make any relationship difficult. The investigation takes many unexpected turns, and the suspense is well-sustained throughout.
I have loved all of this author’s previous novels, especially the last one, “The Other Woman,” which introduced Jane Ryland and set a high bar for its follow-up. “The Wrong Girl” is a fine addition to the series, and it is recommended....Continua