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The First to Lie

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

A timely and dynamic story full of twists and turns.



Pharminex, is a pharmaceutical company owned by the powerful and wealthy Vanderwald family. The company president Winton Trevor Vanderwald, Jr, is soon to be awarded the Massachusetts Medical Science Association’s Humanitarian of the Year award for his continuing and generous contributions to science and medicine. A huge gala will also be held to raise money for a scholarship in honor of the Vanderwald’s deceased son.

Pharminex has a new drug on the market. Monifan has been approved by the FDA but only to be used to decrease recovery time after surgeries. Pharminex thinks Monifan can also help women with fertility issues who are desperate to have a child. But the drug is not approved for that. What if it doesn’t work? What are the risks associated with marketing a drug off-label Is the company willing to take that risk Exactly how much is a human life worth? Pharminex has calculated that cost.

Nora Quinn is an auburn hair new sales rep for Pharminex. According to her training she has one goal: to make sure doctors prescribed the drugs offered by Pharminex, as often as and as much as they can. The hot drug on the market...Monifan.

Ellie Berensen, a blond “wholesome” and determined reporter, is on the trail of the Monifan story. Her new job at Channel 11 depends on her producing a blockbuster story.

Brooke Vanderwald is the Vanderwald’s only daughter if her grades are good she will be headed to Vasser or Yale shortly. At least that’s what her mother thinks. Brooke has a better idea.

Lacey Grisham Vanderwald is the new wife of Trevor Vanderwald the only son and rightful heir of Pharminex. More than anything Lacey wants a baby to cement her position in the Vanderwald family.

Who will be the first to lie?


What a vexing book! The First to Lie is told from four perspectives and multiple time frames you’ll want to hang on to your hat, because it's going to be a bumpy ride. It’s a phycological thriller, with the emphasis on phycological. The characters are both intriguing and perplexing and propel the narrative through a plethora of twists and turns.

More than anything else I really appreciate the timely and dynamic story of a drug being marketed to women for an off-label use, with devastating consequences for some. It’s so terrifying that stories such as this have some basis in reality. We are seeing examples on the news of real life situations where pharmaceutical companies have put their profits over safety, responsibility or due diligence.

Author Hank Phillippi Ryan has plenty of tricks up her sleeve because of her real world experience as a television investigative reporter in Boston Massachusetts. Her writing deftly peels away layer after layer to reveal the truth of who is the first to lie.

She is also the best-selling author of 12 thrillers and has received numerous awards. Her most recent books include The Murder List (2019), and Trust Me (2018)

Thanks to Netgalley and Forge Books for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Forge Books

Published August 4, 2020

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