Trust Me

Forge. Sept. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780765393074. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765393081. THRILLER
Ryan's ("Jane Ryland" and "Charlotte McNally" series) new stand-alone introduces journalist Mercer Hennessey, who lost her husband and young daughter in a car accident over a year ago. Each day since is still a struggle. When her former editor asks her to write a true-crime account of the case that's gripping the nation, she's hesitant at first. How can she delve into the life of Ashlyn Bryant, whom everyone knows is guilty of killing her small daughter and dumping her body in the Boston Harbor? But knowing that she'd give anything to have her own daughter back, how could Mercer not write about this murderous mother? Ashlyn has always maintained her innocence, but no one believes her. As she watches the courtroom feed, Mercer begins to ask questions, and the deeper she goes, the more her own convictions are challenged.
VERDICT While the protagonist is not particularly realistically drawn (her actions serve the author's needs rather than grow organically out of her character), this slow-building thriller that examines "truth" and who gets to define it is bound to be a late-summer hit among readers looking for twisty stories with reverses and feints.
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