I received an advance copy of Ms. Ryan’s latest book…and my initial reaction was something like “YAY! Another author to add to my “writers-whose-latest-book-I-immediately-snap-up” list! Not sure why I have missed her previous Jane Ryland novels, but I plan to go back and enjoy them as well.

Ms. Ryan’s “day job” as an investigative reported in Boston has been incredibly successful (30+ Emmys and a dozen or so Murrow awards), so she knows her way around crime stories. In addition, she way a way with plot and characters that is smooth yet thrilling. This is the fourth book in the Jane Ryland series set in Boston, and while it will please established fans of the series, it will also bring in first-time readers without leaving them feeling like they should not have read this one unless they read the previous three novels.

In What You See, Jane is “between jobs,” having quit her job at the newspaper due to their ethical lapses. Considering a return to TV news journalism, she is in the middle of an interview with a local station Channel 2 when a story breaks in front of City Hall. There is (conveniently) no one else available at the station, so the news director who is interviewing her sends Jane. Also conveniently, her boyfriend Detective Jake Brogan is also involved in the same case.

The scene at City Hall is chaotic and Jake and his partner Paul DeLuca are already on the scene giving out assignments and trying to keep control when Jane arrives. A young man who wants to make a name for himself as a photographer latches onto Jane and steers her toward an alley where Jake and DeLuca (again conveniently) are involved investigating the case with one suspect claiming to have captured the killer and the other suspect unconscious from being beaten.

Conveniently, Jane and Jake meet up in the alley, and their apparently long-standing issue about old maintaining their romantic relationship while dealing with conflicting interests re-emerges. As if this isn’t enough, Jane’s sister calls her during the chaos, telling her that her fiancée’s daughter is missing, and it is just a few days before Jane and Jake are scheduled to travel to the Midwest of Jane’s sister’s wedding.

Neither the murder victim nor the injured man in the alley has any ID on them, making things very complicated for Jane AND Jake! Jane is trying to get a new job, and her family situation turns into a possible kidnapping. Without spoiling the plot, there is a fast-moving story with well-defined characters, interesting plotlines, and ongoing development of the Jane-Jake relationship. Again, this is the fourth in a series but it stands alone quite well.
It’s another success for this author I have happily discovered thanks to NetGalley!