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The Murder List

A delightfully twisted and complicated plot with an ending that leaves you speechless.



Rachel Kirkland is a 36 year old Harvard law student and she will tell you she’s smart, she’s a hard worker and she always does the right thing. She is married to Jack Kirkland, the best defense lawyer in Boston, and when she finishes law school the two of them will practice together handling murder cases. Rachel and Jack met six years ago when Rachel was serving on a jury for one of Jack’s cases. That was back then she was working as the Chief of Staff for a high ranking Massachusetts State Senator. Unfortunately, the senator had to resign his office when his wife was accused of murdering one of the senator’s aides in a fit of jealousy.

Rachel is now interning with the Boston District Attorney’s Office working with Martha Gardiner, Jack’s biggest adversary. Jack doesn’t want her working there, he says Martha is a predator, she maligns, twists and corrupts the law. Rachel naively hopes to find the inside scoop on how Martha prosecutes cases. With the DA experience Rachel thinks she and Jack might just be unstoppable. While at the DA’s office, Martha has Rachel helping her to solve a familiar cold case, which turns into a game of cat and mouse with the DA.


THE MURDER LIST has a delightfully complicated plot with tons of characters. Both the story and the characters were a little unsettling. Who can you trust? What can you believe? Martha is like a snake and you never know when she is going to strike. Jack’s also been known to cut a few corners. Jack and Martha are both slinging truckloads of mud at each other and Rachel may just be in caught in the middle. Even she doesn’t know who to trust. I never knew what to think about her. She was strong but capitulates, confident yet insecure, smart but not.

Author Hank Phillippi Ryan has woven a twisted tale of past and present events that will have your head spinning. Her writing is smart. Her characters are intriguing. And the ending will leave you speechless. Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Macmillan

Published August 20, 2019

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