Boston TV reporter Lily Atwood, the protagonist of this superlative thriller from Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner Ryan (
The First to Lie), “has it all—fame, fortune, Emmys, an adorable seven-year-old daughter.” Recently, Lily has acquired “a new and unerringly knowledgeable source,” known only as Mr. Smith, who has steered her and her longtime producer, Greer Whitfield, to some “slam-dunk stories.” Now, Mr. Smith seems to have delved deeper into Lily’s own story, in particular the incidents in her life she would prefer to keep hidden. The suspense builds as the narrative shifts among the points-of-view of Lily and Greer, and flashbacks to what happened to Cassie, Lily’s older sister, who disappeared without a trace 25 years earlier, when she was 18. The appearance of the father of Lily’s child, who hitherto has shown no interest in the girl, raises the stakes. Through masterful plotting and subtle characterizations, Ryan creates niggling doubts in the reader’s mind as to Lily and Greer’s motives while keeping the novel’s outcome deliciously uncertain. This is a fast-paced, surprise-packed treat. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore Literary. (Sept.)
Keep[s] the reader guessing about characters’ identities and different versions of events as the tension mounts...a well-crafted plot and strong female characters drive a satisfying psychological thriller.” —
Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Shocking, suspenseful, with clever twists and an abundance of secrets. Her Perfect Life kept me guessing until the end. I loved it!” —B. A. Paris, internationally bestselling author of The Therapist and Behind Closed Doors “Superlative...this is a fast-paced, surprise-packed treat.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) “When people say a book is a page-turner, they must be talking about Hank Phillippi Ryan. Her Perfect Life has everything: Compelling characters, a captivating story, and a pace that’ll have you turning the pages deep into the night. You can’t go wrong with a Ryan book, and this one is no exception.” —Samantha Downing, bestselling author of My Lovely Wife “Tense and twisty...You will read this in one sitting!” —Julie Clark, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Last Flight “There’s a reason Hank Philippi Ryan keeps winning so many awards—she is a master at crafting suspense around fully formed characters with real emotion and depth. A mesmerizing thrill ride!”—Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Dear Wife and Stranger in the Lake “Her Perfect Life is a stunning, wonderfully tense thriller about deceit, grief, fame and perfection, and the secrets we carry beneath our skin. A magnificent, knockout thriller.” —Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author of Do No Harm “I loved this book! Reading Hank Phillippi Ryan's Her Perfect Life made me paranoidwho's watching me, who's lying to me, who's hiding from their prior life? My nerves were shredded by the time I reached the last chapter of this big-hearted page-turner.” —Rachel Howzell Hall, author of And Now She’s Gone “When you read a Hank Phillippi Ryan thriller you are in the hands of a master! Her Perfect Life offers shocking twists, whip-smart turns, and a deep-dive into the dark side of celebrity. I devoured it.” —Robyn Harding, bestselling author of The Swap “Strong women, creative twists, and tight pacing combine to make a suspense novel that will have readers turning pages at breakneck speed. Cancel your schedule, hold your calls, and lock the door so you can fully immerse yourself in this tension building tale of intrigue.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller “ Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan is a masterful story of the past and the present coming together, and the challenges of living in the spotlight. Just like an Agatha Christie novel, Ryan takes you on a twisty path to a major crescendo. Brava to Ryan on her best book yet!” —Andrea Peskind Katz, Great Thoughts Great Readers “I raced through Hank Phillippi Ryan’s taut, breathless thriller, Her Perfect Life, desperate to know how the dangerous secrets of three complex, compelling women would finally collide, never prepared for the perfectly stunning, explosive ending. Bravo Hank!” —Kate White, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Fiancee “The fingerprints of Ryan's illustrious news career are all over this endlessly entertaining page-turner. A twisty delight, Her Perfect Life is steeped in secrets you'll long to decipher and complex characters whose motives you'll question at every turn. An unputdownable thriller, Her Perfect Life is the PERFECT read!” —Caitlin Wahrer, author of The Damage “ Her Perfect Life is a powerhouse of a novel with something for everyone.” — Mystery Scene “ Her Perfect Life is, well, as close to perfect as a psychological thriller can be.” — Providence Journal
In her latest stand-alone (after
The First To Lie), Ryan ratchets up the tension as protagonist Lily Atwood's personal and professional lives collide. Lily is an award-winning television reporter who owes her last two big breaks to an anonymous source. That source is still calling her, but now the messages are more personal and clearly targeted at Lily and her seven-year-old daughter Rowan. Mr. Smith's news tips seem to have become part of a cat-and-mouse game that he's playing with Lily, and they may be connected to the disappearance of Lily's older sister years ago. Cassie disappeared from college when Lily was seven; that loss shaped the rest of Lily's childhood. She has spent the intervening years looking for Cassie everywhere. Pulled into the mix is Lily's producer Greer, who has her own agenda and who may endanger everything she and Lily have built. VERDICT Ryan has a sure hand with her page-turning, twisty plotting and complex, multifaceted characters. Readers looking for a fast, thrilling read will love this one. —Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
Angela Dawe narrates a complicated mystery of missing siblings, strange news sources, and the seemingly perfect life of a news anchor that could be destroyed due to a decades-old mystery. To maintain her job as an award-winning television journalist, Lily’s life must be free of scandal. Lily’s research partner, Grier, discovers that Lily may have a dark secret, and the discovery could put more than Lily’s career at risk. Dawe does a wonderful job creating clear and unique characters. In particular, Grier’s personality comes through as very different from Lily’s. Dawe’s pacing and presentation keep listeners engaged through all the surprises in this bizarre mystery. V.B. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine
NOVEMBER 2021 - AudioFile
A successful TV journalist and doting mom fights threats from the past and in the present in this fleet mystery.
Lily Atwood seems to have it all—a thriving career as a crusading TV reporter, a throng of Emmys, a darling little daughter, and an adoring fan base that has dubbed her #PerfectLily. But Lily has secrets, the most haunting among them the disappearance of her sister when Cassie was a college freshman and Lily just 7 years old. Cassie vanished in the aftermath of a fire on her college campus that injured one of her professors and might have resulted in another student’s death. After an intensive search, law enforcement interest in Cassie dwindled, but Lily never believed her sister was dead. Despite her reporting skills, she hasn’t been able to find a trace of Cassie—until an anonymous source who’s given her several legitimate tips about unrelated stories drops a bomb. The source claims he (or she; Lily isn’t sure about the voice) knows Cassie is alive and where to find her. Lily’s producer, a workaholic woman named Greer Whitfield, is soon in on the secret thanks to Walt Banning, a detective who seems to know a lot about the cold case. Lily is torn between wanting to find her sister and wanting to protect her own flawless public persona—if Cassie has stayed in hiding for so long, perhaps there’s a very unpleasant reason. Lily is also reflexively protective of Rowen, her 7-year-old daughter and the center of her life. And there’s another secret connected to Rowen—the girl has never met her father, and Lily wants to keep it that way. Ryan deftly switches points of view among Lily, Greer, and, in chapters set just before her disappearance, Cassie, keeping the reader guessing about characters’ identities and different versions of events as the tension mounts.
A well-crafted plot and strong female characters drive a satisfying psychological thriller.