‘First Born’ by Will Dean | @willrdean @HodderBooks @JennyPlatt90

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for First Born by Will Dean. My thanks to Jenny at Hodder for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : Will Dean
Title : First Born
Pages : 370
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date : April 14, 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.


If you’re looking for a story that is twistier than a bowl of spaghetti, look no further because here is Will Dean’s second stand-alone and it is nothing like his previous one.

Molly and Katie are identical twins but couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried. Molly lives a quiet life in London, where everything is structured and every day is the same. Katie on the other hand moved to New York, apparently living every day to the fullest. We will have to take people’s word for that because the reader doesn’t get to meet Katie. When the story starts, Molly receives the devastating news that her twin sister has been found dead in her New York bedroom.

For Molly to up and leave her flat to fly to New York is a really big deal. There are a multitude of things that could go wrong in life, according to Molly, and you have to be prepared for all of them. I couldn’t at all imagine living my life like that. I can barely remember to take an umbrella when I leave the house, just in case it rains. Risk-averse Molly may be, but to be honest, I often sat wondering if I felt sorry for her or if she just plain annoyed me. I didn’t particularly like her and had an incredibly hard time working her out.

Anyway, in New York the detectives don’t seem to be making much progress with their investigation into Katie’s death. She was studying at university with the help of some kind of odd sponsorship deal, there was a boyfriend, possibly another one, a creepy downstairs neighbour and lots of trips abroad. But nothing is really helping the detectives in figuring things out. I did, however, and it made me feel rather smug about it too. Like a bolt of lightning, with one flick of the pen, Will Dean turns the story completely onto its head, making you question everything you read before that point and also wondering where things would go from there.

To more twists and turns, that’s where. The tension builds up slowly but surely, the pages oozing a delightfully atmospheric vibe of doom, making you turn/swipe them faster and faster all the way until the ultimate reveal. Admittedly, I was left wondering if it all made sense in the end; for that I’d have to read the book again; but ultimately I didn’t really care. First Born is an addictive, twisty and twisted psychological thriller that held my attention throughout. It is complex, it is razor sharp, it is dark and so very cleverly done. Vastly different from any of Will Dean’s previous works and I absolutely approve of any author capable of constantly reinventing themselves and leaving their audience to prepare for the unexpected. Which, just like Molly, is exactly what you should do.

First Born is available to buy!

Amazon UK | Bookshop.org | Goldsboro | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones


Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. 

  2 comments for “‘First Born’ by Will Dean | @willrdean @HodderBooks @JennyPlatt90

  1. April 26, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Great review. Loved this!❤📚

    Liked by 1 person

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