Alex Finlay’s second novel, The Night Shift, will be published on March 1, 2022. In anticipation of reading it, I wanted to first read his debut novel, Every Last Fear, from 2021. I often like to read an author’s books in order and had Every Last Fear on my shelves.
In the wake of a true crime documentary supporting the innocence of Danny Pine, the rest of his family, excluding his younger brother Matt, mysteriously die on vacation in Mexico. As Matt tries to find out who and what killed his family he risks his life and will discover the truth of the murder that put Danny in prison for life.
In one of the year’s most anticipated debut psychological thrillers, a family made infamous by a true crime documentary is found dead, leaving their surviving son to uncover the truth about their final days.
“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.
After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family―his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister―have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain―and they won’t tell Matt why.
The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn’t the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt’s older brother, Danny―currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte―was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he’s never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.
When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he’s faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he’d hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny’s case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison―putting his own life in peril―and forcing him to confront his every last fear.
Told through multiple points-of-view and alternating between past and present, Alex Finlay’s Every Last Fear is not only a page-turning thriller, it’s also a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through a fame they never wanted.
Every Last Fear is both a thrilling book and a story about a family dealing with the aftermath of unwanted fame and the heartbreak of having a loved one in prison for what they believe is a wrongful conviction.
I enjoyed the complex plot of Every Last Fear and the manner in which Alex Finlay tells the story. The book alternates perspectives as well as timelines between the present and the not-so-distant past. If you are someone who struggles with books told in this manner, I will say that this was executed in a very straight-forward manner and should not pose any comprehension issues.
I found Every Last Fear to be a very compelling book and finished it in one setting. (I really needed this because I have been in a bit of a reading slump and in the middle of several other books.) I also adored some of the characters and would absolutely read additional books with them. I was not wild about the father’s overwhelming obsession; it took away a bit of my enjoyment. I was also able to guess who the true murderer(s) were prior to the reveal. That was a little disappointing but did not spoil the book for me.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Every Last Fear and would recommend it. It will definitely make you think about the aftermath of true crime documentaries on their subjects and towns.
Every Last Fear
March 2, 2021