Reviews for First Lie Wins

by Ashley Elston

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A professional con woman quickly realizes her latest job has become more personal and dangerous than planned. Evie Porter (not her real name) is on a job in Louisiana and has successfully convinced her latest mark, Ryan Sumner, to fall for her in a whirlwind romance. All seems to be going well with Evie's investigation into Ryan's side business, a trucking company moving black market goods, until Evie meets a woman dating one of Ryan’s friends who introduces herself as Lucca Marino—Evie’s actual name. When imposter Lucca dies in a fiery car wreck and the police question Evie and Ryan as the last people to see her, an outstanding warrant pops for Evelyn Porter's arrest (though there should be no such history). It’s then that Evie understands that her current job is actually a test from her employer, Mr. Smith, who was unhappy after she busted her last assignment, and the stakes are much higher than she’d anticipated. To keep herself out of jail, Evie must pull in every favor she has accumulated during her career to outwit Mr. Smith, but she will have to first discern whether she can trust Ryan or if she has to cut and run if she wants any hope for a future. Interspersed with the current adventure are flashbacks that start 10 years earlier in which Evie recalls committing petty theft at the country club in a desperate bid for cash to pay for her mother’s cancer treatments during high school, being connected with Mr. Smith when she was caught, and the progression of jobs since then in which a host of lively side characters are introduced. YA writer Elston’s adult debut announces itself as a savvy thriller with intrigue and momentum from the first twist of Lucca’s arrival right up until the final showdowns. Evie is a smart and engaging protagonist, and her time on the run is anything but predictable. A genuine page-turner. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.