Foreclosure fraud entwines with a 20-year-old murder case in the
latest knotty, engrossing mystery-thriller by an award-winning Boston
These days, foreclosures have become a too-frequent fixture of what some label “Depression Redux” and others name “The New Normal.” It’s not so normal, however, to find a dead realtor in a foreclosed house. Even if that were all that engaged the attention of Boston PD detective Jake Brogan and investigative reporter Jane Ryland, they’d probably be too busy to spend much time on their covertly ardent, professionally awkward romance. But Brogan’s also got his hands full dealing with an out-of-the-blue confession to a murder that happened two decades ago—a confession that, much as he’d like to believe it, doesn’t feel right. Meanwhile, the dead realtor pushes Ryland’s inquiry into the foreclosure plague toward suspicious behavior at a local bank, especially by one of its well-intentioned employees who may be in over her head. In the third installment of her series about Ryland and Brogan, Ryan shows greater agility in weaving seemingly disparate plot strands into a crafty storyline, though at times it takes a while for the story to move ahead—for which a generous reader might blame the characters more than the author. (“Can you keep a secret?” comes up a little too frequently.) But those characters, including a hip defense attorney introduced to create some tension between Jake and Jane, are engaging enough to keep the reader flipping pages. Ryan seasons her mix with vivid Boston local color and caustic observations on new media—which one would expect from a journalist who's won even more awards for her TV reporting than she has for her mysteries. (Where on earth does she keep those thirty Emmys?)
Ryland and Brogan are such a cute couple that you wonder how long it’ll be before somebody makes a TV series out of them.