Thriller Thursday Reviews: First Lie Wins & That’s Not My Name


Hi Everyone, It’s Sharon back with another edition of Thriller Thursday.  One of my favorite things with reading is finding authors that are new to me and this week I have two such authors. I am very excited to share my thoughts on First Lie Wins, by Ashley Elston and That’s Not My Name, buy Megan Lally. I loved both of these books and look forward to reading more from these authors.


Thriller Thursday Reviews: First Lie Wins & That’s Not My NameFirst Lie Wins Goodreads

Author: Ashley Elston

Publication Date: January 2, 2024

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

I love when I am scrolling through new releases on Goodreads and come across a book by an author I have never read before, and it sounds like it would be an enjoyable read, so I give it a try and it turns out to be an awesome read. That is exactly what happened with First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston.

The story centers around Evie Porter. Only Evie Porter is not her real name, in fact Evie Porter doesn’t really exist. Evie got her identity from her mysterious boss, Mr. Smith. Evie does not know who Mr. Smith really is, but he helped her out of a bind eight years ago and she has been working for him ever since. So, what does Evie do for Mr. Smith? Well, she pretty much is a con artist. Every job is different, but when needed Mr. Smith gives Evie a new identity and location to move to. Once Evie has learned all she can about the location and the people who live there, she is then given the identity of her mark and what she either needs to find out about them or steal from them. Evie is good at what she does, but on her last job she failed and was not able to retrieve what Mr. Smith wanted, so she is not in his good favor at the moment, so this new job means everything. Do what she is asked, and she is back in Mr. Smith’s good graces, fail and she most likely will die. Evie’s newest target is Ryan Sumner, and her goal is to get everything she can on Ryan’s transportation company. Everything is going great, Evie has become Ryan’s girlfriend and moves in with him, but then someone shows up who claims to be Luca Marino. But Evie knows that is not her real name, because that is who Evie really is. What is Mr. Smith up to? To figure this out Evie has to up her game and stay one step ahead of Mr. Smith if she wants to survive.

I loved Evie! She was smart and very resourceful. She took on any job Mr. Smith gave to her and if she knew the original plan was not going to work, she would figure out a better plan. When Evie realizes that Mr. Smith has also put a target on her back, she works with her friend Devon to figure out who Mr. Smith really is and take him down. Evie met Devon online, he is very tech savvy and had helped Evie on many of her jobs. I loved how he became her found family and how they had each other’s backs. I also loved following them as they try and figure out who Mr. Smith is.

Aside from following Evie on her current job, we also get chapters from her past jobs and aliases. I loved getting this look into her past.

First Lie Wins had so many twists and turns that I had no idea where it was heading or how things were going to turn out. This was a very addicting read and I finished it in a couple of days.  4 ½ stars


Thriller Thursday Reviews: First Lie Wins & That’s Not My NameThat's Not My Name Goodreads

Author: Megan Lally

Publication Date: December 26, 2023

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

That’s Not My Name is Megan Lally’s debut novel, and what a debut it was. The story is told from the POV of Mary and Drew. There is not a lot I can say about what happens in this book without giving away any spoilers, but I will do my best.

The book opens with a seventeen-year-old girl waking up in a ditch on the side of the road in the middle of the night. She has cuts and bruises all over her and she cannot remember how she got there or who she is. A local sheriff finds her and takes her back to the station and while he is trying to figure out who this girl is, a man shows up frantic to report his daughter missing. Turns out he is this girl’s father. His name is Wayne, and her name is Mary. After showing the officer her birth certificate and photos of them together, Wayne takes Mary back to the cabin they are staying at. I was skeptical right off the bat that this man was her father and even though he had proof I still could not believe the officer let her go with him. As the book went on Wayne became more and more shady to me, as well as to Mary. He forgot she was allergic to strawberries, the clothes he had for her were too small, he didn’t want her to leave the cabin, etc.. I was truly worried for Mary’s safety.

The other POV we get is from Drew, a seventeen-year-old, whose girlfriend Lola disappeared a couple of months ago. Drew was the last person to see Lola. They had a fight, and she slammed his car door and walked off into the night never to be seen again. Everyone in town believes that Drew killed Lola and instead of looking for her the local sheriff is looking for clues that will convict Drew. Drew is doing anything he can to find Lola, but with the whole town against him it is hard. That is until he finally convinces his cousin Max and Lola’s best friend Autumn that he is innocent, and together the three work to find out what happened to Lola. I loved Drew and my heart just broke for him. He really loves Lola, and he feels responsible for her being missing, because of the fight they had. The guilt is eating him up and I just wanted to give him a big hug. I was so happy when Max and Autumn finally joined forces with Drew, finally he has some support. As they find information that could solve the mystery of what happened to Lola, I was hoping and praying they would all get a happy ending.

By the end of the book the suspense and tension built up so much that I could not turn the pages fast enough. And that epilogue. Megan Lally had me in tears reading that.

That’s Not My Name is a young adult mystery/thriller that kept me engrossed from start to finish.  4 stars

9 replies
  1. Angela @ Literary Wanderer
    Angela @ Literary Wanderer says:

    I’ve been seeing First Lie Wins around a lot lately and your review makes me even more intrigued!

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