February 28, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

With One Wrong Word, Hank Phillippi Ryan Returns With Another Twisted Stunner

One Wrong Word By Hank Phillippi Ryan- Summary

Goodreads summary (review below) of One Wrong Word By Hank Phillippi Ryan:

A heart-racing new psychological thriller from USA Today bestselling and multiple award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan.

One wrong word can ruin your life. And no one knows that better than savvy crisis management expert Arden Ward. The problem is, she’s now forced to handle a shocking crisis of her own. Unfairly accused of having an affair with a powerful client, Arden’s life and dreams are about to crash and burn. Then, Arden is given an ultimatum. She has just two weeks to save her career and her reputation.

Is Cordelia Bannister the answer to her prayers?

Cordelia needs Arden’s help for her husband Ned, a Boston real estate mogul. Though he was recently acquitted in a fatal drunk driving accident, his reputation is ruined, and the fallout is devastating not only to the Bannisters’ lives but the lives of their two adorable children.

Arden devotes her skill and determination—and maybe her final days on the job—to helping this shattered family, but soon, revelations begin to emerge about what really happened the night of the accident. And then—another car crash throws Ned back into the spotlight.

This case is Arden’s final chance to protect her own future and clear her name. But the more she tries to untangle the truth, the more she’s haunted by one disturbing question—what if she’s also protecting a killer?

Gossip. Lies. Rumors. Words like that can hurt you. And Arden knows the reality. Sometimes, one wrong word can kill.

One Wrong Word By Hank Phillippi Ryan- Review

Nope. No 5 reasons why on this one. One Wrong Word By Hank Phillippi Ryan is an intermingled puzzle that has you guessing until the very end.

Did I expect One Wrong Word to be a great read? Well, duh. If you have read her previous works, you know she consistently releases one of the best thrillers of any given year. One Wrong Word did not disappoint. If you haven’t read my review of The First to Lie, please check it out (review linked). I was on hiatus for subsequent releases.

One Wrong Word is a twisted puzzle full of perfectly executed, layered characters, incredibly written narratives, and dialogue.

Words could be as deadly as a gun or a knife if your reputation is murdered.

Moreover, like First Lie Wins, Hank Phillippi Ryan weaves in a serious women’s issue: workplace biases. When Arden is fired from her job because of an alleged (and untrue) affair with a client, she takes a fighting stance.

Or wait, would you paint me the vixen, the temptress? Oh, yeah, do it. Please do that. I’d love that. Bring it.

And again, like The First to Lie, the issues interwoven throughout One Wrong Word never overtake the thriller aspect of it. Hank Phillippi Ryan has solidified herself as one of the best leading female authors writing these themes into thrillers. Additionally, it explores how women treat each other when men are involved.

…Was she right? Maybe the bias for “handsome sensitive guy” was so deep-seated, so pernicious, that sometimes we don’t recognize it, Arden thought. To the detriment of our sisters <other women, not familial sisters>.

With these themes ever present, One Wrong Word reads like a rollercoaster ride. It has ups and downs, with twists dropped when you never see them coming, let alone what the twist is. My mouth was agape so much that I almost caught flies. This intricate story banks left and right, leaving you breathless on the rollercoaster.

One Wrong Word By Hank Phillippi Ryan Review SUmmaryOne Wrong Word By Hank Phillippi Ryan Review SUmmary

Thank you to Forge Books (no audiobook this time) for an advance copy of One Wrong Word by Hank Phillippi Ryan, releasing February 6th.

The plot isn’t the only thing that will keep you guessing.  One of the most unique aspects Hank Phillippi Ryan writes in One Wrong Word. Additionally, she intersperses a puzzle of each character’s motives and true personalities. How the characters develop over time is unique because… do they even change? Or are they hiding their intent? Good luck figuring it out. I jumped lanes with my beliefs about each character so much that I got a reckless driving ticket.

It isn’t a multiple-identity thing but, instead, a guessing game. The characters and their dynamics with each other will keep you tied in knots. Which face they put forward is the real person? Is each character’s motives exactly what they seem?  Who is telling the truth? Who is lying, and will one wrong word kill each of them?

I don’t want to spoil anything, but suffice to say the last 10% is magnificent in piecing everything together, in its own time, leaving readers chomping at the bit.

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