Ridley Jones, a freelance journalist, has spent the last year coming to terms with a life turned inside out by lies and half truths after learning that her parents are not her parents and that her beloved Uncle Max, a family friend, is, in fact, her birth father. Unfortunately, Max is killed in a drunken accident long before Ridley discovers their connection; now she must untangle the web of deceit to learn the truth of her identity.
Ridley enjoyed an exceptionally close relationship with the wealthy Max throughout her life, seeing in him the good that others often missed as Max solemnly declared: “There is a golden chain from my heart to yours. Trust me. I’ll always find you.”
Desperate to rebuild her life, Ridley clings to her relationship with Jake, the man who helped her through the traumatic events of the past year, their affection deteriorating of late into frequent heated arguments. Although the physical attraction is still undeniable, Ridley is gradually letting go of Jake, sensing his anger and obsession with the past. Jake and Ridley are tainted by their connection with Project Rescue, an organization intended to save abused children from unsafe homes, but corrupted from within by criminal elements.
Just as Ridley nears the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, the FBI appears, looking for answers to questions Ridley cannot bear to entertain. Is her real father still alive? Was his death a sham? And is he, in spite of her memories, more monster than man? Both the pursuer and the pursued, Ridley’s challenge is to stay one step ahead of the law and the lawless in a nerve-wracking quest to learn the fate of her real father.
Ridley is torn between needing to know the terrible secrets of the past and her increasing desperation to deny the ugly truth, the world again filled with indescribable menace. As a writer, Ridley harbors an innate curiosity about people and their motivations, but she is more often than not undermined by a dysfunctional love affair with denial as well as a strong streak of stubbornness that occasions more than one life-threatening encounter.
Sliver of Truth suffers some of the same problems as its predecessor, Beautiful Lies - namely Ridley’s tendency for high drama and an irritating inability to act without sabotaging her own best interests. Certainly, after the facts come to light, her loyalty to Max is both confusing and questionable.
Unger writes with a kind of jagged energy, Ridley driven by a need to know in spite of the flashing red lights at each juncture. Meanwhile, the bodies pile up, Ridley pursued by a criminal underground, unsavory strangers and one suspect FBI agent. She can’t figure out why she’s left standing. Unless, of course, her father is alive and she’s the bait.