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Drive Time

Drive Time

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Deadlines. Desires. Deceptions.

Investigative reporter Charlotte McNally is an expert at keeping things confidential, but suddenly everyone has something to hide. Her latest TV scoop—an exposé of a counterfeit car scam, complete with stakeouts, high-speed chases, and hidden-camera footage—is ratings gold. Now in the prime time of her journalism career, it seems like Charlie's dreams are about to come true. If she can just balance her high-stakes work and her high-stress upcoming wedding, perhaps she'll manage to have it all.

But soon Charlie's personal and professional lives go on a terrifying collision course. Her fiancé, Professor Josh Gelston, may be hiding inside information about disturbing phone calls targeting the elite private school where he teaches.

After nasty threats, terrified parents, and two mysterious deaths, Josh comes under suspicion. Is Charlie's soon-to-be stepdaughter—9 year old Penny—in danger?

Charlie never counted on happy endings. But now, just as she is starting to believe in second chances, she must face the chilling reality: revenge, extortion, and murder may leave her alone again- if she survives.

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Awards & Recognition

  • Nominee for the 2010 Agatha Award for Best Novel
  • Nominee for the 2010 Anthony Award for Paperback Original
  • Finalist for the Mainstream Mystery/Suspense Daphne Du Maurier Award


"Buckle up and prepare for a wild ride as Charlie McNally and Boston's Channel 3 News investigate a nefarious car theft/forgery operation and race to get their story on the air before their lives are endangered. In the meantime, Charlie becomes consumed with secret sleuthing as blackmail and suspicious deaths threaten the private, prestigious Bexter Academy where her fiancé teaches. Amid late-night stakeouts and dangerous car chases, Charlie finds time for romance, wedding planning, and bonding with her future stepdaughter. In her fourth series entry (after Prime Time, Face Time, and Air Time), Ryan once again channels her Emmy-winning investigative reporting expertise to craft a realistic and compelling mystery, full of hairpin turns and dangerous intersections at breakneck speed. Verdict: Placing Ryan in the same league as Lisa Scottoline and Julie Kramer, her latest book catapults the reader into the fast lane and doesn't relent until the story careens to a stop. New readers will speed to get her earlier books, and diehard fans will hope for another installment." STARRED REVIEW
   —Library Journal, Dec. 2009, reprinted with permission

"Hank Phillippi Ryan knows the television business entirely; she understands plotting; and she writes beautifully. No wonder I loved Drive Time. Anyone would."
   —Robert B. Parker

"A complex plot sprinkled generously with humor and Charlie's wisecracking first-person narrative are the highlights of this extremely entertaining mystery. Don't miss it.
   —Catherine Witmer, Romantic Times Book Reviews (4-1/2 stars)

"Superb series...Ryan's ability to portray these universal dilemmas is her true genius, and one that makes this series an enduring joy to read."
   —Lynne F. Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine

"5 Stars, Fantastic. The three D's of writing popular fiction—deadlines, desire and deception—have catapulted Hank Phillippi Ryan to headline news for her Charlotte McNally series of mysteries. The rollercoaster pace of Drive Time, from high-speed chases following hot leads to a clandestine nighttime stakeout, places the reader on the edge and behind the scenes of the daily life of a television reporter."

"Drive Time may be Hank Phillippi Ryan's best novel yet—a stunning and timely plot enhanced by the life-changing events in her investigative reporter's personal and professional life. A realistic and endearing portrait of a woman trying to have it all. (And if any woman can, that woman is Charlotte McNally.)"
   —Margaret Maron

"Drive Time is Hank Phillippi Ryan at her nonstop best. I loved it! The story grabbed me on the first page and didn't let go until the very last page...and I can't wait for more Charlotte McNally. Smart, witty and no one's fool, Charlie is a heroine for today. Readers won't be able to get enough of her."
   —Carla Neggers

"Loved it! Smart, funny, fresh, intriguing and thoroughly entertaining—I highly recommend this series."
   —Suzanne Brockmann

"Charlotte McNally [dubbed "Charlie Mac" by her 9-year-old soon-to-be step-daughter], the protagonist in this engrossing series, is an investigative reporter at a local TV channel in Boston...Splitting her time between her condo on Beacon Hill and Josh's Brookline residence, she finds her loyalties somewhat divided when Josh confides in her something which she feels can be the tip of an iceberg which would be a huge story. Things become even more complicated when she is offered a network job in NYC, and her personal and professional lives battle for supremacy...The suspenseful tale escalates with threats and deaths among the Bexter 'family' and the 'who-is-behind-this' tension in both aspects of the plot. The fact that the author herself is an investigative TV journalist and multiple Emmy-Award winner lends an unmistakable authenticity to the novel, which is recommended."
   —Gloria Feit, Midwest Book Reviews

Mira, paperback, February 2010, ISBN: 978-0778327974