By: R.J. Jacobs
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 09/13/2022
My Rating: TBR
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.
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"Solid mystery...Jacobs makes good use of traditional horror tropes―things that go bump in the night, dark rooms, a creepy mansion, and no phone service―while convincingly showing Florida before and after a category-four hurricane. Horror film buffs will want to check this one out."
― Publishers Weekly
"RJ Jacobs' Always the First to Die is an utterly unique thriller that combines horror movies, hurricanes, and deadly secrets from the past. It's also an intense ride about a mother who will do anything to save her daughter. Fast-paced, suspenseful, stormy, and definitely not to be missed" ― David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of The Finalists
"A storm is coming and its name is Always the First to Die. It's a breathtaking thriller filled with jaw-dropping twists and lump-in-the-throat emotion―a love letter to cinema and family. R. J. Jacobs is a masterful storyteller. A must read."
― Alex Finlay, author of The Night Shift and Every Last Fear
"In Always the First to Die, fans of horror movie tropes will fly through this fast-paced thriller. A deliciously wicked read."
― Rea Frey, award-winning author of Not Her Daughter and Secrets of Our House
"Nothing sets up the perfect conditions for a locked room mystery like being trapped in the Florida Keys, especially if you're there to rescue your daughter from your horror film producer father-in-law, who's trying to repeat both the success and sacrifices of his most famous production. Also, there's an unstable actress ready to sue the production and convinced that someone's trying to kill her. And that husband who went missing a year back? Maybe you're about to find out why. Fans of horror cinema will enjoy the meta-textual elements of the novel, as the characters frequently discuss not just scary movies, but the nature of fear itself. "
About the Author
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 by Crooked Lane. His second novel: Somewhere In the Dark, was published in August 2020. WEBSITE