Book Review: The First Mistake

06.11.2019 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 5/5 stars


Alice’s first husband disappeared while skiing several years ago. Since that time, Alice has been through a whirlwind of emotions, but managed to build her life back up. She is now married to her second husband, Nathan, who she works beside day by day managing her successful business. Together they are raising their two daughters in a life that most can only dream of having.

One day while talking with her best friend, Beth, Alice starts to realize that perhaps the details of her life aren’t what they seem. At the same time Nathan seems to be pulling away from Alice. Could Alice’s past and present vary greatly from they way she has always perceived them?

But then I remembered what she’d done and I suddenly felt calm again. What goes around, comes around, and she deserves everything that’s coming her way.

THE FIRST MISTAKE is the perfect domestic thriller for your summer reading line-up! The book opens with Alice’s perspective and her giving the reader a walk through her life. Cue the bombshell that changes everything up at the end of part one! Sandie Jones effortlessly built up the story in one direction and then completely derailed it into another in a way that made a good story into a great read. I could not put this book down!

I am always a fan of alternating POVs, which Jones plays off of by breaking the book into three sections. To avoid spoilers, I won’t tell you who lays out the story, but I will tell you that the first two parts are each a different side of the story and they converge in part three. What a fun way to read a book! I honestly was never sure whose side to be on aside from Alice. To me Alice was as innocent in learning about the secrets of her life, as the reader was. This was a nice change from listening to unreliable narrators tell the story and instead have the unreliable characters surround our central protagonist.

My body aches with yearning and I thought, as I often do, about the passage of time. How so much can happen in twenty-four hours – in one hour – in one minute. That’s all it takes for your whole world to turn on its axis. In just a moment, everything can change, and your life will never be the same again.

The pace of THE FIRST MISTAKE isn’t breakneck and it isn’t a slow-burn. Sandie Jones methodically unveils hints about what is happening in a way that strings the reader along. This book is filled with chapters that will leave you with questions, which naturally leads to binge reading parts of the book. I didn’t find at any point that Jones was including too many details or focusing on topics that weren’t integral to what was happening in the moment.

I know that there are a lot of domestic thriller on the market and that many readers feel that they’re played out. I would say that if you find yourself in that category, perhaps THE FIRST MISTAKE won’t be for you or at least not for you right now if you’re suffering from burnout. If you’re looking for a lighter crime fiction read filled to the brim with domestic drama, then this is perfect for you! I can’t recommend this book enough for an afternoon at the pool or the beach or even just curled up on your couch fighting the heat with A/C!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: Thank you to Minotaur Books and BookishFirst for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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