More identity crisis for New York City journalist Ridley Jones in this murky follow-up to Unger's debut (Beautiful Lies, 2006).
Just when she thought she'd figured out who her real father is, single working girl Ridley is confronted with fresh evidence that her dead Uncle Max Smiley, revealed a year ago (and in Unger's previous book) to be her biological father, might in fact still be alive, and responsible for a series of ghastly assaults on women. Max, an abused child himself, was a self-made real-estate developer and the shadowy head of the Project Rescue organization, which ostensibly saved at-risk children from abusive parents, but in some cases actually abducted children and placed them in foster homes. Ridley's adoptive parents, Ben and Grace Jones, were also involved in Project Rescue, and adopted Ridley as a child. At this point in her life, Ridley is still picking up the pieces of her identity, having been involved in the last year with Jake, a former Project Rescue baby who is still obsessed with Max's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Ridley is being trailed by FBI Special Agent Dylan Grace, who ties her to the recent disappearance of a New York Times journalist, Myra Lyall. In a development that turns these characters into paranoid, damaged people, it’s revealed that Agent Grace's mother happened to have been a spy and one of Max's victims. And with everyone looking for Max, possibly at the center of a sex slave trade, the trail leads naturally to Ridley, the beloved daughter he will surely reveal himself to at the novel's 11th hour.
Ridley is a character still in search of herself, and this effort offers appealing moments of first-person honesty, but could lose readers unfamiliar with Unger's first.