Tuesday, November 1, 2016

More about SAY NO MORE! It's pub day!

Today the Reds are thrilled about the launch of our own Hank's SAY NO MORE. Her fifth Jane Ryland novel, it's come roaring out of the gate with a STARRED review from Library Journal ("Ryan does it again...  a fast-paced, edgy mystery that seems ripped from the headlines") and RTBookReviews TOP PICK. Hank, we're dying to know...

HALLIE EPHRON: As always with your unputdownable novels, the title is loaded with multiple meanings and a powerful theme that gets artfully woven through the book. SAY NO MORE... Hank, tell us where you were going with this.

HANK: Well, thank you! Yes, RT called it "Brilliant...an exceptional multi-faceted procedural."Yay! 

Here's what I was thinking: Several years ago, Jonathan and I were driving along Monsignor O'Brien Highway between Boston and Cambridge, and I witnessed a hit and run accident--a car smashing into the back of a van. . I guess my reporter brain kicked in, because I looked out my passenger-side window at the driver of the car, and carefully and intently catalogued his face. Widows peak, pointy nose, high cheekbones, pointy chin.   I don't know why, I just did.  

Then he shifted gears, backed up, and sped away! I got his license plate, too, which I wrote in the dust on our dashboard. (I wrote down the description too, but later, on paper.)

When the police came--I told them I'd recognize the guy. And to let me know if they needed help.

I didn't think they would,  but months later I got a call from the DA's office, asking me to come to court and try to point him out. I'd be on the witness stand, he MIGHT be in the audience. (It's called a non-suggestive identification hearing.)

And in that moment I thought--wait a minute. What if that puts my life in danger? And I really thought--wow, I don't want to do this.

And then I thought--I spend my entire reporter life trying to get people to talk. Now I see why they might not want to.

And then I thought--HA.  That's a book.

LUCY BURDETTE: I haven't read this yet, but my copy is winging its way toward me--can't wait! I'd love to hear about how far ahead you imagine the arc of the relationship with Jane and Jake. And do you hear much about this from readers?

HANK: Oh, Lucy, Booklist said  "Boston's smartest and sexiest investigative couple is at it again..."  How cool is that? But I have to say--I have no idea. I see only their relationship developing as I write it--I have no "Plans" for them, and I think that's because they're not quite sure either.  In book time, they've only been "together" for a year or so, and in real life, that may not enough time for thirty-somethings to make a life decision. Readers love Jake and Jane, and are ...impatient. But they are trying to evolve their relationship carefully. 
So am I.   

RHYS BOWEN: So looking forward to this, Hank, and wishing you mega success with it! I know that some of your former novels have literally been ripped from the headlines and taken from cases you have actually worked on. Is this true for SAY NO MORE?

HANK:Thank you! Isn't that such a fascinating concept? Ripped from the headlines? Because we all know how long it takes to write a book, and "ripped from the headlines" is impossible. 

One reviewer, though, called my books "Investigative thrillers" and I really embrace that label. Because my books are actually ripped from my OWN headlines--which means inspired and informed by my extensive research and experience in investigating certain stories.  

SAY NO MORE,  like all of my books, is an amalgam of elements from a few of them: coverage of sexual assault on campuses and how colleges respond to those involved--and how it changes the survivors' lives. It's about the conflict law enforcement has when dealing with confidential informants, and the impossible task a person in witness protection has to wipe out their entire past.  In each of these situations, there's  necessity or a compulsion to keep a secret--to say no more.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Boy, the storyline involving campus sexual assault really rings a bell for me. Now Youngest has started college tours, the horror stories that have made it into the news are very much on my mind. What did you find out in your research that you'd like parents and students to know?

HANK: Yeah, it's--terrifying. And anyone with any connection to anyone in college should read this. Truly.

One of the main characters is "Tosca," a young woman who is a survivor of a sexual assault on campus. She is so damaged by it--this once bright and out-going opera student now stays in her apartment, taking classes remotely and  counting the days until graduation. She also  watches out her window over Boston's busy Kenmore Square, keeping track of the young man who raped her: He's out there, happy and social and having a good time. She keeps track of him, too, in a file she labels "Someday. " Someday--what? But for now she'll say no more.

What I learned--just briefly? But that's enough: One in five of women students are sexually assaulted on campus. One in five! And some statistics say 90 per cent of those assaults happen during the first week of classes--they call it The Red Zone, because it's such a vulnerable time. And although the stats for sexual assault are so high, about 150 universities are now under investigation by the feds for failing to report the incidents.

I mean--no college wants to be tainted as a scary-dangerous place to attend, right? So maybe it's--safer, administrators think, for colleges to SAY NO MORE.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Hank, I was fascinated by the hit and run episode. It's so immediate, and immediately made me think, "What would I have done if..." And I must say you were very cool to have not only taken such notice of the driver's face, but to have written down the license plate. And now I want to know WHY did the driver deliberately crash into the other car? And whose alibi was destroyed???? 

