Boston’s smartest, sexiest investigative couple returns, and, even more so than usual, they find themselves entwined in each other’s cases.
This latest installment in the adventures of ace TV newswoman Jane Ryland and Harvard-educated homicide detective Jake Brogan (her no-longer-secret fiance) hits the ground running with what seems to be a hit-and-run highway accident witnessed by both Jane and her new producer, Fiola (“not Fiona, as she’d reminded Jane a few hundred times already”). Five previous novels being what they are, readers will know there’s more to this than meets the eye. And Jane knows she may have to be called upon as a witness, which doesn’t please her or her bosses at the station. Still, not even this can keep her from her main task of the moment: gathering interviews for a documentary about sexual assaults on college campuses. One victim in particular seems poised to tell all on camera, though she’s still too shy to give Jane and Fiola her real name. Meanwhile, Jake and Boston’s Finest have been dispatched to a housing complex called The Reserve, an “off-the-official-map enclave of blue-blooded affluence,” to peer into the suspicious drowning of a Hollywood screenwriter who’s a visiting professor at a local college—the same college (of course) attended by Jane’s potential interview subject. And if all that weren’t enough, there’s another Reserve resident who anonymously alerted police to the screenwriter’s fatal fall into the complex’s swimming pool and has her reasons for staying as anonymous as possible. Arrogant college administrators, reluctant witnesses, and yet another mysterious death among the reserved at The Reserve are among the many impediments placed in front of Jane and Jake as they work what seem to be separate sides of the street that you just know will converge toward the end.
Ryan shows a greater assurance in handling her multitiered plot through the use of multiple points of view. The device works so well it should become a regular part of her winning format.