Updated: Jul 1, 2019
“Everything ends. It’s the when and the how that surprises us.”
It’s been 442 days since the car accident that took Dex and Sophie away from Mercer Hennessy. She keeps count on the steam on the bathroom mirror every morning and every one of those 442 days has been a struggle. Her former editor, Katherine Craft calls offering her a book deal. All she would have to do is watch courtroom testimony and write an instant book about the murder trial of “Baby Boston,” a toddler killed and dumped in Boston Harbor. The child’s mother is going on trial for the murder. Katherine assures Mercer the book will be a instant best seller, as long as the mother is found guilty. Everyone one knows the mother did it, and besides Mercer really needs the money. She agrees and throws herself into watching the trial and writing the book. The trial takes 32 days. And then the verdict comes...
No one expected a Not Guilty verdict, and every one is in shock, especially Mercer, who has now lost her book deal. A day later Katherine shows up on Mercer’s doorstep with none other than Ashlyn Bryant, the beautiful young mother who had been on trial for the past month for murdering her daughter, Tasha Nicole. Katherine wants Mercer and Ashlyn to work together for the next two weeks to rewrite the book from Ashlyn’s perspective, a redemption story, a memoir. Mercer is floored, she know Ashlyn is guilty, how can she possibly do this? But Katherine leaves her no choice and Mercer has so many unanswered questions. Perhaps she can get to the truth.
“Is that how the truth is, too? With three possibilities. What we think it is. How someone presents it to us. And what it really is. The deep and inscrutable singular truth.”
Can Mercer trust Ashlyn to tell the truth? Can Ashlyn trust Mercer to help her find redemption? It’s a dangerous game that may have them both spinning out of control and will have you reading at a breathless pace. Tension, lies and deceptions grow with every turn of the page.
The characters are delightfully well-drawn and the writing is polarizing and affecting. Both the mothers in this story lost their three-year-old daughter. Yet for one mother you feel immense sympathy, and the other you feel nothing but anger and disgust. Ashlyn tells so many lies you may never know if and when she is telling the truth. It’s compelling and it’s tragic, and this story will be hard to forget.
If you are familiar with the 2008 Casey and Caylee Anthony story you will read many similarities with Ashlyn and Tasha Bryant. For those of us that watched the Anthony case everyday for months you may even feel you’ve read it all before. But trust me, read it anyway!
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the best selling author of ten award winning suspense novels. TRUST ME won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. Thanks to Judith D. Collins and Hank Phillippi Ryan for a giveaway copy of this fabulous book.
“We need rituals, we need remembrances, we need the private connections that make each of us unique.”
Published June 25, 2019