After long years of being away from the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m going to write about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts will be linked here.
After Girl A by Abigail Dean, I bring you Her Perfect Life, by Hank Philippi Ryan.
Her Perfect Life: Book Description
Everyone knows Lily Atwood—and that may be her biggest problem. The beloved television reporter has it all—fame, fortune, Emmys, an adorable seven-year-old daughter, and the hashtag her loving fans created: #PerfectLily. To keep it, all she has to do is protect one life-changing secret.
Lily has an anonymous source who feeds her story tips—but suddenly, the source begins telling Lily inside information about her own life. How does he—or she—know the truth?
Lily understands that no one reveals a secret unless they have a reason. Now she’s terrified someone is determined to destroy her world—and with it, everyone and everything she holds dear.
How much will she risk to keep her perfect life?
Her Perfect Life: Excerpt
They say you can’t choose your family, but if you could, I would still have chosen Cassie.
She was my big sister, and everything she did was perfect. Her perfect dark hair, which curled or didn’t depending on what Cassie wanted. She had perfect friends, and perfect dates, and whispered phone calls, and boys came to pick her up in their cars. She got to wear lipstick. Once when I sneaked hers and tried it, she caught me. She didn’t even laugh. Or yell. Or tell on me.
When Cassie went away to college that year, something changed. She came home for winter break, but she stayed in her room. My mother and I couldn’t figure out what she was doing. Cassie would come out only to make cups of coffee, then stare out the window at our snow-dappled backyard, at the pond where she’d tried to teach me to ice-skate, and at the big sycamore tree where we once found a huge hornets’ nest that fell in a summer wind. I’d picked it up, and wanted to save it for show-and-tell, but Cassie screamed and told me it was full of bugs. She grabbed it from me, and one stung her. She didn’t even cry.
We had a dog, too, a dear and dopey rescue named Pooch. Cassie never liked the name, but our dad did. And then Dad died, and Cassie never wanted to change Pooch’s name again.
When she left for college, Mumma kept her room just the way it was, with all her stuffed animals and souvenirs and photographs, and didn’t let me move out of my little bedroom into her bigger one. Cassie was always the favorite, and I always thought of it as her right.
That first college winter vacation, my mother found a notebook, one of those black ones with white dots on the cover. She opened it to the first page. I saw her face change. Without a word, Mumma turned the notebook to show me. Cassie had drawn a calendar, with carefully ruled pencil lines spaced equally apart. November. Then December. She’d crossed off the days, each one, with an X in black marker.
“Poor Cassie,” Mumma said to me. I remember how soft her voice was, carrying an undercurrent of worry or sorrow. “I wonder what day she’s waiting for. This is not the work of a happy person.”
“I know,” I’d agreed, nodding sagely, though at age seven, I didn’t really know. And it was almost as if Mumma wasn’t talking to me, but just to herself. I do remember how I felt then, even remember my eyes widening in fear of things, dark things or scary things, under the bed or in the closet—things that kids’ imaginations, if they’re lucky, conjure as murky vanishing faraway nothings. Things that come in the night. Visitors. My mother’s worry was contagious, too, a chronic disease I have yet to conquer. “Mumma? What do you think is wrong with Cassie?”
And then Cassie was gone.
About the author, Hank Philippi Ryan
Hank Philippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen award-winning novels of suspense, and has won five Agatha Awards, four Anthony awards, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award. HER PERFECT LIFE is now an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel of the Year.
Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and Career Authors. She is a co-host at FIRST CHAPTER FUN and a founder and co-host of THE BACK ROOM, and the host of Crime Time on A Mighty Blaze. Learn more about Hank at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.
Why pick up Her Perfect Life
I picked up Her Perfect life because I’d read The Murder List and been blown away (read that one if you haven’t!), and I wanted more.
In Her Perfect Life Ryan keeps you on your tippy toes, and you’re always one step behind. I loved Greer, not nice but she made me chuckle, and Lily was a smooth operator. Can’t comment on Cassie’s portions because there lie spoilers that way, but what I can absolutely say is that this is one twisty/ twisted story.
As a writer, I learn so much from Ryan’s mastery over smart plots. Since I’ve interviewed her, I know she does not plan anything in advance, which is absolutely incredible. When you read this thriller, and you will NOT believe this hasn’t been meticulously plotted!
If you like strong female characters, a wonderfully realized world, and a plot that will keep you guessing, go pick up Her Perfect Life.
Have you read the book Her Perfect Life? If yes, what did you think of it? What thrillers have you read lately ?
Through the month of April, to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m holding this giveaway:
Enter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this
Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.
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