Wednesday, August 19, 2009
FACE TIME/AIR TIME by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mira)
Ryan won the Agatha Award for her debut Prime Time and I was delighted to catch up with her protagonist, Charlie McNally. Like Ryan, Charlie is an Emmy-winning investigative reporter.
In Face Time, Charlie gets an opportunity for an exclusive story with the Constitutional Justice Project as they try to prove "Deadly Dorie" Sweeney (who, by the way confessed to killing her husband) is innocent. The CJP's new evidence turns up just as Oscar "Oz" Ortega, who just happens to have been the lead prosecutor in Sweeney's case, announces his candidacy for governor.
Charlie's juggling of her career with her new love life and visiting her mother who's in town for cosmetic surgery add comic relief to the very real concerns of finding the truth behind the crime.
In Air Time, Charlie and Franklin, her long-suffering producer, are on the trail of fake designer purses. Turns out, the high fashion industry is a hotbed of grand larceny, organized crime, and murder. Making their job tougher, a young consultant has the ear of the news director, and she's trivializing their hard-hitting news story with cute puns and artificial deadlines.
While both stories are highly entertaining quick reads, they also bring the reader into the world of journalism and investigative reporting. Journalists who go undercover to reveal the truth behind these stories really do put themselves at risk. Ryan relates the true picture in entertaining, well-plotted mysteries. More, please!