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. When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he's faced with a hostile community, a frenzied media, and memories he'd hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious, 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.
Every Last Fear straddles multiple subgenres in the mystery and thriller categories while providing a number of puzzles that will keep you reading all night to untangle ... Despite its grim subject matter (or maybe because of it), Every Last Fear is a fun novel with a propelling story that surrounds a compelling mystery or two. Some readers may have trouble with the almost constant churn between the past and present, and the characters’ points of view, although Finlay clearly marks off the when and who in the narrative. It certainly works as a tool to build suspense while demonstrating that Finlay should have a bright future in the thriller world. I’ll look forward to his next book.
It’s hard to believe that this highwire act of tight plotting, alternating perspectives, and shifting timelines is a debut novel, but Alex Finlay’s Every Last Fear is a remarkable addition to the thriller genre, juggling all its many plot points so deftly that it kept me guessing whodunnit and why till the very end ... Each chapter of this page-turning novel feels almost die-cut, as Finlay effortlessly moves from different perspectives back and forth through time to seed both clues and red herrings ... Every Last Fear combines murders with family trauma in a very 21st century way, touching on so many topics relevant to the modern reader. It’s an intelligent thriller that marks the arrival of a master plotter and craftsman on the mystery scene. It’ll be exciting to see what Finlay has in store for us next, after this standout debut.
The pseudonymous Alex Finlay delivers a gripping debut in Every Last Fear, a thriller that derives its action from a compelling family drama touching on unconditional love, obsession and betrayal ... Finlay expertly alternates Every Last Fear between the current investigation and the past while keeping the plot character-driven, showing the flaws and betrayals of each person. Sarah’s strong marriage and family life are the lifeline from her high-pressure job. Matt’s maturation from a college student to a responsible adult are well explored. Finlay layers believable twists that lead Every Last Fear down several surprising roads. Every Last Fear introduces a new talent — if only we knew his real identity.