Truth Be Told, part of the bestselling Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan series by Agatha, Anthony, Mary Higgins Clark, and Macavity Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan, begins with tragedy: a middle-class family evicted from their suburban home. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story-and on other foreclosures- reporter Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret. Turns out, there's more than one way to rob a bank.
Boston police detective Jake Brogan has a liar on his hands. A man has just confessed to the famous twenty-year-old Lilac Sunday killing, and while Jake's colleagues take him at his word, Jake is not so sure. But he has personal reasons for hoping they've finally solved the cold case.
Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love. What happens when what you believe is true turns out to be a lie?
About the Author
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate, and has won twenty-eight Emmys and ten Edward R. Murrow awards. A Boston Globe bestselling author, Ryan has won two Agatha Awards, in addition to the Anthony, Macavity, Daphne du Maurier, and Mary Higgins Clark Award. She's on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and is the author of The Other Woman, The Wrong Girl and Truth be Told.
Read an Excerpt
“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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Truthfully, I Liked This Book The rash of foreclosures in Boston have led reporter Jane Ryland to do an article on the entire process. As a result, she’s at a foreclosed house where the police are emptying out the personal belongings left behind by the family who had to move out. However, this time the police make a horrible discovery – a dead body. How did that get in the closet? Meanwhile, the 20th anniversary of the Lilac Sunday killing is approaching. This murder of a teen has remained unsolved, and it was a case that haunted Boston police detective Jake Brogan’s grandfather until the day he died. However, a man has just walked in and confessed to the crime. He seems to have details that no one else would know, but Jake isn’t convinced. Is this the killer or a false confession? I’ve great enjoyed the first two books in this series and was looking forward to another great read. However, I found the beginning to be a little slow with the cuts between characters and scenes frustrating and jarring instead of creating suspense. However, as the book progressed, the plot grew more gripping until I couldn’t bear to put it down. Jane and Jake continue to be interesting main characters surrounded by a great cast of supporting players, and watching their relationship grow is interesting. Once the plot smoothed out, this was another page turning read. Pick it up and get lost in a great story.
"Truth Be Told" is the latest hit from Boston's own treasure, Hank Philippi Ryan. Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan are together again in another adventure that will once again keep you guessing and take you on a thrilling ride. Foreclosures have been in the news, telling the tragedies of the families losing their homes. But that is just where the story starts, with Jane working on the stories of the people in trouble, and Jake trying to solve a long ago murder. Their lives and work intertwine and you will not want to stop turning the pages until you reach the stunning conclusion. Murder, money, family and intrigue....it's all there in the pages of this latest offering...Truth be told Hank is an artist with the written word, and a phenomenal storyteller! I am already eager for the next book in the series from this accomplished author! Grab a blanket, turn off the phone, and clear your schedule...you won't want to stop reading!
I've enjoyed this series. Looking forward to the next offering.
This is my first Jane Ryland and Jake Brogan read by Hank Philippi Ryan. Jake being a detective for Boston Police and Jane is an investigative reporter for a multimedia newspaper. This 450 plus page book takes the reader on a fast paced investigation of several murders as well as the A & A Bank. Lots of characters but it was easy to follow the connections as they are made along the investigation. I am ready to find the next opportunity to follow some more Jake and Jane.
Reviewed by Marissa Book provided by the author in contest win Review originally posted at Romancing the Book This book happened along at an interesting time. I happen to be studying for my real estate license, pouring over mortgage and foreclosure laws, and this book lands in my mailbox. (Thank you, Ms. Ryan!) While I haven’t read books one and two in the series, book three was no problem. Yes, there are background references and a developing relationship to catch up on but I was never lost. Quite the opposite, I was immediately drawn into the story of foreclosure as told from different sides of the bank note. Jane Ryland is a veteran reporter now working for the internet side of a daily newspaper. I really liked Jane’s attitude. She’s adult and doesn’t whine (too badly) over men. She’s also intelligent and knows when to back down in order to get what she needs. But she’s also human and gets her feelings hurt when she can’t figure out why Jake doesn’t tell her that his business trip was canceled. Jake seems to have the qualities of an actual man. Unlike most other fictional heroes, he has no clue that Jane would question the things he does and doesn’t realize there’s a problem. Like a real man, he thinks it’s just her. This made me frustrated but at the same time I like Jake more than a lot of other fictional men I’ve come across. The one secondary character I really liked was Liz McDivitt. While what she did was highly illegal, I admired her trying to help people out of foreclosure. I wish there had been more background on her. There was enough about her childhood that made me want more. I’m hoping she’ll show up as a main character in another book and we’ll get more. The one thing I didn’t understand was why Jake and Jane would have to keep their relationship a secret. I see the point about divulging information about cases but it seems to me that as long as they’re open about the relationship and agree that work information can’t be shared, it doesn’t seem like it would be a problem. This is a great book and I’m looking forward to reading the first two books of the series, not to mention the next book. I’m so grateful that I won this in a contest and found a wonderful author to follow.
Love the books about jane and jake hope they get together someday
In a plot which uses the housing crash of recent years, various facets of which are still in today’s headlines, as a jumping-off point, Jane Ryland returns in this newest entry in the wonderful series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. After having been an award-winning investigative tv reporter before she lost her job a year ago for refusing to give up a source, Jane is now working as a reporter for the new online video news department of the Boston Register. That job remains somewhat tenuous in today’s endangered world of print newspapers. The opening pages find Jane at the site of a foreclosed house in the course of researching the housing crisis and the forced evictions of the mostly middle-class homeowners when, bizarrely, a woman’s dead body is found inside the house. But things become much more complicated, as we learn much more than we ever wanted to about REOs (“real estate owned” properties), which have become a huge business for banks and the real estate agents with whom they work, and those who work the system for their own profit. Liz McDivitt, magna cum laude MBA, is the first Customer Affairs Liaison for the bank for which she works, of which her father happens to be president. She has developed her own plan for helping those who have fallen into the desperate position of having their homes foreclosed, despite its illegality. She has told no one about it, not even Aaron, who handles the bank’s foreclosed properties, who she has started seeing socially, and who has his own secrets. A second story line has a man, Gordon Thorley, coming into the police station to confess to a notorious crime committed almost twenty years ago. Detective Jake Brogan, one of the cops hearing his story, does not believe it. That killing, of a 17-year-old girl, had haunted Jake’s grandfather, the then Police Commissioner, up to his dying day, and it is very personal for Jake, 14 years old at the time, who is determined to find out the truth. The reader enters a bizarre world of false confessions, whether manipulated, coerced, or the product of a disturbed mind. The tale unfolds over the course of only several days, with p.o.v. alternating from Jane and Jake’s worlds as well as Liz and Aaron as well as Peter Hardesty, attorney extraordinaire, and Gordon Thorley, who was either a liar or a murderer. Jane is still somewhat ambivalent about her romantic involvement with Jake, given the unwritten rule that one should not be ‘involved’ with a source, which Jake certainly is and has been, their respective professional obligations a constant challenge. We are told that though “nothing mattered except what was true,” it is also the case that “sometimes you had to lie to get to the truth.” The plot is so convincing that one can only hope, as one continues quickly turning the pages, that this not an instance where “fiction is indeed the lie that tells the truth.” Another excellent entry in the series, and one which is recommended.
Hank Phillippi Ryan is a master at story telling and she has done it again with her third installment of the Jane Ryland series. She captivates you and keeps you mesmerized through this entire book. The characters she has built are strong and vibrant and the plot is intense. Jane Ryland is a solid character and she is a great reporter who will stop at nothing to get her story. This is a must read and once you start there is no stopping.