Book Review: The First to Lie

Hank Phillippi Ryan has a new book out. “The First to Lie” is a pretty terrific mystery, but this isn’t going to be so much a book review as an author review.

I just love Hank’s books.

The first ones I read were in her Charlie McNally series. They’re smaller pocketbooks. Quick reads. Charlie is an investigative reporter (just like Hank in her day job), and the stories, despite being short, are packed with plot and character and suspense.

Next, she wrote the Jane Ryland books. Jane is also a reporter, rebuilding her career after a devastating setback. These books are bigger, so they have even more plot. If you tried to draw it out, it would look like a road map, with all the little roads meeting up on a turnpike for a big explosive ending.

Her next two books were standalones. “Trust Me” and “The Murder List.” They were a little different. A little more slow-burn, psychological thrillers than the others. They’re good, but they’re different from her previous books.

Cover of "The First to Lie"

“The First to Lie” (Photo: Macmillan Publishing)

“The First to Lie” combines the best of her earlier series and her two standalone novels. Ellie, the central character, is a reporter digging into a bombshell story. She wants to expose a major pharmaceutical company for the off-label use of a drug that’s ruining women’s lives. She just has to find a woman who’s willing to tell-all for the camera. Ellie’s new producer, Meg, is willing to do anything to help, but Ellie begins to suspect she’s trying too hard. Ellie also has a secret weapon, an insider who can spill the beans on the company’s tactics.

The plot is twisty-turny and characters are, well, let’s just say they’re rather Shakespearean.

Here are the links to my full reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

“The First to Lie” comes out August 4, 2020.

I received a complimentary e-book for the purposes of writing this review, but that did not in any way shape my opinion.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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