I highly recommend this book. The writer really captures your attention from page 1. It has many twists and turns that you don't see coming. I felt like I was inside Ridley's head.After you read this you have to get the sequel "Sliver of Truth. It answers many of the questions that you find unanswered in the first book.
WOW!!! I predict a wonderful future for Lisa Unger's first novel, "Beautiful Lies." I forecast its presence on the NY Times Bestseller List for many a moon. However, unlike a number of successful bestselling novels, this one is well written. It also has a most original plot and a quirky, three dimensional protagonist, as well as realistic minor characters. And, oddly enough, there are no real villains in a story where bad things certainly happen. In the novel her main character, Ridley Jones, says/thinks "there are no heroes or villains in real life, 'only good and bad choices.'
Loved it! This book had me on the edge of my seat for days, I couldn't wait to get back to it. Let me see...it's not a lot of blood and gore mystery, it's not a scary bad guy that really creeps you out story or even that it's nicely romantic with them on the run. It's that the story is really well told. You open knowing that something horrible has shifted the sands of her life and then she backtracks you and it goes methodically along with small things happening here and there until all of a sudden, there is not one person she can trust and I really felt that. The story is not so hard to figure out, it's just that it's told well and you really don't want what she sees happening, to happen, I guess. It really was different...for me anyway. To me THAT is very scary...that your life can blow itself out of the water because of one or two steps that you make; you lose control. It reminded me of how I felt about 'Paranoia' by Joseph Finder, which I also really, really liked.
This book would have been better had it not been so predictable. Because one could easily discern the direction everything was headed, all of the events and actions of the main character seemed to drag. Of course, for what it was, it was entertaining. I felt like I knew Ridley, the main character, quite well; and Ms. Unger did a good job of fleshing out Ridley's love interest. It's recommended if only for the characters.
Deb B. (mizdeb) reviewed Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 5
I could not put this one down. From the first paragraph I was hooked.
"It's dark in that awful way that allows you to make out objects but not the black spaces between them. My breathing comes ragged from emotion and fear. The only person I trust in the world lies on the floor beside me. I lean into him and hear that he's still breathing, but it's shallow and hard won. He's hurt, I know. But I can't see how badly. I whisper his name in his ear but he doesn't respond. I feel his body but there is no blood that I can tell. The sound of his body hitting the floor minutes before was the worst sound I've ever heard."
I really love the writer's conversational style. Although she is telling you the story, every once and awhile she comments directly to the reader; very engaging.
I liked it so much as soon as I finished it I went looking for the sequel "Sliver of Truth". I couldn't wait for it on to come available on Paperbackswap.com, so I bought it at Borders! Highly recommend it.
Ruth B. (rib) reviewed Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
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 any 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 lfie seems like a stranger. She has no idea who's on her side and who has something to hide -- even, and may especially, her new lover, Jake, who appears to have secrets of his own.
Exciting... unpredictable...the plot twists and then twists again. The character in the story, Ridley, is in for a few shocks about her family, her friends, her ex-boyfriend. I liked this book a lot! I really like a book I can get sucked into, in a good way. I don't think you will be disappointed if you like a good tale to escape with.
This is one of the best books I have read in a while. It has great plot twists and while it is mostly a mystery thriller it has a intense unusual romance in it. There is a sequel"Sliver of Truth" that is also excellent. I would, however,recommend that you read this book first.
i really enjoyed this first try by the author and will be reading the series. the main character is thrust into the public eye when she does a good deed that is widely publicized. she is then sent into a world not of her choosing. she is on the run from a killer and the law all the time wondering if her parents are her real parents. good read
Initially, it was pretty good - definitely a different style and voice for the narrator of a thriller, but it became a rather tired tale very quickly. The plot was predictable with a solution lacking a basis in solid facts. Overall, it read more like a romance novel than a thriller. It was hokey, unimpressive and used unoriginal characters and relationships. All in all, I was rather disappointed. The most interesting thing was that the adoption motif of _Brothers & Sisters_ carried through to this book.
A strange tale of a twisted organization, but all too believable. Scary! It also speaks to that tiny place in all of us that wonders why we don't seem to fit in perfectly with our families, why we always seem to be the odd man out...
From back cover: 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.
This was my first Lisa Unger book and I enjoyed it. Very well written and easy to grasp onto the characters. The characters and plot are well developed and just when you think you've figured it out, it isn't quite what you think.
Virginia L. reviewed Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, Bk 1) on
The story is interesting. I found I wanted to control the heroine and show her the way she could reason the way things were going and as the story went along I began to question her actions. The author takes us along an interesting turn of events and made me wonder just who was her friend.
Excellent! I am so excited as this is the first book by this author I have read and I loved it. Now I have another author to add to my reading list. I think she has only e or 4 books out. Anyway, this was a thriller/love story, kept me very interested and I thought the plot was suspenseful. A great read, Enjoy!
This is a good, fast paced read. You think you know what will happen next, then something else happens instead. It keeps you guessing until the end. Some things could have been explained in a little more detail, but maybe she's saving it for the next book. All in all, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
Like all of Lisa Unger's books, the characters were well developed. She makes you care about the people in the book.
One thing I don't particularly care for is that she draws out descriptions of things, seemingly just for length. Many times, I wish that she'd be more direct.
The plot has been noted in other reviews, so I won't reprint it. But I will say that I found this book annoying in some parts. The author seemed intent on psychoanalyzing everything that happened to Ridley. And since Ridley was the main character, you basically had Ridley analyzing herself on every other page. Totally annoying.
And I got the whole "beautiful lies" concept. I just did not to be reminded what it meant every 30 pages or so.
I can never figure out mysteries before the end, so I enjoyed the mystery aspect, just not Ridley.
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 intrigueâ"and sex and romance.
Another great read! Some details and events could be further developed, but all in all, Unger is a great storyteller and this book is a fabulous first novel for her! I'm looking forward to reading her next one!
First time reading this author. LOVED it!!! Lady does a good deed, winds up with publicity and then finds out everything she believes about her wonderful life is lies. The way it twists, turns and reveals will keep you reading.
I read this for the November "New York" theme in my online book club, The Reading Cove. Very disappointed. Although the plot was interesting, the suspense/thriller execution was weak, and the twists in the end seemed contrived and predictable.
And Ridley Jones's 1st person narration was overly detailed and very rambling. (Do we have to know what color and texture every single thing is in a scene?) I got annoyed with her and quickly lost interest in the storyline. I skimmed to the end to find out how the mystery played out, but was only mildly interested.
I am not reaching for the sequel, and would not be quick to read anymore by Lisa Unger. Did not like the writing style at all. I think other authors do suspense thrillers much better.
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 intrigueand 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 premisethat there is a dark side to the safe haven lawis deep as well as clever, and Unger plays it out thrillingly.
This book had me hooked from page one. And just when you think you have it figured out....you don't. This is a new author and if she continues like this book she will be big. Just ordered her other book and can't wait to receive it. This one is definately a pager turner!!
Some of the reviews here made me weary of the plot, in that they said it was predictable. For me, it wasn't; even if you find it so, it was nontheless intriguing and suspensful. Beautiful Lies was an tighly written, action and twist-packed book that I just couldn't put down. I have Unger's second book Sliver of Truth that I look very much forward to reading, as it feature's the character Ridley Jones as well. Much recommended.