The highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Lies.
Charged with relentless intensity and kinetic action, and playing out with unnerving suspense on the streets of New York and London, Sliver of Truth delves deep into the shadowy world of Ridley Jones, a terrified but determined young woman at once hunting down a ghost from her past and running for her life.
Ridley Jones thought her faux uncle Max (who was actually her father) was long dead. But apparently, no one else did; not the FBI, the Armenian mob, the woman who identified Max's corpse, or Jones's boyfriend, Jake. Each want Max for different reasons, and Jones becomes the tool with which they hope to bring him out into the open. In an effort to figure everything out, Jones recruits contacts, but it seems every time she does, they end up dead. Unger's second novel featuring Jones packs a lot of action, humor and drama. Jenna Lamia improves these elements in this first-person novel with a light, smooth voice that fits with Jones personality. Within the first hour, Lamia's soft tone reverberates with attitude or sincerity depending on the context, while her ability to inject personality into the narrative aspects of the story makes it all the more enjoyable. She tackles accents, gender differentials and sarcasm with great ease, leaving listeners to lose themselves in Unger's tale of intrigue.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 24, 2008
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Excerpt from Sliver of Truth by Lisa Unger
I'm running but I can't run much farther. The pain in my side already has me limping; there's fire in my lungs. I can't hear his footfalls. But I know he's not far away. I know now that he's been right beside me all my life in one way or another. I'm the light; he's the shadow. We've coexisted without ever meeting. If I'd been a good girl, the girl I was raised to be, I never would have known him. But it's too late for regrets.
I'm on Hart Island in the Bronx, a place known as Potter's Field. It's the city cemetery for the unknown and indigent--a grim and frightening place. How we've all wound up here is a long story, but I know the story will end here--maybe just for some, maybe for all of us. A tall abandoned building that seems to sag upon itself looms ahead of me. It's a darker night than I have ever known, in more ways than one. The sliver of moon is hidden behind a thick cloud cover. It's hard to see but I watch as he disappears through a door that hangs crooked on its hinges. I follow.
"Ridley!" The call comes from behind me. But I don't answer. I just keep moving until I am standing at the entrance to the building. I hesitate there, looking at the crooked, sighing structure and wondering if it's not too late to turn around.
Then I see him, up ahead of me. I call out but he doesn't answer me, just turns and slowly starts to move away. I follow. If I valued my life and my sanity, I'd let him get away and hope he did the same for me. We could go back to the way things have been. He dwelling in a world I never even knew existed, me going about my very ordinary life, writing magazine articles, seeing movies, having drinks with friends.
Fear and rage duke it out in my chest. Hatred has a taste and a texture; it burns like bile in my throat. For a moment, I hear the voice of someone I loved: Ridley, you can release the hatred and walk away. It's nothing more than a single choice. We can both do it. We don't need all the answers to live our lives. It doesn't have to be like this. A few minutes later, he was gone.
I know now that those words were lies. Hatred doesn't release. Walking away is not one of my choices. Maybe it never was. Maybe I've been in the path of this freight train all my life, lashed to the tracks, too weak, too foolish, too stubborn to even try to save myself.
As I enter the building, I think I might hear the rumble of boat engines. I feel a distant flutter of hope and wonder if help is coming. I hear my name again and look behind me to see a man who has become my only friend moving unsteadily toward me. He is injured and I know it will take him a while to reach me. I think for a second that I should go to him, help him. But inside I hear movement and the groaning of an unstable structure. My breathing comes shallow and quick. I step deeper inside.
"Stop running, you coward!" I yell into the huge darkness. My voice resonates in the deserted space. "Let me see your face."
My voice bounces off the surfaces around me again. I don't sound scared and heartbroken, but I am. I sound strong and sure. I take the gun from the waist of my jeans. The metal is warm from my skin. In my hand, it feels solid and righteous. This is the second time in my life I've held a gun with the intent to use it. I don't like it any better than the first time, but I'm more confident now, know that I can fire if pressed.
He steps out from the shadows, seems to move silently, to glide like the ghost that he is. I take a step toward him and then stop, raise my gun. I still can't see his face. A milky light has started to shine through the gaping holes in the ceiling as the moon moves through a break in the cloud cover. Shapes emerge in the darkness. He starts moving toward me slowly. I stand my ground but the gun starts shaking in my hand.
"Ridley, don't do it. You'll never be able to live with it."