'Trust Me' is stellar thriller by Hank Phillippi Ryan

'Trust Me' is stellar thriller by Hank Phillippi Ryan
This cover image released by Forge shows "Trust Me," a novel by Hank Phillippi Ryan. (Forge via AP)

“Trust Me” (Forge Books), by Hank Phillippi Ryan

A former journalist has a chance at redemption and recovery of her shattered life when she receives an offer to write about a heinous trial in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s stellar thriller, “Trust Me.”

Mercer Hennessey was a well-respected news writer but she gave it up to be with her family. She was a loving wife and devoted mother, but an accident changed everything and now she’s a widow. She knows she needs to pick herself up but doesn’t dare take that first step back to the real world.

When her former boss offers her the chance to write a tell-all book about a significant trial, Mercer can’t refuse. A television feed from the courtroom to her living room will allow her to stay private while also rediscovering the joy of writing.

The issue Mercer has to grapple with is the case itself. Ashlyn Bryant is accused of murdering her young daughter. Her alibi shifts constantly, and she seems to have excuses for every piece of evidence provided by prosecutors. Mercer quickly sees the case as a chance to move past the death of her husband and daughter, and she will do this by seeing justice done in the trial against Bryant. As Mercer digs deeper and begins to chronicle the proceedings, she begins to find holes that might change what she thought was an inevitable outcome. Can Mercer overcome her pain of loss to uncover the truth? Can she trust herself to find those journalistic skills again?

Ryan is an expert at telling a story that invokes suspense with emotional resonance. Strong feelings like grief, anger and love ooze off the page while realistic characters make the reader care about every tiny detail of the story. And just when it starts to lean toward being predictable, Ryan throws in a huge twist to completely upend the narrative.

“Trust Me” when I say that her latest is her best novel to date.