by Lisa Unger
Ridley Jones has been living a lie. A myserious package showed up on her doorstep one morning and the beautiful lie she used to call her life was over. Suddenly, everyone she knows feels like a stranger. She has no idea who’s on her side and who has something to hide – even her new lover, Jake, might have disturbing secrets of his own.
Now she’s determined to find out the truth, even if it means risking her life.
Review: Family secrets you like you can’t imagine.
It all started when Ridley saves a little boy from being run over in the middle of the street. That fifteen minutes of fame – are going to cost her like you wouldn’t believe.
A grainy photo and the words: “Are you my daughter?” are shoved under her door, and this starts the entire train of destruction. Everyone she knows has been lying to her, from her parents to her brother, her ex-fiance and friend, Zach and his mother, Esme. Even her deceased Uncle Max lied to her. Everyone is telling her that, because of her act of bravery, it’s bringing crazies out of the woodwork, but for some reason, that doesn’t ring true for Ridley, and she becomes determined to find out why.
And it seems that the only one she believes she can trust is Jake, a man who recently moved into her apartment building. After a little research, Ridley learns that the woman in the photo, Teresa Elizabeth Stone, had been murdered in 1972 and her 18-month-old daughter, Jessie Amelia Stone, went missing. It was believed that Christina Luna, father of Jessie, had murdered her and disappeared with the child. With Jake’s help, she gets in contact with the man who sent her the photo, Christian Luna. He’d found Teresa’s body that night, and Jessie missing, and he ran, knowing that he would be a supsect, for Teresa had a restraining order on him, and he’d been banging on her door, drunk as a skunk, earlier that night.
But as Ridley is talking to him in the park, he’s shot dead beside her, rifle shot to the head.
Lies upon lies tumble, and Ridley becomes even more determined. Whether or not she is Jessie, she’s going to find out what happened over thirty years ago. Who killed Teresa Elizabeth Stone? And what happened to Jessie?
I’d had high hopes. I’d heard such good things about this author that when Crystal suggested this book as a Buddy Read, I jumped on it. I think we both may be regretting the idea.
It’s not that it was a bad book. The action was superb, the mystery was great, the plot thick, the lies, deceit and twists ties the reader up in knots. The characters have you wondering, but the main character, Ridley… oh, boy, where do I start?
You can tell she grew up in a bubble of her parents love and money. Naive, she knows about bad things in the world, but she really had no idea. Reading about it is one thing, but being involved is another, and her eyes are being opened rather drastically, rather quickly. But the rambling… OMG, the rambling! It screams FILLER! It may give you an idea about the kind of person she is, how she grew up, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah, but enough is enough! At one point, she even jokes that we might be upset at her rambling but that there’s a point to it. I’m sorry, but there was stuff rambled about that had no bearing to the story whatsoever. The rambling drove me crazy, and I even had my husband look at me funny when I yelled: “Get to the point, already!” Not once, but three times.
And while I did feel that spark, that click between her and Jake, the relationship hit high really quick… too quick. First the sex (which is painfully really nothing to gossip about whatsoever,) then the I love you’s inside a week? Are we really supposed to believe that? Sure, I felt that connection, but the rest went way too fast. Sorry, Ms. Unger, but readers of the suspense/thriller genre are not that naive.
And the ending – perfect set up for a second book. And honestly, I wasn’t happy… Not. One. Bit. Way too many unanswered questions, plus we still don’t know who actually killed Teresa Stone. Now I feel like I’m being forced to pick up the second book, Sliver of Truth, in order to find out. To me, that screams: guaranteed sales. From an author’s and publisher’s stand-point, that’s awesome. From a reader’s stand-point, a huge load of B.S. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll pick up Sliver of Truth. I feel cheated, and I don’t like feeling cheated.
I can’t say it was a bad book, cause it wasn’t – not to me, anyway. But it wasn’t the greatest for me. Do I recommend it? *shrug* The choice is yours.