cover image Her Perfect Life

Her Perfect Life

Hank Phillippi Ryan. Forge, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-25888-5

Boston TV reporter Lily Atwood, the protagonist of this superlative thriller from Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner Ryan (The First to Lie), “has it all—fame, fortune, Emmys, [and] an adorable seven-year-old daughter.” Recently, Lily has acquired “a new and unerringly knowledgeable source,” known only as Mr. Smith, who has steered her and her longtime producer, Greer Whitfield, to some “slam-dunk stories.” Now, Mr. Smith seems to have delved deeper into Lily’s own story, in particular the incidents in her life she would prefer to keep hidden. The suspense builds as the narrative shifts among the points-of-view of Lily and Greer, and flashbacks to what happened to Cassie, Lily’s older sister, who disappeared without a trace 25 years earlier, when she was 18. The appearance of the father of Lily’s child, who hitherto has shown no interest in the girl, raises the stakes. Through masterful plotting and subtle characterizations, Ryan creates niggling doubts in the reader’s mind as to Lily and Greer’s motives while keeping the novel’s outcome deliciously uncertain. This is a fast-paced, surprise-packed treat. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore Literary. (Sept.)