Synopses & Reviews
Recently, Ridley Jones stepped off a street corner and into an abyss of violence, deception, and fear. She is being a lot more careful about where she steps and trying to get on with her life when another seemingly mundane act picking up a few envelopes of prints at a photo lab puts Ridley at the nexus of a global network of crime. A shadowy figure of a man appears in almost every picture she's taken in the last year, lurking just far enough away to make identification impossible. Everyone from the federal government to the criminal underworld wants to know who the man is and where he is and some people are willing to kill to find out.
Now the FBI is at her door, some serious bad guys are following her every move, and the family she once loved and relied on is more distant than ever. Ridley has never felt so confused or alone in her life. Everyone she loves has turned out to be a stranger she even feels like a stranger to herself. Is she a product of nature or nurture?
At once hunting down a ghost and running for her life, Ridley doesn't know if she ever had the power to shape her own destiny or if love exists anywhere beyond her imagination. The only thing Ridley knows for sure is that she has to get to the truth about herself and her past if she's ever going to find her way home.
Charged with relentless intensity and kinetic action, playing out with unnerving suspense on the streets of New York and London, and seen through the terrified but determined eyes of a young woman whose body and heart are pushed to the point of shattering, Sliver of Truth is another triumph from the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Lies.
"Bestseller Unger's sensational second thriller (after Beautiful Lies) puts her in the same league as such genre masters as Peter Straub and Peter Abrahams. From the cryptic opening section, which ends with a New York Times reporter finding her husband bleeding to death, Unger grabs the reader by the throat and doesn't let go. Meanwhile, the FBI informs Ridley Jones, a magazine writer, that her late uncle, Max Smiley (who's really her biological father), is still alive and being sought by assorted international players on all sides of the law. Rapidly finding that little in her life is what it seems, Jones is horrified to be confronted with evidence indicating that Smiley is a misogynistic monster of the first order, who may have played a role in the murder of the reporter's husband. Unger's gifts for dialogue and pacing set this far above the standard novel of suspense and will leave many anxiously awaiting her third book. 10-city author tour. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The deeper Ridley digs, the more she doubts herself and the 'uncle' she thought she knew. But Ridley (who suggests a more serious version of Janet Evanovich's self-deprecating Stephanie Plum) is never deterred." Boolist
"A fast-paced story that readers will find difficult to put down; recommended." Library Journal
Love hurts, sometimes it even kills. Just as Ridley Jones, first introduced in Beautiful Lies, begins to move on with her life, a seemingly mundane act picking up a few prints at a photo lab puts her at the nexus of a global network of crime.
The highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times
bestseller Beautiful Lies
Charged with relentless intensity and kinetic action, and playing out with unnerving suspense on the streets of New York and London, Sliver of Truth delves deep into the shadowy world of Ridley Jones, a terrified but determined young woman at once hunting down a ghost from her past and running for her life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Lisa Unger is the author of Beautiful Lies, a New York Times bestseller and International Book-of-the-Month Selection. She lives in Florida with her husband and daughter.
Reading Group Guide
1. Of all the baffling plot twists in Sliver of Truth
, which one caught you most by surprise? Why?
2. The books pivotal scene–where Ridley confronts Max at Potters Field–bookends the novel, appearing at the beginning and near the conclusion. Why do you think the author chose to structure this scene like this? What did you think of having it split in this way?
3. In chapter 2, Ridley describes her childhood habit of hiding from adults, saying, “I just got better and better at finding places to hide. Eventually I had to reveal myself or never be found” (page 21). In the context of the novel, does this statement have another meaning? If so, what?
4. What was your opinion of Dylan Grace? At first, did you think he was being honest with Ridley about his motives for finding Max?
5. “Some of us are lost and some of us are found. I think thats really the difference Max had observed” (page 273). Who are the “lost” characters in Sliver of Truth, and who are “found”? What are the differences between these characters?
6. Talk about the relationship between Dylan and Ridley. Did you expect that he and Ridley would get together? Why do you think they were so attracted to each other?
7. “I was filled with dread and fury, and yes, the slightest glimmer of hope,” Ridley says after she finds out Max is still alive (page 283). Why hope? Does this foreshadow her ultimate encounter with Max? At any point in the novel did you believe Max was alive?
8. Ghosts and hauntings are recurrent themes in Sliver of Truth. Discuss some instances where they are prominent, and their significance. Does the author employ other symbols like these?
9. “I have a tremendous ability to compartmentalize my emotions. Some call it denial, but I think its a skill to be able to put unpleasant things out of your head for a little while in order to accomplish something else,” (page 98). Consider this statement of Ridleys. What does it reveal about her personality? Do you agree with what she says?
10. Nature versus nurture is a theme Ridley frequently debates with herself: Is her true self a result of her adoptive parents upbringing, or is she Maxs daughter (and therefore shares his traits)? What do you think? Are we really products of our DNA, or do the people around us shape who we become?
11. Discuss Jake. Did you imagine that he was not who he claimed to be? Were you surprised to discover what his real identity actually was? Do you think Ridley suspected that Jake was lying to her?
12. If you read Beautiful Lies, did you realize that Jake lied to Ridley on the Brooklyn Bridge?
13. Why was Ridley unable to see the real Max, despite the attempts by many to inform her of his wrongdoings? For that matter, why does it seem that all the men in Ridleys life (Dylan, Jake, her ex-boyfriend Zack, even her adoptive father, Ben) hid their true selves from her?
14. “Im sure you were hoping for a neater package–the villain is caught and brought to justice. I live happily ever after” (page 351). What did you think of the books ending? When Ridleys real intentions against Max were revealed, were you surprised?
15. What do you think the title means?