Sunday, February 28, 2021

Book Review: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay


“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, but it’s also a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through fame they never wanted.


“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.

Two days after the family had missed their flight home.

Six days after all the texts and social media had gone dark.”

Every Last Fear by Alex Finley was the thriller I needed this month. I have been reading loads of Rom-Coms, which I love, but until I picked up this book I didn't realize how much I missed the thrill of a thriller. 

It pulls you in right from the beginning line…

“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.

Two days after the family had missed their flight home.

Six days after all the texts and social media had gone dark.”

and keeps on going from there when Matt Pine finds out his mom, dad, sister, and little brother have all been killed while on vacation in Mexico. Now the only family he has left is the older brother who is in prison for murdering his girlfriend. The one his father was convinced was innocent and would go through hell to prove, even going to Mexico on a fake vacation to follow a lead.

Matt goes to Mexico after FBI Agent Sarah Keller informs him that he has to go and pick up the bodies, he also finds out that his family was not killed by a gas leak as first thought, but murdered. Strange things start happening to Matt as well, he gets pushed into oncoming traffic by a stranger and once in Mexico, meets a girl who seems to be in on the plan ( whatever that is ) and tells him to run when finding out that it is his family that has been killed, then goes missing also. 

Every Last Fear twists, and turns, it will leave you questioning everyone and racking your brain trying to figure things out. The plot seems to intensify as the story moves forward. It contains everything you want in a thriller/mystery, excitement, surprises, coverups.  It kept me guessing until the end. 

The book is very character-driven, the author doesn’t go into much on the locations that are in the book, and you do travel, to New York, to Mexico, to Chicago, and to Nebraska. The characters are flawed but likable. Matt’s friends from college, who are called  “ The Island of Misfit Toys “Gather around him, and support him, and show the meaning of true friendship. You get to know his parents and brother and sister through their narrative that gives you the story of what happens in Mexico. You also get bits and pieces of Danny’s story through transcripts of a Netflix Documentary called A Violent Nature.

It is a hard book to discuss without giving too much away, but it is a wonderful introduction to Alex Finlay, Every Last Fear is his debut book, and proves he has strong writing and storytelling skills. I am looking forward to what he throws at us next.

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