Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
If there's anything better than discoving a really great first-time author, I don't know what it is. I LOVED Beautiful Lies. Basically, once I'd picked up the book, I just couldn't put it down until I'd finished it.
The protagonist, Ridley, was so real. She told her story in the first person and addressed the reader directly. I swear, I could be friends with her.
And the story she had to tell... It started so plausably and got so convoluted. But I was with her every step of the way. Unger made me buy a fairly far-fetched plot. But mostly, I just wanted to know what was going to happen. What HAD already happened to this girl.
Here's how it begins: Ridley Jones is a successful freelance journalist in NY. She's a happy person with a loving family and a good life. One day a random act of heroism gets her photo splashed across the news for a week. In the wake of her brief celebrity, she receives a photograph in the mail. It's a photo of man she's never seen, a woman who bares a striking resemblance to her, and a two-year old girl who looks like she did as a baby--though she's never seen a photo of herself that young. The accompanying note says, "I think you're my daughter." Ridley is not adopted.
The story aqccelerates at a break-neck pace from there. But aside from great characters, and a strong plot, this is an exceptionally well-written thriller. It's being billed as a "literary thriller," and I don't know that I'd go that far, but this novel is way above average.
I can't wait to see what Lisa Unger writes next. I hope she writes fast!