The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan
English | 2020 | Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?
After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting revenge.
An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who has to choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?
Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.
Ellie Berensen stopped in the apartment hallway as the elevator doors clanked shut behind her. A woman sat cross-legged on the dark neutral carpeting in front of 3-B, two brown cardboard moving boxes stacked next to her.
Ellie was already exhausted from having battled through the day. And cold, since the snow was getting worse and her navy leather gloves were hip but worthless. Her feet were wet, too, because one of her furry boots had decided to leak. And even though the knit cap covering her hair and ears was drenched, it was warmer to keep it on. Why would anyone choose to live in a bleak and winter-locked place like Boston? Now, lugging her briefcase and shoe bag and longing for redemption in the form of red wine and hot tea and maybe even chocolate, she’d encountered one more barrier between her and apartment 3-A: this woman.
“Are you okay?” Ellie asked.
“Yeah, no,” the woman replied. “Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks.” She saluted with a red Solo cup, then got to her feet, brushing down dusty acid-washed jeans. With her dark hair in a bouncy ponytail, she almost looked fifties-era, with shaggy bangs and sweetly pink lipstick.
Trying to look younger than she was, Ellie assessed, but she figured fortyish, older than Ellie herself. Not city. Not chic. And definitely not scary. But who really knew anyone?
“Truly, thanks,” the woman went on. “Just waiting for my keys. Am I in your way?”
Ellie heard a faint Midwest-or-something accent. “Keys?” Her weary brain finally clicked the pieces into place. Duh. This is why she got the big investigative reporter bucks. “Oh. Are you a new tenant?”
“Yeah, no,” the woman said again. “I mean, yeah, I’m the new tenant—or will be, if the person with my keys ever arrives. You live here?” She held out a hand. “I’m Meg. Meg Weest.” She spelled it. “Weest, with two e’s. A family thing.”
Ellie put down her briefcase, slipped off a glove, shook hands. “Ellie Berensen. And I’m sorry, I’m zonked.” She took a deep breath, let it out. “When’s—whoever—coming to let you in?”
“Ten minutes ago.” Meg took a sip from her cup, gave a weak smile. “Wine, I fear,” she said. “Wine at the end of the tunnel is the only thing that’s gotten me through this crazy day. Most of my stuff is already inside, thank goodness, but Jimmy just went down to…” She tucked a lock of escaped ponytail behind one ear, but it instantly came loose. “Wherever. To get another key. I should have gone inside before he left, but I didn’t. It’ll all be over soon. I’m so tired I’m not thinking straight.”