the first to lie

Hi friends! I hope you all are having a great week. I’ve fallen into a bit of a productivity slump and haven’t done much in the way of YouTube videos or posts recently and I apologize. But I’m still here! Hoping to get two reviews out this week, so enjoy this one!

Synopsis & Quick Thoughts

The First to Lie is the most recent novel by bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan. Pharmaceutical company Pharminex has a drug that they say will help women with fertility issues. Ellie, an investigative reporter, is investigating Pharminex to try and uncover the real story. Nora, a sales rep for the drug company, believes the medication has side effects that Pharminex is refusing to disclose. Someone – maybe everyone – is lying. But who? And why?

This book has rave reviews on Goodreads for a multitude of reasons, so I was disappointed when I really didn’t feel the same way. While I had a good time reading and thought the premise was unique and interesting, I ultimately found this novel to be predictable and forgettable. I called the major twist after the first two chapters, and, writing this a month or so after reading it, am having a difficult time recalling any more than the major plot points (and even some of those are fuzzy).


I’m always happy when I read a book with a unique plot. When I see a book advertised as a thriller (although this is really more of a mystery than a thriller), I instantly think domestic thriller, stalker, or detective/crime thriller. This book was neither of those! It was super refreshing to read about an investigative medical mystery and I’m not sure I can think of another novel in that genre niche. Although I found it predictable, I had a fun time reading it and it did keep me anticipating the next event.


Unfortunately, the downfalls of this book is the thing I value most in a thriller – predictability. This book had great reviews praising the twists and turns of this novel, so I went in with high hopes. I had my predictions in for the twist after the first couple of chapters, and I was right. Every time there was a new mysterious element added in, I guessed it. I’m not praising myself, I’m saying this book didn’t cover its plot points well enough to surprise me at all, and I don’t even fancy myself a great plot predictor.

Because of this, this book didn’t make much of an impact in my mind. I read enough books that a novel needs to be different, exciting, or twisty enough to stick with me for more than a few months, and I’m losing my ability to recall the details of this one after just a month.

Rating & Final Thoughts

Although I can’t remember much about it, I give The First to Lie 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a nice change of genre and pace for a mystery/thriller, and I enjoyed myself despite not being surprised by any of the reveals. If you don’t try to make plot predictions or just want something that’s not a domestic thriller, I’d recommend this one. Just don’t expect it to be a standout read at the end of the year.

Purchase The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan here.

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