Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Book review: ‘Every Last Fear’ a taut thriller from a new talent
0 Comments
AP

Book review: ‘Every Last Fear’ a taut thriller from a new talent

  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
"Every Last Fear," by Alex Finlay.

"Every Last Fear," by Alex Finlay. (Macmillan/TNS)

"Every Last Fear" by Alex Finlay; Minotaur (368 pages, $26.99)

———

The last conversation with a loved one can weigh heavily if that talk ends badly and, indeed, becomes the final contact with that person. New York University student Matt Pine remembers all too well that the last phone call with his father, Evan, erupted into an explosive argument.

The contention was, as usual, over Matt’s brother, Danny, who is seven years into a life sentence for murdering his pregnant high school girlfriend, Charlotte. Evan was adamant that his oldest son is innocent. It would be the last time Matt would speak with his father. The next day, Evan took his wife, Olivia, 17-year-old daughter, Maggie, and 6-year-old son, Tommy, on an impromptu vacation to Tulum, Mexico, where the family died in a rental guest house. The local police believe it was a gas leak but “Every Last Fear” wouldn’t be a taut, suspense-filled mystery if the deaths were an accident.

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. The emotional violence the Pines endure is more destructive than physical violence.

Danny’s arrest and conviction “dominated his family,” especially Evan, whose obsessive determination to prove his son innocent caused him to deplete their savings, neglect the rest of his family and led to him losing his job at a firm that the FBI was investigating for laundering money for a Mexican cartel. Danny’s arrest was controversial from the beginning — the police had another suspect but coerced him into confessing as a TV documentary showed. The Mexico trip was planned because Evan thought he found evidence that could exonerate Danny.

Perceptive FBI agent Sarah Keller doesn’t believe the Pines’ deaths were an accident, especially when Matt appears to be in danger.

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.

0 Comments

Stay up-to-date on what's happening

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Few rock 'n' roll legends have had as enduring an impact on multiple generations as Jim Morrison, whose death 50 years ago next month at 27 made him an even bigger cultural icon than when he was alive. Yet, while his six-year tenure as the deep-voiced front man in The Doors created a quintessential template for brooding, bad-boy rock singers clad in leather and oozing primal sex appeal, ...

“Arsenic and Adobo” by Mia P. Manansala; Berkley Prime Crime (336 pages, $16) ——— Mia P. Manansala stirs up a lively mixture of Filipino culture, food and family bonds with an appealing heroine in her well-plotted, poignant and often sweet debut “Arsenic and Adobo.” “Arsenic and Adobo” also works as a story about fresh starts and the value of friends who are like family. Manansala makes full ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, June 12, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. "The President's Daughter: A Thriller" by Bill Clinton and James ...

LOS ANGELES — Over his three-plus decades running police departments in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles, Bill Bratton branded himself as America's top cop. At the time, that was generally a good thing: He won accolades for overseeing big-city police departments during a historic decline in crime throughout the U.S., ushering in changes that reshaped how the job is done and confronting ...

"Strange Flowers" by Donal Ryan; Penguin (230 pages, $17) ——— "Strange Flowers," Donal Ryan's slim, quietly powerful fifth novel, begins with the first of three disappearances. Moll Gladney, a young woman in her early 20s, raised "without boldness or cheek or any impudent forwardness," is suddenly gone from her parents' little cottage in County Tipperary. Last seen boarding the bus bound for ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, June 12, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. The President’s Daughter. Clinton/Patterson. Little, Brown and Knopf ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert