First Born

Will Dean

Quick Synopsis

From the acclaimed author of The Last Thing to Burn, a psychological thriller about the dark secrets that emerge when a woman’s twin sister is murdered.

Publisher’s Synopsis

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.

Book Review

First Born is a psychological thriller about chronically afraid Molly who travels to New York after her twin sister’s death and decides to help track down the killer. It is also a predictable novel with annoying characters and a bunch of inaccuracies.

First Born is written by Will Dean, a British author, and primarily takes place in New York City. With technology today, it should be simply to make geography, landmarks, etc. accurate in any novel. (And even more so when your editor likely lives in New York.) However, this book was rife with problems. For example, Molly walks from Central Park to Madison Square Park in less than 30 minutes. At the very least, that is 33 blocks, or 3 miles. That is basically an impossible feat in the city. I know inaccuracies do not bother others to the extreme they irritate me, but I think they are always worth mentioning.

For the first half of First Born, the characters were absolutely insufferable. I have never read about a more annoying family. Molly, the main character, DESPERATELY needs therapy. I am not sure that her “quirks” are intended to be endearing, but if they are, they really miss the mark. At some point, I began to tolerate Molly without rolling my eyes at her ever thought and action. But I definitely never liked her or rooted for her.

I, personally, would not label First Born as a thriller since I found it pretty slow for its majority. There is some mystery and two real twists. However, they have been done before and were somewhat predictable. The manner in which the first twist was presented was a bit shocking, but the twist itself was not. In addition, motives in this book are very thin. I did not think that there was sufficient reasoning or explanation given for characters’ actions.

In the end, I thought First Born was a lackluster novel and okay at best. Add in that the book touts about how great the NYPD is and I have some difficulty recommending this book.


Overall Rating

Rating: 2 out of 5.


Rating: 2.5 out of 5.


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Character development

Rating: 2 out of 5.

First Born



Publication Date
July 5, 2022


Storygraph Rating
3.91 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.02 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, Emily Bestler Books (Atria). Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

One response to “First Born”

  1. Hmm.. what a shame. This book is on my TBR but I don’t know if I’ll be reading it any time soon.
    Great review, though, I am sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it more!


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