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First Born by Will Dean

First Born

by Will Dean
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Quick take

When her sister turns up dead across the ocean, a young woman is sent on an exhilarating search for answers.

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Sisters. Soulmates. Strangers.

Molly Raven lives a quiet, structured life in London, finding comfort in security and routine. Her identical twin Katie, living in New York, is the exact opposite: outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous.

But when Molly hears that Katie has died, possibly murdered, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. As terrifying as it is, she knows she must travel across the ocean and find out what happened. But as she tracks her twin’s final movements, cracks begin to emerge, and she slowly realizes her sister was not who she thought she was and there’s a dangerous web of deceit surrounding the two of them.

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Why I love it

When I started reading Will Dean’s latest thriller, First Born, it was a dull wintry day in my hometown in New Zealand, and I was hoping to be spirited away someplace more exciting. First Born sure delivered. While Molly Raven is rushing about investigating her identical twin sister Katie’s death, New York City pulsates in the background, so vibrant and alive that it felt like a character in its own right.

But this novel offers so much more than an enthralling setting. The premise gripped me—an identical twin arrives in Manhattan, where Katie has left behind a life more successful than Molly could ever have created for herself. Might she be tempted to step into that life? Identical twins swapping places formed the central theme of my own novel, and I was excited to see how this story would unfold. Molly discovers her sister’s life was not what it seemed and faces the unwelcome realization that Katie was keeping more than one secret. There’s the hot boyfriend who may have been cheating on Katie with her best friend. The creepy guy who lives downstairs. The sleazy college professor. The billionaire patron of her college fund. Everyone is a suspect.

I love putting myself in the hands of a master storyteller who knows how to pull the rug out from under me. As I turned the pages, confronted by one twist after another, I barely had time to draw a breath. Will Dean whips through his story at a breakneck pace, and it’s an exhilarating ride. My advice: Trust nobody, not even the author—least of all the author, who will deceive you in all the best possible ways.

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