One Wrong Word

Hank Phillipi Ryan

Psychological Thriller

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. 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.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

“Lies and secrets, the most powerful forces in the universe.”

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) Have you ever wondered how often one word could alter the trajectory of your life? This book explores just that, as Arden, a professional crisis manager, finds herself in the middle of accusations, infidelity, and the unnerving question of whether she’s unknowingly aiding a killer.

“An innocent person goes through the same process as a guilty one—it’s only the end that’s different.”

Arden’s world unravels when she’s falsely accused of an affair with a client, leading to her dismissal. But before she leaves, she’s handed one last job—a seemingly routine task that sends her into a whirlwind of questions, deceit, and twists. The job is to help Cordelia and her husband who has just been aquitted for vehicular homicide. Their reputations are being slandered and their children mistreated by others.

The narrative keeps you on your toes with characters that exude shadiness from the get-go. The plot is full of questions and accusations. I found myself guessing and re-guessing, trying to untangle the web of deception.

Arden’s lingering thought—whether she’s inadvertently aiding a killer—casts a shadow over the entire story. The suspense is high, and the author maintains the tension, keeping readers engaged and eager to uncover the truth.

The twists and turns pave the way for that ending. The author doesn’t hold back, delivering a finale that is satisfying and unexpected. Other than briefly feeling too long in the middle, the story delivers intrigue throughout.

This book is a journey through uncertainty, where every word and action has the potential to reshape lives. The characters are questionable people, the plot is a rollercoaster of suspense, and the twists keep you turning the pages. For fans of psychological thrillers with a touch of mystery, this one’s a must-read.

General content summary: some language, sexual harassment, pedestrian hit and killed (2x, few details), murder (some details).

Thank you to Thriller Book Lovers Promotions and Forge Books for the copy!

The book releases February 6, 2024.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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