HANK: Ah! If that's what you're wondering, perfect!

DEBS: As far as "ripped from YOUR headlines," now that you write these wonderful crime novels, do you find yourself constantly analyzing real-life incidents you encounter as a reporter for their fictional potential?

HANK: Every minute of every day. And...you had me at "wonderful." xox

Now--two more things

One, now I need your advice!  Which of these two paragraphs makes you more intrigued by SAY NO MORE?

1. Her career is all about the truth—but now, keeping silent may be her last chance to stay alive.  A Boston newcomer watches a murder… but won't tell police. A college sexual assault victim is trapped in a sinister scheme to force her silence. And after reporter Jane Ryland witnesses a hit-and-run, she discovers that revealing  the truth may put her life in danger.  What if staying  silent is the only thing that keeps the three women  alive? Hank Ryan's newest ripped from her own headlines thriller: SAY NO MORE.

2. Her career is all about the truth—but now, keeping silent may be her last chance to stay alive. When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she saw more than a car crash—she witnessed the collapse of an alibi, and now she's under pressure to tell all to the police. She's also digging up the inside scoop for an expose of sexual assaults on Boston's college campuses for the station's new documentary unit, and is working with a victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera.
But, a disturbing anonymous message—SAY NO MORE—has Jane really and truly scared.
Who is supposed to keep quiet? And why?

 And two, which would you rather hear about at a book talk--the campus assault element, or the hit and run?

SO excited for pub day! Click here for all the scoop!   And my tour schedule! Thank you darling Reds and readers!  Leave a comment—and you’ll be entered for a great prize!


  1. Happy Book Birthday, Hank!
    If I were at a book talk, I’d want to hear about both the campus assault and the hit and run.
    I found the first paragraph more intriguing . . . I am so looking forward to reading this book!

  2. Congratulations, Hank! I can't wait to get my hands on the book - although I'm afraid it won't be tonight. I have a can't-quit cough that simply isn't going away and that you definitely don't want interrupting your launch party.

    I like the first paragraph better - more succinct. I guess I'd want to hear about both assaults, too.

  3. Thank you Joan and Edith! It's so nerve-wracking to decide how to describe a book, isn't it? And so critical. Luckily I have you all to give me advice...

  4. Happy book birthday, Hank! I can't wait for you to visit 11/10 - that's when I'll get my hands on this (and probably stay up all night reading it).

    I'd want to hear about both - and I agree with Joan and Edith. I like the first paragraph the best.

  5. I'll be at Brookline Booksmith tonight to cheer you on (7 PM!) - I'll be wearing my I READ RED button and buying a signed book. Can't wait to hear more inside scoop about SAY NO MORE.

    Hank, where can your fans find you in the coming few weeks?

  6. I would also go with the first paragraph. It made me want to drop everything and run to the bookstore! And I can't choose which topic I'd want to hear at a book talk. Both are intriguing. Congrats on the great reviews!

    Deb Romano

  7. Congratulations dear Hank--I know this will be another winner! I like paragraph 1 as well, and the campus sexual assault is so timely...

    I will be there in spirit tonight and see you at Crimebake!

  8. Happy book BD, Hank! And I prefer the second paragraph.

    Did they ever catch the guy you saw hit and run?

    The college stats are horrifying, and I wonder how, if at all, they've changed over the years. I suspect more women report incidents today, but you would have better access to that kind of statistic.

    When my youngest was at the Citadel, in a 93% male environment, I was worried for her the entire time. Not that she can't take care of herself, she definitely can, but the male-dominated military culture is sneaky, and there's always that individual who is an outlier, isn't there? She got through it, but it formed a callous.

  9. Happy book birthday, Hank! It sounds great and I can't wait to read it.Loved learning about where the idea came from.

  10. Congrats on the book launch, Hank. Of course, you already know how much I loved the book. I really do feel it may be the best in the series yet.

    For your questions, I think #1 is more intriguing. As for the talk, I think the hit and run element is "fresher." The sexual assault element as it plays out in the novel is near perfect, but as a topic for a talk might seem overdone. (Clearly, it is still important to talk about - for as long as we continue to have this terrible epidemic - but I wouldn't want readers to think that it treads familiar ground).

    As a reader - not a reviewer - thank you for keeping the Jane/Jake relationship evolution realistic. As much as I would love them to ride off happily into the sunset, that is not going to happen given the difficulties they have. One year is not enough time to make a decision that would not only affect their personal lives, but their professional ones as well.

  11. Happy book birthday, Hank! It sounds great and I can't wait to read it.Loved learning about where the idea came from.

  12. Thank you so much Mary! I always love coming to mystery lovers bookshop, it is such a rite of passage on book tour! And it will be a joy to see you all… and I can test out my speech on you!

