#BookReview Always the First to Die by R. J. Jacobs @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #AlwaystheFirsttoDie #RJJacobs #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: Always the First to Die

Author: R. J. Jacobs

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Sep. 13, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8/10

For fans of Riley Sager with a classic slasher twist, Always the First to Die follows a former horror movie actress as she returns to the set of her most iconic film, only to find that the strange circumstances begin to resemble the plot of her most famous film.

After her husband’s death, Lexi has refused to return to the Pinecrest Estate on the Florida Keys, too many hard memories on that strip of land. Memories of meeting her husband on the set of an iconic horror movie. Of being cast as an extra, of watching herself get killed on screen. And of scoffing at the rumors of the Pinecrest Estate “curse,” until she witnessed a cast member die that very summer. But when her daughter sneaks away to visit her grandfather, legendary horror movie director Rick Plummer, Lexi is forced to face her past. That’s when a Category Four hurricane changes course, and hits the southern coast.

Unable to get through to her daughter, Lexi drives to the Keys in the wake of the storm. What she finds is an island without cell service, without power, and with limited police presence. A desolate bit of land, with only a few remaining behind: the horror director, the starlet once cast as the final girl, the young teenager searching for clues of her father, the mother determined to get off the island, and…the person picking them off one-by-one.

Soon enough Lexi’s life begins to resemble Rick’s most famous horror film, and she must risk her life to save her daughter before someone, or something, destroys them all.


Creepy, fast-paced, and entertaining!

Always the First to Die is an intense, engrossing thriller that takes you to the Pinecrest Estate in Key West, the set of the iconic horror movie Breathless which seemed cursed from the very start, and now where twenty-five years later, the original director and father-in-law of widowed librarian Lexi Kennedy is hoping to film a sequel featuring his seventeen-year-old granddaughter that hopefully won’t encounter the same mishaps, tragedies, and deaths that the first one did.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are multilayered, persistent, and vulnerable. And the plot is a suspenseful, gripping tale full of twists, turns, secrets, deception, revenge, danger, greed, familial drama, red herrings, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, Always the First to Die is a dark, ominous, crafty tale by Jacobs that kept me engaged from the very first page and is the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a story laced with those eerie characteristics found in all the best classic horror movies.


This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About R. J. Jacobs

R.J. Jacobs has practiced as a psychologist since 2003. He maintains a private practice in Nashville, focusing on a wide variety of clinical concerns.
After completing a post-doctoral residency at Vanderbilt, he has taught Abnormal Psychology, presented at numerous conferences, and routinely performs PTSD evaluations for veterans.
His novel, titled: And Then You Were Gone, was published in 2019. His second novel: Somewhere In the Dark, was published in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

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