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Beautiful Lies: A Novelby Lisa Unger
Synopses & Reviews
If Ridley Jones had slept ten minutes later or had taken the subway instead of waiting for a cab, she would still be living the beautiful lie she used to call her life. She would still be the privileged daughter of a doting father and a loving mother. Her life would still be perfect — with only the tiny cracks of an angry junkie for a brother and a charming drunk with shady underworld connections for an uncle to mar the otherwise flawless whole.
But that?s not what happened. Instead, those inconsequential decisions lead her to perform a good deed that puts her in the right place at the right time to unleash a chain of events that brings a mysterious package to her door — a package which informs her that her entire world is a lie.
Suddenly forced to question everything she knows about herself and her family, Ridley wanders into dark territory she never knew existed, where everyone in her life seems like a stranger. She has no idea who?s on her side and who has something to hide — even, and maybe especially, her new lover, Jake, who appears to have secrets of his own.
Sexy and fast-paced, Beautiful Lies is a true literary thriller with one of the freshest voices and heroines to arrive in years. Lisa Unger takes us on a breathtaking ride in which every choice Ridley makes creates a whirlwind of consequences that are impossible to imagine.
From Our Staff:
In her debut novel, Beautiful Lies, Lisa Unger captivates the reader in a web of deceit, using realistic characterizations, a well-crafted plot, and a writing style that puts her in league with writers like Carol O’Connell and John Connolly. She wastes no time drawing the reader into the world of New York freelance writer Ridley Jones, who is leading a seemingly steady, uncomplicated life. However, in one moment, Ridley’s life is turned upside down by several small and simple choices she makes on a morning just like every other morning. Suddenly, her reality begins to unravel, and everything she thought was true begins to look like a lie; every choice she makes casts ripples that become tsunamis. As the lies begin to untangle, Ridley is left with a choice: turn her back on what she's discovered and continue living her "beautiful lie," or risk everything to find the truth. Unger’s writing is incredibly dynamic, with characterizations that are authentic and compelling.
"After an act of heroism garners instant fame for 30-something New York freelancer Ridley Jones, she receives a faded photo of a man, a familiar-looking woman and a little girl along with a note asking, 'Are you my daughter?' Shaken, she confronts her parents, who affirm she is theirs by birth; that same day, however, hot new neighbor Jake enters her life, and he's less sure. With breathless speed, Unger is off on an action-packed journey of treachery and intrigue — and sex and romance. Jake turns out to have just as much at stake in discovering Ridley's past as she, but in the way are Ridley's controlling parents; her drug-addicted brother, Ace; her intrusive former boyfriend, pediatrician Zack; and the people protecting the legacy of her Uncle Max, a real estate mogul who used his influence to fund rescue houses for abused women and children. Following leads garnered from scrutinizing the operations of places Max's foundation supports, Ridley and Jake uncover a chilling scheme for taking infants and toddlers from violent homes; their relationship heats up, and Ridley's family gets very edgy. The premise — that there is a dark side to the safe haven law — is deep as well as clever, and Unger plays it out thrillingly. $150,000 ad/promo; 10-city tour." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Unger takes readers on a pulse-pounding ride through the Big Apple in this outstanding debut that will please both pace-obsessed thriller fans and those who want to savor the more subtle aspects of character development." Jenny McLarin, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Suspenseful, sensitive, sexy, subtle....The best nail-biter I have read for ages. Highly recommended." Lee Child, author of One Shot
"A stunning, powerful novel! Lisa Unger's taut prose grabs the reader from word one and never lets go. In this tantalizing tale of family suspense, beware of who you trust and be forewarned about what might happen next." Lisa Gardner, author of Alone
"A cozy, personable debut about a young New York City journalist who inadvertently begins to unravel her own identity....Cleverly handled suspense for chick-lit readers." Kirkus Reviews
"This stand-alone novel has a high-velocity plot that pulls the reader along....A complex and gripping story about the dark side of the best of intentions, Beautiful Lies is a satisfying thriller." St. Petersburg Times
"Beautiful Lies never delivers the compelling plot it promises....The author...does excel in providing a tour through New York City, and Ridley, for all her flaws, is likable." South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"A debut novel...that manages to be intriguing and trite at the same time, at least when it's not being silly." Detroit Free Press
"A tense exploration of what lies beneath the white picket fence of ordinary life. Harlan Coben has a new rival for his thriller crown." John Connolly, author of The Black Angel
In this sexy, fast-paced literary thriller, Unger takes readers on a breathtaking ride in which a young New York writer's good deed has terrible consequences and leaves her running for her life.
About the Author
Lisa Unger lives in Florida with her husband and daughter. Visit her at lisaunger.com.
What Our Readers Are Saying