What if your family was a lie? What if your name was a lie? What if your whole life was just a pack of Beautiful Lies?
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 lie she used to call her perfect life. Instead, she's in the wrong place at the right time to unleash a chain of events that begins with a mysterious package on her doorstep. A package that informs her that her entire world is just an illusion. Forced to question everything she knows about herself, Ridley wanders into dark territory, where everyone is hiding something.
Sexy and fast-paced, BEAUTIFUL LIES is a true literary thriller. Lisa Unger takes us on a breathtaking ride in which every choice Ridley makes creates a whirlwind of consequences that are impossible to imagine.
It's dark in that awful way that allows you to make out objects but not the black spaces behind them. My breathing comes ragged from exertion 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's no blood that I can tell. The sound of his body hitting the floor minutes before was the worst thing I've ever heard...
Enjoy this Reading Group Guide for your discussion.
Honors and Awards
- Instant New York Times Bestseller
- Instant USA Today Bestseller
- Amazon Top Ten Thriller of the Year
- Best Novel Finalist in the International Thriller Writers Awards
- Bookspan International Book of the Month
- BookSense Best Book of the Month
- CBS TV Best Summer Read
- New York Post (Page Six) Hottest Summer Thriller
- Cosmopolitan Hot Book Pick
- BookRiot Favorite Psychological Thrillers Pick
Praise for Beautiful Lies
"Suspenseful, sensitive, sexy, subtle. The best nail-biter I have read for ages. Highly recommended."
—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of JACK REACHER series
"A stunning, powerful novel! Lisa Unger's taut prose grabs the reader from word one and never lets go. In this tantalizing tale of family suspense, beware of who you trust and be forewarned about what might happen next."
—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A tense exploration of what lies beneath the white picket fence of ordinary life. Harlan Coben has a new rival for his thriller crown."
—John Connolly, New York Times bestselling author
"At last, a riveting suspense novel filled with psychological insight and amazing wisdom. Lisa Unger is a literate, savvy writer, and Beautiful Lies is a find! Read it now!"
—Margaret Coel, New York Times bestselling author
"Beautiful Lies is a heartfelt thriller full of twists, turns, and truths-truths about the terrible ways families deceive themselves. Lisa Unger writes with precision and insight-she's a welcome new voice in suspense fiction."
—Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author
"One of this season's hottest new thrillers."
—New York Post, "Page Six"
"Perfect pitch, characters we can recognize as versions of ourselves, a plot in which a vague sense of suspense almost instantly appears and then grows with the speed of a waterslide... lip-smacking good."
"This mystery's surprising twists will make your jaw drop."
"Lisa Unger comes on strong... A tightly written thriller... Beautiful Lies maintains a high adrenaline level throughout as Jones draws ever closer to learning the dark secrets of her childhood and to discovering who is behind a scheme that changed her life. The book's characters are fully formed, and the action is depicted with satisfying breathlessness."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Her engaging narrative wins us over."
"Unger is a talented storyteller. She creates strong heroines, and the plot is riveting."
—The Tampa Tribune
"A high-wire balance of tension and resolution... Beautiful Lies is an entertaining thriller paced just right to engage."
—The Baltimore Sun
"Unger's plot twists and turns will force you to stay up past your bedtime, just as you do with the books of a more seasoned James Patterson or Michael Connelly."
"A high-velocity plot that pulls the reader along on Ridley's dangerous quest, and Unger skillfully keeps her, and us, guessing about whom to trust... Ridley is a smart, engaging narrator, charming but not cloying, courageous but not foolish about it... Unger also paints a convincing, affectionate portrait of New York City... A complex and gripping story about the dark side of the best of intentions, Beautiful Lies is a satisfying thriller."
—St. Petersburg Times
"Smart, well-told story... makes Unger a writer to watch."
—Albany Times Union
"[Unger's] ability to generate spine-tingling suspense while evoking the danger and glamour of New York City is matched by her skill in creating memorable, realistic characters... Unger takes readers on a pulse-pounding ride through the Big Apple... Will please both pace-obsessed thriller fans and those who want to savor the more subtle aspects of character development."
-Booklist (starred review)
"Beautiful Lies has a number of strengths, starting with a very clever plot that Unger ties neatly together. Her central characters are well developed and engaging. Most outstanding, though, is the voice she uses to tell her tale. Ridley is well aware of her audience, and freely addresses us. She effectively draws us in and enlists us in her struggle to figure out just who she is."
—The Davis Enterprise
"Readers will devour Lisa Unger's terrific... work of fiction. An emotionally charged suspense novel with a likable heroine, this sexy thriller rockets like a racecar through the streets of Manhattan. "
"Unger effectively builds suspicions... Cleverly handled suspense."