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Unger, Lisa 1970–

Unger, Lisa 1970–

(Lisa Miscione)

PERSONAL:

Born 1970, in CT; married; one child. Education: Eugene Lang College—New School for Social Research, graduated, 1992.

ADDRESSES:

Home—FL. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Full-time writer. Has worked in publishing.

WRITINGS:

Beautiful Lies (novel), Shaye Areheart Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Sliver of Truth (novel; sequel to Beautiful Lies), Shaye Areheart Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Black Out (novel), Shaye Areheart Books (New York, NY), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Lisa Unger's family moved often in her youth, leading Unger to rely heavily on her imagination for entertainment and to write stories at an early age. She often felt like an outsider, and that became an asset in her writing. On her Web site, she stated: "Writers are first and foremost observers … and one cannot truly observe unless she stands apart." After finishing college in New York City, she worked in publishing while writ- ing in her spare time. She eventually quit her job, moved to Florida with her husband, and submitted her first manuscript to agents.

Her first two novels are set in New York City—"I know that place better than I know any other," she commented on her Web site—and focus on freelance journalist Ridley Jones. In Beautiful Lies, after a heroic act puts Ridley in the news, she receives a faded photo of a couple with a little girl and a note asking whether she is the sender's daughter. Assisted by her attractive new neighbor Jake, Ridley attempts to determine if her parents are telling the truth when they insist she is theirs by birth, or if the familiar-looking woman in the photo could really be her mother. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote: "The premise—that there is a dark side to the safe haven law—is deep as well as clever, and Unger plays it out thrillingly." Booklist critic Jenny McLarrin reported that "Unger takes readers on a pulse-pounding ride through the Big Apple in this outstanding debut."

By the end of Beautiful Lies, Ridley has discovered that she was indeed adopted—through a child-abduction ring—and that her "Uncle Max" was her biological father. In Sliver of Truth, an FBI agent informs her that Max is not dead, as Ridley had believed. The agent and several others are seeking Max, who is accused of various crimes, including murder.

Several reviewers pronounced this novel a worthy sequel. A Publishers Weekly critic called it a "sensational second thriller" that is "far above the standard novel of suspense." Booklist commentator Allison Block observed: "Unger's plot bursts from the starting gate and never lets up," while Linda Oliver, writing in the Library Journal, dubbed Sliver of Truth "a fast-paced story that readers will find difficult to put down." A Kirkus Reviews contributor thought those who had not read Beautiful Lies might find Sliver of Truth confusing; some others felt the sequel could stand independently. One of them, Bookreporter.com reviewer Terry Miller Shannon, recommended reading both, however, "for the pure pleasure of full-bodied characters, off-kilter shocks and gripping pace."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2006, Jenny McLarrin, review of Beautiful Lies, p. 74; November 15, 2006, Allison Block, review of Sliver of Truth, p. 36.

Cosmopolitan, June, 2006, "Six Juicy Beach Books," review of Beautiful Lies, p. 282.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2006, review of Sliver of Truth, p. 1044.

Library Journal, December 1, 2006, Linda Oliver, review of Sliver of Truth, p. 116.

Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of Beautiful Lies, p. 31; October 23, 2006, review of Sliver of Truth, p. 31.

ONLINE

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (July 24, 2007), Mary Ann Smyth, review of Sliver of Truth.

Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (July 24, 2007), Terry Miller Shannon, review of Sliver of Truth.

Lisa Unger Home Page,http://www.lisaunger.com (July 24, 2007).

Lisa Unger MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/authorlisaunger (July 24, 2007).

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