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  • A Thrilling Début

    The First Lie is a compelling and engaging domestic thriller and gripping début. Paul Reeve arrives home to find his wife Alice sitting alone in the dark with blood on her hands, and a dead intruder in the bathroom. With his promotion to judgeship hanging in the balance, the couple decide to conceal the crime instead of calling the police, afraid for Paul's career as well as Alice's freedom. So why did an intruder enter the Reeve's house and what or who were they after? As a marriage is exposed with secrets, lies and duplicity, everything is thrown into a tailspin. That dreadful October night transforms Paul's and Alice's life from the moment their decision is made, and makes for a unsettling and dark read that chilled me to the bone. A.J. Park's immersive description combined with the intense feelings leaching from the characters made me think I was part of the story. It is told in alternating chapters by Alice and by Paul with glimpses into the police investigation of DS Katherine Wright and DC Ryan Hillier. For the Reeves, after this first lie that no one knows, life doesn’t return to normality. Paul does his best to pretend everything is all right and appears to be coping. Alice though, falls into a great chasm of depression, guilt, resentfulness and constant neediness. As they pay the price for telling such a big lie, they cover it up with further lies and soon a gulf opens between Paul and Alice as they become ensnared in their web of dishonesty. The First Lie is a well-told psychological crime thriller which perfectly depicts the toxicity of a mammoth lie, and the intervention of fate. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Orion Publishing Group via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.

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