Title: The Other Woman
Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5
Jane Ryland was a hot local reporter on her way up. But when the biggest story of her career exploded in front of her and she refused to name her confidential source, she lost everything. Now, she’s lucky that someone has taken a chance on her as a print reporter and she’s determined to start over. When she’s assigned to interview the wife of a senatorial candidate, she’s shocked to find the campaign has made her almost impossible to find. When she finally does locate Moira Lassiter, Moira enlists Jane to try and find her husband’s secret mistress.
Hank Phillippi Ryan’s The Other Woman is the first in a series starring reporter Jane Ryland and detective Jake Brogan. From the beginning, the chemistry between these two main characters is palpable. Ryan writes each of them well, also making clear why they shouldn’t really be together (because of their conflicting professions). Though Jane’s constant meditations on Jake’s attractiveness become old after awhile, Ryan did a solid job establishing these two characters, as well as the tension within their relationship.
There is a lot going on in The Other Woman. Let’s start with the backstory, about Jane’s source and the story that brought down her career. From the beginning, it shows how much integrity Jane has, and readers are inclined to like her because of that. She’s a solid character, but the backstory is a bit complicated. As a result, it may make readers feel as though they missed a previous installment in the series, despite the fact that this is the first.
This may also be connected to the sheer number of plotlines in The Other Woman. There are many characters, many points of view that the story is told from, and many storylines to juggle. Ryan does well in establishing the major plot points, but it gets confusing very fast. It’s hard to keep track of who’s who, or which storyline they’re related to. And as everything begins to come together and plotlines get muddled, it gets even more confusing.
Don’t get me wrong, The Other Woman is an interesting novel. It has the feel of a political thriller and it will definitely keep you reading. It’s just that there’s so much going on that it’s hard to connect to any single plot thread and it’s very easy to get the secondary characters confused, as Jane and Jake are the only ones that are really established. Jane’s a great character, though, so it’s exciting that Ryan is creating a series around her, and I’m curious to see where she goes next.