First Lie Wins
Reese's Book Club Pick (A Novel)
by Ashley Elston
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Pub Date 02 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 09 Mar 2024
PENGUIN GROUP Viking, Pamela Dorman Books
“This fast-paced read has everything you could want in a thriller: secret identities, a mysterious boss and a cat & mouse game that kept me guessing the whole way through.”—Reese Witherspoon
Evie Porter has everything a nice, Southern girl could want: a perfect, doting boyfriend, a house with a white picket fence and a garden, a fancy group of friends. The only catch: Evie Porter doesn’t exist.
The identity comes first: Evie Porter. Once she’s given a name and location by her mysterious boss Mr. Smith, she learns everything there is to know about the town and the people in it. Then the mark: Ryan Sumner. The last piece of the puzzle is the job.
Evie isn’t privy to Mr. Smith’s real identity, but she knows this job will be different. Ryan has gotten under her skin, and she’s starting to envision a different sort of life for herself. But Evie can’t make any mistakes--especially after what happened last time.
Because the one thing she’s worked her entire life to keep clean, the one identity she could always go back to—her real identity—just walked right into this town. Evie Porter must stay one step ahead of her past while making sure there’s still a future in front of her. The stakes couldn't be higher--but then, Evie has always liked a challenge...
"Buckle up. First Lie Wins features some of the best cat and mouse suspense I've read in years, while serving up plenty of heart along this wild ride. I'm still breathless."—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Step Too Far
"What a box of tricks! First Lie Wins flickers past like a shadow-play: just when you think you've worked out what you're seeing, the shapes shift, the scene transforms, and -- hold on -- maybe you had it wrong a moment ago? Cool and clever and full-on fun, the sort of slippery high-stakes now-you-see-me-now-you-don't thriller that few novelists are bold enough to attempt these days. Pick it up, please. This is a good one."—A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window and End of Story
“First Lie Wins is a high-stakes thriller that brilliantly explores identity and love, truth and deception. Smart and sharp, fast-paced and twisty, this book kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the very last. Ashley Elston has crafted a truly unpredictable, unforgettable story. I loved it!”—Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of The Last to Vanish
“Wildly inventive, diabolically clever....Filled with meticulously plotted details and stakes that will wholly consume you, Ashley Elston also delivers one of the most likeable, morally gray characters I've ever encountered. I devoured First Lie Wins and am now an Ashley Elston fan for life.”—Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Lies I Tell
“First Lie Wins is the most suspenseful game of deception I've ever read…. Ashley Elston peeled back layer upon layer of a carefully crafted plot, revealing a series of twists and reveals I never saw coming. Brilliant!”—Elle Cosimano, New York Times bestselling author of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
"You don't know who to trust in this taut and expertly plotted thriller from Ashley Elston. First Lie Wins is an edge-of-your-seat read that's as emotionally moving as it is gripping. I loved every minute of it!"—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Local Woman Missing
"A suspenseful and taut page-turner that is impossible to put down! First Lie Wins captivated me with its twisty premise and left me spellbound by the memory of its richly-drawn characters."—Megan Shepherd, New York Times bestselling author of Malice House
"Who is the cat and who is the mouse? It’s hard to tell when even the bad guys are so likable that you can’t help but root for them. Clever, twisty, and suspenseful, First Lie Wins kept me on my toes right up to the satisfying conclusion."—Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author of The Last House on the Street
"Sharp, engaging, and unputdownable. Elston executes hair-pin turns masterfully, leaving readers gasping in surprise but firmly in their seats and ready for more. A smart suspense with romantic elements that keeps the thrills coming and the reader thinking of the story long after the book is done."—Alyssa Cole, New York Times bestselling author of When No One is Watching
"Outstanding! The deeply woven characters in First Lie Wins pulled me in from the first page, then took me on a spellbinding ride. Ashley Elston has crafted an ingenious, unforgettable cat and mouse thriller!"—Wendy Walker, bestselling author of What Remains
"A whip-smart, twisty thriller with a surprisingly big heart. First Lie Wins is the type of book that begs to be read in one sitting.”—Kara Thomas, author of Out of the Ashes
“Prepare to trust no one on this high-speed thrill ride through timelines, identities, and motives as you work to piece together Elston's expertly crafted puzzle. First Lie Wins is a fun, clever spin on the con artist novel, perfect for fans of The Lies I Tell and The Lady Upstairs.”—Ashley Winstead, author of Midnight is the Darkest Hour
"A savvy thriller with intrigue and momentum. . . from the first twist of Lucca’s arrival right up until the final showdowns. Evie is a smart and engaging protagonist, and her time on the run is anything but predictable."—Kirkus
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 512 members
FIRST LIE WINS is one of the most unpredictable, fast-paced, deliciously twisty thrillers I've read all year. I was hooked into this cat-and-mouse chase from the very first page, knowing I was in for a battle of wits with Evie Porter, who clearly isn't who she says she is. What begins as the story of a con woman who happens to inconveniently like the new boyfriend who is also her mark evolves into a smart, layered look at how a "morally gray" character comes to be... and whether there's ever a way out. This was my first read from ASHLEY ELSTON, but it definitely won't be my last.
First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston is a page turner. I was pulled in from the start, and stayed up way too late reading. The twists and turns kept me guessing and I was surprised by the ending.
I look forward to reading additional books by this author.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and am leaving this review voluntarily.
Thank goodness I finally read a 5⭐️book, because dang it’s been since July lol
Wow, I’m completely speechless…this book was EVERYTHING!!!! Let me tell you, I read Ashley’s YA holiday book 10 Blind Dates while ago, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. BUT this right here was something utterly unexpected and amazing!
The author did such a wonderful job with this book. I didn’t want to put it down. I absolutely loved everything about it. And reading the acknowledgment made me so happy!!!
Ashley, BRAVO!!! Superb work!
Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC. And I have to give a shout out to my friend Jamie who told me this was READ NOW on Netgalley, so I grabbed it completely blind. And what a win this was!!!!