Monday, July 5, 2010

Drive Time: A Charlotte McNally Novel by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Drive Time: A Charlotte McNally Novel by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Mira Books. February 2010. ISBN #: 9780778327974

Charlie McNally is back and ready to swing into action! The plot is familiar - the discovery of a criminal connection that threatens the life and limbs of Charlie and her fellow reporter and camera man. Rather than back away from this conflict, the discovery of an outrageous scheme followed by discovery and revenge. Only there's an added mystery in this latest Charlotte McNally novel - blackmail and death occurring at her fiance's school, Bexter Academy, and Josh just might know too much about the answer to this elusive, deadly mystery begun with threatening anonymous phone calls!

Charlie learns some disconcerting news about Franklin by accident. Instead of ignoring Josh as in previous novel, she's been so preoccupied with him and her relationship with his daughter, Penny, that she unwittingly ignores Franklin, her former tell-all sidekick. But instead of backbiting and nastiness, they decide to make this investigation and possible Emmy-winning story one to top all the previous adventurous stories.

Without spoiling the plot line, there are some very snazzy-looking cars and a very clever scheme to sell more of the same illegally a la carjacking and the use of VIN cloning. This part of the story, replete with dangerous conversations and road chases, is very cleverly juxtaposed with the mystery set in a quaint, private New England school with very prim and proper faculty members reminiscent of the 19th and 20th century, except for the very contemporary use of adoption for a fraudulent fund-raising campaign.

Drive Time is this reviewer's favorite novel in the Charlotte McNally series, action-packed, tense, clever, perceptive and passionate! You have outdone yourself with this latest novel, Ms. Ryan!

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