    Hallie ! Thank you so so much… I am so nervous about tonight!

  13. DebRo. Thank you! If it makes you want to drop everything, that is exactly what I'm going for. Thank you. It's so odd to think we have come to this moment, after all those days and nights of working working working… Very mind-boggling.

  14. Thank you darling Lucy! Cannot wait to catch up at Crime Bake

    And Karen, yes… They did. But I did have to come to court to point him out! It was completely terrifying, and it still haunts me. It happens differently for Jane, In the book, but I certainly drew from my experience. It somehow makes me realize that there are details that you cannot make up… Which is why I am so lucky to have this sort of dual career! But wow, witnessing the hit and run was just by chance.

  15. Congratulations on all the superb reviews, Hank! I'd say you've hit this one out of the ballpark! (ok,ok, I live near Cleveland and have Indians fever!).

    What I like about the second paragraph is the focus on Jane, although I like elements of both paragraphs. But as I reader, I want to know what's happening with Jane.

  16. Hank, you shouldn't be nervous!! You will be fantastic, as always! Happy book birthday, and I can't wait to read it!!! xx

  17. Huge, huge congrats today, Hank!! Cannot wait to get started reading.

    I think paragraph #2 - it starts with a little more focus on Jane and then hints that everything might be connected from there. And for book tour (which I sadly won't get to see you on because you won't be quite close enough, she tearily said), I think the hit and run would be the topic to choose. Again, because there can be so much behind it and considering motivations for leaving would be fascinating.

    Congrats again! xoxo

  18. Will Flora, yes… The apprehensiveness about getting reviews is overwhelming! But so far, so incredible, and yes, I would say They are out of the ballpark is right! Crossing fingers.
    And the amazing Kris ! more to come…

  19. Happy Bookday Hank and congratulations.

    I'm the proud owner of a signed copy of Prime Time, which got misplaced in the kitchen renovation. I'm really ashamed of this, but I'm also Catholic and confession is good for the soul. It's bound to be in one of those boxes I haven't got unpacked yet, but in the meantime I'll keep feeling guilty. That's another Catholic thing, lifted from the Jews who invented it, but we took it on the road.

    Whew, glad to get that off my chest.

    As a reader, I'm more intrigued with the second paragraph. Not sure why, but that's my out of the chute feeling. Either way I want to read the book. I suppose I shouldn't expect to get a second chance at a signed copy?

  20. And Tosca! What an evocative name.

  21. Whoo happy book birthday! Can't wait to settle in for a good read.

    The paragraphs, number 1 did it for me best. Really drew me into the story and made me want to turn the page for more.

  22. Glad to hear they "got" the hit and run person. Good for you for hanging tough.

  23. My annual "Take Hank to the beach with me" in St. John book! Can't wait to read it under a palm tree where I'll just get transported to Jake and Jane Land.

    Paragraph one grabbed me more as did the hit and run story written in the dashboard dust.

    Will miss tonight as those cataracts have to get done before long nighttime drives. Will get you to sign at Crime Bake. Congratulations!

  24. Congratulations on the Say No Mores book birthday. I look forward to hearing you
    on Thursday in Vero Beach. Hit and runs are something that can happen to any driver. Talking about this part of the book might have more universal appeal. Yet, sexual assault is so important. Highlight both?

    See you on Thursday.

  25. Congratulations, Hank! Can't wait to read Say No More. Paragraph 2 is more enticing, I think, but I'm sure your audiences will be captivated no matter the approach you take.

  26. I like option one better. Gets right to the murder. Great story, can't wait to read it. Congrats, Hank!

  27. Sounds like something I would very much want to read! Congrats!

  28. Thanks Debs and Grandma...yeesh! WIsh you ALL were here..

    Ann, thank you! Yes, she's an opera student, and chose "Tosca" as her pseudonym with Jane. And you can bet she did not choose it at random..she lives on the 15th floor. :-)

    And I m going to have to count up all the 1s and 2s. SO interesting how peoples' opinions differ..you can see why this is so tough! I respect all of your opinions..and yet--we are divided! Back to working on it..

  29. Huge congratulations and happy release day, dear Hank!! I'm so thrilled for you and all the wonderful reviews!! I can't wait to get my hands on it.

    I like the first paragraph best, but honestly, I'd enjoy anything you had to say. You will be fabulous as you always are.

    Cheers to you!

  30. Hank. First - Congratulations on another Pub Day! Wow. I've been saying that to you for a long time now and it still feels wonderful.

    Second. Sweetie? This one blew me away. Completely and totally away. Not only is this book timely, it's important. Julia, and the rest of you who have daughters in college right now? Having worked for two universities, let me say this - take this seriously. I can't even . . . Just take it seriously. Question the administration. Push and push hard.

