Saturday, September 5, 2020

The First to Lie - Hank Phillippi Ryan

©Hank Phillippi Ryan
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"The First to Lie" was a whirlwind of a read with twisted storylines and unreliable characters to boot! Who's to say you wouldn't do the same? Sleuth and deceive in the name of justice. How does that old saying go... the end justifies the means?

The Vanderwald family was the epitome of money and power. The IT family, heading up one of the largest pharmaceutical companies around, Pharminex. The game-changer, their money-maker if you will, a pill called Monifan with the intended off-label benefit of potentially increasing fertility chances. Women everywhere jumped at the possibility of a miracle drug that could solve all of their problems, give them a family. Little did they know, if unsuccessful, the side effects would be devastating. This right here, this brief glimpse into the pride and joy of Hank Phillippi Ryan's central family in "The First to Lie" is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I'm disinclined to give too much away, so I'll leave you with this ... what would you do if your chances at procreating were almost completely taken out of your hands?

I would be livid if placed in the situation these women were put in; it's no wonder new realities were chosen, with carefully concealed pasts. Each of these characters only ever shared just enough, with a little lie here and there to get by. 

Keeping all of the lies and who's who straight was quite the thrill! I almost had to pull out a pen and paper just to keep it all straight, luckily though, as the story progressed, the dots started to connect. I was held in suspense the entire time as the truths, duplicitous characters, and hidden agendas unfolded! The back-and-forth narratives from past to present times make for quite the ensemble of viewpoints; altogether, they each helped bring "The First to Lie" full circle. I enjoyed trying to fit all of the puzzle pieces together, yet never quite figuring it all out - I almost had it, though! Ok, part of it!

I would recommend "The First to Lie" to thriller fans everywhere! If you're a fan of intense build-up, character deception, and retribution, this is one you won't want to miss! 

Thank you, @ForgeReads, an imprint of @MacmillanUSA, @NetGalley, and the author, @HankPRyan, for providing me with a complimentary copy of "The First to Lie." I have voluntarily and honestly reviewed this title, rating it 4 stars. 

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Book Blurb:
Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.

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?

About the author, Hank Phillippi Ryan:
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Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of eleven award-winning novels of suspense. National reviews have called her a "master at crafting suspenseful mysteries" and "a superb and gifted storyteller." Her 2020 book is THE FIRST TO LIE. The Publishers Weekly Starred Review calls it "Stellar."

Her newest domestic suspense thriller THE MURDER LIST is a USA Today Bestseller, an Anthony, Agatha Award and Mary Higgins Clark award nominee, a CNN Top Summer Read, and a Most Anticipated Book of Summer 2019 from Criminal Element. AJ Finn calls it "a fireworks display of a novel--explosive, exciting and likely to leave you gasping." BA Paris says: "A cracker of a read!"

Her first psychological standalone, TRUST ME, is an *AGATHA AWARD* nominee. It was named a Best Book of 2018 from REAL SIMPLE Magazine, BookBub, PopSugar, Bustle, CrimeReads, and The New York Post. Mary Kubica says: "Dazzling!" and Lisa Gardner says, "Mesmerizing!" The Booklist STARRED review says, "'s a knockout. First-rate psychological suspense."

Her thriller, SAY NO MORE, is a Library Journal BEST OF 2016. And a nominee for the AGATHA AWARD, the DAPHNE award, and the MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD! Associated Press calls it "stellar," and Publishers Weekly calls it "thrilling," "unflinching," and "gratifying."

Her 2015 book, WHAT YOU SEE, is a Library Journal BEST of 2015, an ANTHONY and AGATHA Award nominee, and a Top Pick!, dubbed "exceptional suspense." It received a starred review from Library Journal, which says: "Readers will find themselves racing to the finish!"

Her 2014 book, TRUTH BE TOLD, won the AGATHA Award for best mystery and is a Library Journal Best of 2014. It received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, which says, "Drop everything and binge read!"

THE WRONG GIRL won the Agatha Award and the Daphne Award and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller and Anthony Award nominee.

THE OTHER WOMAN won the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was listed as a Best Book of 2012 by the Kansas City Star, the Sacramento Bee, Suspense Magazine, and The Boston Globe, won the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was the only novel nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus and Daphne awards for Best Novel of 2012.

Her first four mysteries, beginning with the Agatha Award-winning PRIME TIME, feature Charlotte McNally, a Boston television reporter. FACE TIME was a BookSense Notable Book, and AIR TIME and DRIVE TIME were both Anthony and Agatha Award nominees for best novel of 2009 and 2010. They are now available in all-new editions.

Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston's WHDH-TV. In addition to 36 EMMYS and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank's won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism.

Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in refunds and restitution for victims and consumers. She's been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate, and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine, working with Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Avedon, and Richard Goodwin.

Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and Career Authors.

Learn more about Hank at

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