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 . . . .
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.
Although I immensely enjoyed this book, I am not giving it the highest rating for two reasons:
1. Parts of the book seemed too incredible.
2. The protagonist’s moods and reactions seemed inconsistent at times, which the author attempted to cover with statements like, “Didn’t I just say....”
For the most part, the protagonist seemed credible and likable. Her descriptions of NYC—the smells, the characters, the street scenes—were perfect.
I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys mysterious adventures!
This authors best book
It's been a while since I read beautiful lies but I still recall its story and that it is an excellent book. Very hard to put down. A must read.
Terrible narration makes bad book worse
I horrible choice of narrator. She speaks slowly and deliberately, the same annoying cadence for every character. She makes the protagonist so unlikeable with her cloying manner, there is no hope for the character. And the name Ridley is so annoying, i cringed every time i heard it.