Tuesday, January 21, 2020

REVIEW: The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Title: The First Mistake
Author: Sandie Jones
Genre: Adult Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Acquired: Print copy sent for review
Goodreads: ADD

From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan's arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced...

The first mistake could be her last.

It's important to note that I had not heard of, or seen, this book (or this author) anywhere before I read it. There is rarely a time that I will pick a book up under these circumstances; I've lived a reading life thus far that is so dependent on "what is popular" these days, or books that have the most buzz surrounding it. This is why I found it mildly surprising that not only did I pick up The First Mistake, but I liked that I knew barely anything about it! Who am I !?!

In this adult thriller, Alice is living a coveted life with her husband Nathan, her two daughters, and a successful interior design business that was launched with her late ex-husband, Tom. A small crack in that picture-perfect veneer appears when Alice finds a suspicious item in her husband's car, and thus begins a spiral of events she just can't seem to stay ahead of. Who can be trusted, and how deep is she willing to dig to find answers?

Reading The First Mistake was like cautiously trying out a new dish, and then realizing very quickly that it's delicious and so you start eating faster and faster and then before you know it you've eaten it all and you don't even know how it happened. The cover of this book is so unassuming, and at first glance has you convinced that maybe you're about to consume a domestic drama, maybe a darker romance, but most definitely not a thriller that intensified so satisfyingly with each chapter. Jones has a knack for cliffhangers and shock value. The twists in here were each its own small atomic bomb, and she kept dropping them right until the end. The narrative wasn't psychological (the type of thriller I typically favour), so this meant that the characters weren't complex or particularly outstanding, however, that worked well for this book, where the intent wasn't to build relationships between reader and cast, but rather to keep the readers in the dark just enough to keep them guessing. 

The First Mistake is the perfect in-between book you need to propel you on to a heavier or more lengthy one. I will definitely be checking out the author's first novel, The Other Woman.

Read if you like:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson
The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson

Key themes: 
suspicion, betrayal, trust, loss, domestic disputes


credit: us.macmillan.com

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel and a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick.

Website - Twitter - Instagram

A huge thank-you to Minotaur Books for providing a hardcopy of this book for review!


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