The first liar we meet in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s The First to Lie is Nora, a pharmaceutical representative whose job is to push a drug that can increase fertility in women who have difficulty conceiving.
But once we meet the other characters including Ellie–an investigative reporter who thinks Monifan causes permanent infertility in some patients–the reader realizes that nearly all of them are lying about something and that some them are not who they pretend to be.
As Ellie’s investigation reaches a climax, the identities and motives of the characters are revealed in a series of improbable twists, some of which readers nevertheless are likely to see coming. Ryan holds the tale together most of the way with her fine prose and an uncanny ability to keep all the balls in the air, but readers are likely to find the last few twists difficult to swallow.
For the full text of my review for The Associated Press, please click here.