Review: Her Perfect Life, by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Meet Lily Atwood, award-winning television reporter, local celebrity, and mother of an adorable seven-year old. She has a secret underpinning Her Perfect Life.

Cover: Her Perfect Life - image of beautiful womanLily’s perfection is carefully crafted and managed by Lily and her assistant Greer, whose motives are not the same as Lily’s. It’s worked for the past two years, but now the threads binding the illusion and their motives begin to unravel. 

Lily and Greer are being fed tips by an anonymous Mr. Smith. So far, his tips have proven true. However, when his information bleeds into Lily’s carefully-protected personal life, they dip into a past she thought was buried deep.

Somewhere out there is a family secret, an embarrassment, a mistake, an imperfection.

Claire A Murray

Reading the book led me to think about how we define and the lengths some will go to achieve perfection. 

Perfection requires a firm foundation. A perfect building cannot withstand wood rot, an improper concrete mix, or design mistakes. The perfect family probably doesn’t exist. Somewhere out there is a family secret, an embarrassment, a mistake, an imperfection.

The perfect life is an illusion with a price tag. The pressure is on: go the right schools to get the right job with the right friends in the right neighborhood. The cost is sacrifice: overlooking good friends right beside you in the quest for better, then perfect; scrambling the corporate ladder without recognizing that you were good at and really liked the jobs below the one you now have; too little time with loved ones; stress; loneliness, more pressure.

Is it worth it? What drives it?

Better yet . . . what drives Lily Atwood to bury her past and build a façade? What will she risk to keep the past buried and shield her daughter from its truth? The suspense and danger escalate as the onion of Lily’s perfect life unpeels. 

Told from multiple points of view, we learn what each character knows and thinks as the story progresses. The point of view chapters coalesce as we reach a climax that reveals more than we thought, bringing in those Ryan twists and turns that heighten the suspense until we can breathe at the end and say that’s a wrap.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling and five-time Agatha Award-winning author of 13 thrillers, winning 37 EMMYs for investigative reporting. THE FIRST TO LIE is an Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee. HER PERFECT LIFE is an Agatha Award nominee, earned starred reviews from Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly called it “A superlative thriller.”

Her Perfect Life is available in hardcover, paperback, eBook, and audio format. Get your copy today from your favorite retail outlet or independent bookstore.

Until next post, Happy Reading.