First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston is an engaging cat-mouse thriller based on the life of con-woman Evie Porter.

My Overview

Evie Porter is in a happy relationship with Ryan Sumner, living the fancy life she’d always imagined. The only problem: Evie Porter doesn’t exist. That’s right: Evie Porter is the latest alias assigned to Lucca Marino. Ever since Lucca caught the eye of Mr. Smith with her slyness, she’s been working for him and changing her identity for each assignment. Each assignment she receives consists of a new alias, location, and target. To constantly stay ahead of the game, Lucca lives by the old saying that the first lie wins.

In this current assignment, Evie Porter lives with Ryan Sumner (her target) in his beautiful home and has become part of his tight-knit community. She knows she’s where she needs to be, but doesn’t know what she needs to do to complete her assignment. The orders for her assignment come to her from the anonymous Mr. Smith, so she’s constantly kept guessing as to why her next step must be. Lucca has completed various other assignments for Mr. Smith over the years, but this one is different because there’s no room for error. As Evie continues to live with Ryan, awaiting further orders, the past starts to catch up with her, and her own identity is at risk.

The story starts out strong, but levels out midway. There’s tension and mystery throughout, but at times the storyline’s repetitive and implausible. I did, however, appreciate the multiple POVs and alternating timelines. I also enjoyed the short chapters and twists along the way, which made it hard to stop reading. Overall, this is an engaging thriller, though not what I’d expected based on the hype.

My Recommendation

I recommend this story, if you’re looking for a quick cat-mouse mystery that’ll keep you guessing throughout. Keep in mind some suspension of disbelief will be needed, but it’s an interesting ride. I read the Kindle edition and listened to the audiobook at times, and recommend either.

If you enjoy books such as Kill All Your Darlings, you’ll likely enjoy this one.

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