    Hank Phillipp Ryan - I am so proud of you.


  31. Oh, Susan, thank you! SO great of you...you know how nerve-wracking it is!

  32. Congratulations, Hank! Those statistics are truly scary. 1 in 5??? I had no idea. It's so great that you're bringing that to the forefront and have written something that is important, as well as entertaining.

    I'm still catching up with your books (immersed in The Wrong Girl and loving it!), but I'm hoping to get to one of your appearances in MA.

    Enjoy your hard-earned day!

    (Oh, and I liked the second choice better - a little clearer, IMHO.)

  33. YAY for Hank. Can't wait to read this!!

  34. Congratulations, Hank! I'm so excited SAY NO MORE is finally here! And yes, I was thinking of your story when Youngest and I were touring last week.

    It's not that there's not a lot of NEWS on campus sexual assault...but I can't think of any other fiction on the subject. And for many of us, fiction is the way we really come to understand something.

  35. Yes, exactly Julia--hoping that through entertainment-(as Mary C so wisely says) d I can sneak in a little real info. SO happy with that!

  36. Oh, Hank, I so love Say No More, and my review that went up yesterday on my reading blog says that it many different ways. My review ends with thanking you for writing what is now one of my favorite reads of 2016. Let me thank you again, Hank. This book reminds me of plaiting hair, each strand meticulously woven into the whole to create a stunning look, and Say No More is stunning.

    Both of your paragraphs have much to offer, but I'm thinking that the 1st paragraph is more indicative of how intricately entwined the story lines are. The 2nd paragraph focuses more on Jane, and while she is the main character and it is her involvement in the different stories that brings them together, I like the focus on the three stories in the 1st paragraph.

    For your book talk, I vote for the campus assault element because of the importance of counteracting all the disrespect for women that the Presidential campaign has brought out. Now is a great time to address the empowerment of women and how sexual assault, no matter where it takes place, is not okay and should not be covered up.

  37. Kathy! YOur review!!!! AHHHHHHHH..SO happy! thank you!

  38. Kristopher! Your review!!! AHHHHHHH..SO happy! Thank you!

    Will you both post links??

  39. Loved the first paragraph. Perfectly written. At a talk, probably the hit and run, since it would be unique to the book.

  40. Finally! Say No More is out! I feel like you've been teasing us forever. I preferred the second paragraph although it looks like either one is a winner, based on response. As for a book talk subject I find the hit-and-run more interesting. I don't really want to hear even more about crimes against women right now. Can't wait to read what Jane and Jake are up to.

  41. At Hank's request, here is the completely spoiler-free BOLO Books review of SAY NO MORE:


    Easily one of the best books of the year, and I hope that all the Jungle Red fans will read this book and sing the praises to everyone they know.

  42. I'd go with number 2. It's a little meatier, I think. I am more intrigued by hearing about the hit and run than sexual assault. You are terrific, Hank, and I'm looking forward to reading the new one.

  43. Yes yes, Kristopher! We want to hear the Reds singing! :-)

    But thank you, endlessly, for your incredibly kind words. And xxo

  44. Thanks Bev! The balance is tricky, isn't it? By the time my book tour is over, I'll have it all worked out..hmmm..xoxo

  45. This book really resonates with me for 2 reasons - both topics. When I was much younger I also witnessed a hit and run, but nothing like what Jane went through. My main worry was that someone might see me in the back of the cop car when they were taking me uptown to make my statement. The other thing of course is the epidemic of campus rapes. When I was in college in the sixties I am ashamed to say I didn't realize I had been raped! There was no physical force involved but I know now that it certainly was rape.
    Cannot wait to read the book.

  46. Congratulations, dear Hank...happy release day for Say No More!!

    I prefer paragraph #1, and the hit-and-run focus for the talk.

    So many wonderful reviews online, richly deserved.
    I can't wait to read Say No More!

  47. Judi-- thank you so much! And exactly. Exactly exactly exactly. We all need to talk about this.

    Grace! You are a treasure. Thank you so much…

  48. Now, off to the launch party! I will let you know how it goes :-) wish me luck!

  49. The launch was SO fabulous! I am completely floating...thank you! More to come.... and I'll (randomly) choose a winner!

  50. I like paragraph #2 better because it's more focused on the main character, with the other situations connected to the first -- and I think the hit-and-run jeopardy is both more familiar and a bit more novel.

    But isn't it fascinating how the comments to this post have preferred both, with good reasons on both sides?

  51. Yes, Alayne, it is AMAZING. Fascinating, and absolutely baffling. xooxo But I love it!

  52. Sorry I didn't come back here until this late. Hank, here's the link to my review.


  53. I'm not going to say where I am in the book but I am so intrigued - Hank, I really think this is the best one yet! I can't wait to see how all these threads come together! And I also vote for the first paragraph.