First Born

Fast-paced and full of twists and turns, this is edge-of-your-seat reading

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Pub Date 14 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 14 Apr 2022

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*** From the acclaimed author of THE LAST THING TO BURN comes a new thriller about identity, rivalry and deceit. ***

'Dean handles his plot with skill ... Molly is an intriguing protagonist and Dean has plenty of surprises for the unwary reader' OBSERVER

'The talented Mr Ripley would have enjoyed every moment of its tortuous plot. There is no higher praise' DAILY MAIL

'Highly accomplished, dark and dazzling. First Born twists and deceives, and cements Will Dean's status as a truly rare talent. Pure brilliance' CHRIS WHITAKER

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.

Delivering the same intensity of pace and storytelling that made THE LAST THING TO BURN a word-of-mouth sensation, FIRST BORN will surprise, shock and enthral.

Powerful ... Dean takes on issues of personal identity and familial responsibility' FINANCIAL TIMES
'Tiptoes into Highsmith territory here. Pacy, exhilarating and jaw-dropping, it's a meditation on identity and loneliness as well as a bloody good page-turner. New York buffets the characters about its ruthless streets, just as the reader is propelled from one twist to the next' ERIN KELLY
'A superb page-turner' STEVE CAVANAGH
'Will Dean writes a mean thriller, with a keen ear for what scares us. The streets of New York shine off the page, and the action rarely lets up. Highly recommended' SARAH HILARY
'Will Dean manages to accomplish the rare blend of excellent writing and intriguing, ingenious plotting' LIZ NUGENT
'Taut, suspenseful, chilling and surprising' GILLY MACMILLAN
'Equal parts murder mystery and psychological thriller, Will Dean dazzles with FIRST BORN. A tense, taut plot that blows through unexpected twists and turns, you won't be able to look away until the final, shattering page' JULIE CLARK
'Great pace, great twists, a perfect psychological thriller' B.A. PARIS
'A clever and sophisticated construction...A jolly good read' SHOTS
'Rather special' Sunday Times Crime Club *Star pick*
'The storyline is truly original, with one of those brilliant endings only a great thriller writer can dream up' The Press Association
'Spine-chilling' Irish Independent
'This psychological thriller is a masterpiece' Crime Review


*** From the acclaimed author of THE LAST THING TO BURN comes a new thriller about identity, rivalry and deceit. ***

'Dean handles his plot with skill...

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ISBN 9781529307146
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

For an author who says in his acknowledgement section that he never believed he could become a writer, this book is a terrific achievement. The whole concept of the twins, identical but dramatically different, works from page one. The younger, Molly, is left in London when her sibling deserts her for New York. That causes Molly enormous angst as she has always been the less outgoing of the two. The parents go to visit KT as the other daughter is known and during the visit she is murdered. Molly is exceedingly well described as a neurotic woman terrified of everything. The story developes in all kinds of unexpected directions using the background of New York to great effect. At the end of chapter 22 there is a sudden revelation that changes the reader’s idea of what’s happening but don’t assume that’s it. There is more to come. This is a well constructed story, well written. I recommend it strongly.

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This is the second of Will’s books that I’ve read and I’ll definitely be back for more. Risk averse Molly – who knows the potential danger in just about everything – loves structure and security. It makes her feel safe. Her identical twin Katie is the opposite, now living in New York and really living her best life – though the sisters still speak daily. But when Molly learns that her twin has died in mysterious circumstances, as scary as the world outside her chosen location is, she has to get on a plane and head to the city to discover what really happened. Along the way she’ll meet a group of individuals, some of whom will help her, some will definitely hinder her. Full of codes and language twists, this will have you pleasantly confused throughout, as the plot takes you by the hands and brings you along with it. You’ll feel as though you’re in the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps. And certainly for Molly, she has no plans to rest until she discovers the truth, even if it’s dangerous.

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Once again, Will Dean proves he can write one hell of a good thriller! The pacing is brilliantly executed; after the initial shock of the opening scenes, the first half unfolds slowly, the story gaining speed before thundering to the explosive end. Molly has a very distinctive voice and a unique way of looking at the world which adds real flavour to the narrative. Will uses the New York setting almost as if the city were a character herself; the effect is wonderfully immersive and really draws the reader in to that world.

I would highly recommend this.

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I would describe this book as a bit of a slow burner but stick with it as it’s well worth it. I found it quite gripping and suspenseful with unexpected twists. As the story progressed I couldn’t put the book down I was so eager to see what was going to happen next. Highly recommended.

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I was looking forward to reading this despite not having liked the popular The Last Thing to Burn. I enjoy Will's writing and this one seemed particularly intriguing. It was! WOW what a book of twisty threads.. I can' t imagine trying to find the killer of someone in a city the size of New York. There was tension throughout and nothing is as it seems.

Enjoyed this ride!

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Will Dean is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Completely different to 2021’s The Last Thing To Burn but equally as enjoyable. Fast paced, intriguing characters and my goodness those twists! This is sure to be another success for this great author.

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Wow! What did I just read?. Absolutely fantastic, loved it. Was hooked from the first page then suddenly was flipped upside down. What a roller-coaster of a book. Fabulous

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Will Dean is just an extraordinary writer. First Born is a fantastic read, just a rollercoaster of a novel where you have no idea who you can trust. Hugely recommend.

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Wow! This is an astonishing thriller from Will Dean. His previous novel “last thing to burn” was one of my books of the year in 2021 and this is nothing like it in terms of content but its characters are as well drawn and the pace is phenomenal against a New York backdrop. Uptight and worldly unwise Molly wants to get to the bottom of her identical twin’s murder so travels to NYC with their parents. Her painstaking research into survival keeps her safe but plunges her into a dark world of exploitation, jealousy and possession. You don’t want to know the truth.

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I love Will Deans writing so was excited to read this book. I was not disappointed.

Gripped from the very first line I was taken in. The book is about identical twins Molly and Katie.

Molly lives a simple life in London, Katie has gone to study in New York.

Molly learns Katie has died and has to get out of her comfort zone and travel to New York to try and find out what happened.

There are twists and turns that I did not see coming.

A gripping novel that will have you hooked from page one.

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What a roller coaster of a book. Fast paced and really well written. I completed inhabited Molly’s world and was enjoyably engrossed throughout the whole book. Will Dean has outdone himself. Can’t wait for his next book.

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