Category Archives: Hank Phillippi Ryan

Review: The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Title: The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


“An exhilarating thrill ride that keeps you turning pages.. Ryan deftly delivers a denouement as shocking as it is satisfying.”–Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Last Time I Saw You

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan is an engrossing mystery set in the legal world.

Thirty-six year old law student Rachel North is looking forward to finishing her degree so she can become a partner in her husband Jack Kirkland’s law firm.  She is a little concerned about how Jack will take the news she  will interning with Assistant District Attorney Martha Gardiner. Jack is a defense attorney who has a tense relationship with Martha, whom he believes will do anything, including cheat, to secure convictions. Rachel is hoping to get insider information about Martha’s techniques and thought processes that she hopes will aid both her and Jack in future cases. She is quite surprised when Martha  takes her under her wing and assigns her to the their newest murder investigation. But she is stunned when Martha begins investigating an unsolved homicide that is related to Rachel’s former career. What is Martha hoping to accomplish by taking a second look at the case that torpedoed several people’s careers, including her own?

Rachel is a bit of a doormat when it comes to her husband. She does not argue with him and she follows his directions even when she does not agree with him.   When taking her background into consideration, Rachel is shockingly naive when it comes to legal matters.  Her self-confidence is a bit shaky but she is determined to excel during her internship with Martha. But it soon becomes painfully clear that Rachel is no match for the legal shark who is just as manipulative as Jack.

Interspersed with the events occurring in the present are flashbacks to Rachel’s former career. Six years earlier, Rachel works for state Senator Thomas Rafferty. Just as she is promoted to Chief of Staff, she receives a jury summons.  Rachel is selected to serve on the jury for a murder trial in which she and her fellow jurors are not quite certain the suspect is guilty.

The Murder List is an interesting legal mystery that is a little slow-paced.   While none of characters are particularly likable, their sly, underhanded machinatios are infinitely fascinating.  The plot is unique and quite suspenseful since it appears all of the key players are pursuing their own agendas.  With the tension building with every chapter, Hank Phillippi Ryan brings this intriguing mystery to a twist-filled conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this clever legal mystery  to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Forge Books, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Murder List