First Lie Wins

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First Lie Wins book cover

by Ashley Elston

Publication Date: January 2, 2024
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Hardcover: 352 Pages

Publisher Description

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…

Quick Review

First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston is a high-stakes thriller where the lines between identity and deception are blurred. This captivating novel introduces us to Evie Porter, a girl who seemingly has it all – a doting boyfriend, a beautiful home, and a circle of influential friends. But there’s a twist: Evie Porter doesn’t exist.

The story takes us on a thrilling journey as we navigate through the layers of Evie’s world, where every perfect detail is nothing but a meticulously crafted lie. Caught in a dangerous game of wits and cunning against an unidentified “boss,” Evie must use her intelligence and resilience to survive.

This book is a unique blend of suspense, romance, and psychological intrigue, making it a perfect read for fans of thrillers with a touch of emotional depth. Ashley Elston’s sharp writing style, combined with the book’s smart and fast-paced plot, creates a reading experience that is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Penguin Random House through Edelweiss. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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About the author

Ashley Elston worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons. Elston has written six young adult novels; First Lie Wins is her adult debut.

Read more about Ashley ON HER WEBSITE


“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 (Reese’s Book Club January ’24 Pick)

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“The cleverly crafted plot and whip-smart protagonist mean you won’t know who to trust in this edge-of-your-seat thriller. . . Riveting.”Reader’s Digest

“Ashley Elston handles a highly complicated plot with the assurance of someone who has been writing psychological suspense all her life. . . No wonder Reese Witherspoon has made First Lie Wins her book club choice for this month.”Sunday Times (London)

“One of the best thrillers I’ve ever read. . . Amazing.”—Jesse Watters

“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





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