Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
Ridley Jones has had a privileged, all-American life. Her father is a pediatrician. Her mother was the typical busy stay-at-home mom raising two children. Her older brother was her protector – until he got involved in drugs and moved out when he was 18. Now she is in her early 30’s, a successful free-lance journalist in New York City and doing well. She has recently broken up with her long time boyfriend Zack, who is a pediatrician with her father and long time family friend. Now they are trying to become friends rather than lovers.
The timing of her life suddenly changed and everything Ridley thought she knew has been turned akimbo. When she rescues a young boy from being hit by a car she becomes a media celebrity due to the photographer who filmed the incident. Her face even is shown on CNN. About a week after the attention dies down she receives an anonymous envelope with a 30-year-old picture of a woman who looks like her holding a small girl. The accompanying note asks “Are you my daughter?”
When she confronts her parents they respond as if she’s crazy. She was always the stable child – is there now something wrong with her? After the meeting she still feels that something isn’t right. When she meets Jake, the metal sculptor who just moved upstairs, she tells him the story. Her attraction to him is instantaneous and she feels like she can trust him. The next day she receives another note that says “They lied.” Now she has to follow up.
Ridley finds herself mired in a story that is over 30 years old. Her parents and Zack tell her to drop the whole thing and forget about it. Jake offers to help her contact the man who sent the note. Her brother warns her that she won’t like what she learns. After she witnesses a murder she is on the run.
One of the adjectives used to describe Beautiful Lies is “nail-biter”. It certainly is that! It is told in first person narrative by Ridley and starts with her being with someone she trusts while someone she thought she loved is shooting at her. Then she backtracks and tells the story. Lisa Unger shows the reader how Ridley’s life has been something other than she always thought. Now many of the little things she had ignored in her past have a different meaning.
Beautiful Lies is tight and quick paced. It’s an easy read that packs a lot into it. This is good suspense.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong sexual content