Title: The First to Lie
Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication date: August 4th, 2020
We all have our reasons for being who we are—but what if being someone else could get you what you want?
After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know—she isn’t the only one plotting her revenge.
An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who must choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?
trigger warnings: automobile accident, drowning, fertility issues, abortion
First off, I spent most of this book confused, because it was SO WELL TOLD. Like, I couldn’t figure out which way was up and which way was down. Hank Phillippi Ryan seriously has a way of burying every lead so you have no idea what’s going on for most of the book, up until the very bitter end!. I felt the same way about her other book, The Murder List. She has a way of writing about journalism and pharmaceuticals without making it seem boring or making you wonder why you are reading this.
You get a few different POV’s in this book – Ellie, a journalist trying to undercover the secrets of Pharminex, Nora, a sales rep for Pharminex, Brooke, the youngest Vanderwald, and Lacey, a member of the Vanderwald family by marriage. The story sets up Pharminex as a drug company pushing an off market use for a drug called Monifan. It apparently helps increase fertility in women for the most part, except in rare cases where it makes them completely barren. The company is also not telling them of this this chance before administering the drug, so obviously illegal. Nora is selling the drugs and Ellie is trying to break the story. But when people associated with the company start turning up dead, they all realize there is more to the story…
The POV’s at some points were pretty distracting, because Brooke and Lacey’s POVs are told in flashbacks. It happens so randomly that it can be hard to keep track of what time period it is in. But that’s basically my only gripe with this book, because the twists and turns were just so outstanding. Even as you start to suspect what is happening, there is one final OMG moment at the end.
Mystery and Thriller fans, go read Hank Phillippi Ryan if you haven’t already, you won’t be sorry!
Thank you to Netgalley and Forge Books for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review
Happy reading, folks!