First Born – Will Dean

Published By: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 384
Released On: 14/04/2022

Molly lives a quiet, contained life in London. Naturally risk averse, she gains comfort from security and structure. Every day the same.

Her identical twin Katie is her exact opposite: gregarious and spontaneous. They used to be inseparable, until Katie moved to New York a year ago. Molly still speaks to her daily without fail.

But when Molly learns that Katie has died suddenly in New York, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. Katie is part of her DNA. As terrifying as it is, she must go there and find out what happened. As she tracks her twin’s last movements, cracks begin to emerge. Nothing is what it seems. And a web of deceit is closing around her.

*****

Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton and Hachette for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

You know that feeling when you discover an author and you realise they’re what’s been missing from your life? For me, that’s Will Dean.

This is my first book by him, but if any of the advanced reviews are to go, it definitely won’t be my last.

I love stories about twins; I think because I’m not one, it fascinated me to think what it means and how it would feel to have someone so physically and emotionally connected to you. Even more so to be identical twins. To have someone who, for all intents and purposes, is the same as you, but completely different.

This is definitely an exploration of character. Yes there’s a plot – a humdinger of a plot at that – but for me, it’s very character driven. They are all so well-rounded and multi-layered, it is really impressive creation. What I didn’t realise was how much of a murder mystery it would become. It really draws you in so you’re part of the investigation.

It is enjoyable right from the off, but whilst the first half is more of a slow burn, building up the context, the second half comes with a bang and is all guns blazing. I don’t know what I was expecting from this, but it far exceeded any expectations I did have.

The twists and turns I did not see coming. A number of outcomes enter your head, but none of them ever came close to the actual truth.

Will Dean is a fabulous writer, a one-of-a-kind mind that produces just spectacular narratives and characters. It has very quickly worked its way on to my favourite books list. This needs to be turned into a film or a TV series as soon as possible please.

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