Drive Time is the fourth Charlotte McNally novel by real life investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan. As in the first three, Charlie is again looking for the best scoop possible for the upcoming ratings sweeps. As she and Franklin are on their way to the station, a story essentially falls into their lap.
Charlie, her producer and friend, Franklin, and J.T., their photographer, discover a car scam that places people’s lives in grave danger. The trio embarks on a plan that includes stakeouts, car chases, and secret footage, not to mention places their own lives on the line.
Added to the story mix, Charlie has been offered a job in New York just as she and her professor-fiancé, Josh, are preparing for their new life together. Not wanting to trouble Josh, she keeps the invitation to herself until she can make a decision.
Interestingly, Franklin also has a secret. Now that the two co-workers are each keeping something from the other, their relationship becomes tense.
In the meantime, Josh has a few secrets of his own. There is trouble on campus that has turned deadly, eventually threatening Josh and his daughter.
Hank Phillippi Ryan has s successful career as an investigative reporter based in Boston. Her mysteries are filled with behind-the-scene details only an insider could know, adding a sense of reality to her writing.
While the story is fast-paced and filled with action, I did not find this the best of the four books. The writing often seemed a little too staccato and much of the time Charlie seemed to come off as an air-head, something I hate to see in a female lead. In the first three books, she seemed to have her act together, but not so in Drive Time.
Hopefully, there will be another book in the series as there are still story threads to pursue. If so, I am hoping that Charlie returns to her whip-smart and competent self and leaves the ditzy behavior to others.
For diehard fans of the series, Drive Time is a pleasing next installment as we follow the relationships between Charlie, Josh, and his daughter Penny. And as we empathize with Charlie in her struggle to remain at the top of the ratings game at the station.
A special thanks to Mira books for the complimentary advanced proof for review. If you are interested in Drive Time or any of the other Charlotte McNally novels, you can purchase them at Amazon.com.