Friday, November 20, 2020

Forthcoming Psychological Thriller Riveting From First Page to Last

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The Pine Family of Adair, Nebraska, already knows what it means to be infamous.  Four years ago, 25-year-old Danny Pine was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and sent to prison.  The family refused to accept the verdict, launching an expensive, fevered campaign to free him.  A Netflix documentary about the case cast even more doubt on Danny's guilt, bolstering the Pines but vilifying the community of Adair.  Now, the family is in the news again.  Four of the Pines—Danny's parents and two of his siblings—have been found dead in a Mexican vacation home, victims of an apparent gas leak.

Besides Danny, 21-year-old Matt is the only Pine left.  Devastated by this fresh loss, he leaves NYU and returns to Adair to bury his family.  What he finds is a hostile town and a barrage of painful memories he'd like to forget.  When FBI agent Sarah Keiler comes knocking on Matt's door, Matt realizes there's more to the deaths of his parents and siblings than meets the eye.  What really happened to them?  Why were they targeted?  As it becomes increasingly apparent that their deaths are related to Danny's case, Matt fears the truth about what really happened the night Danny's girlfriend was killed will inevitably come to light.  If it does, everyone will know the horrifying truth that Matt has kept hidden for four years—Danny is guilty.  Can Matt get justice for his family without betraying his brother?

Told from multiple viewpoints, Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay (available March 2, 2021), is more than just an edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller.  It's a layered, intimate portrayal of a family in crisis, a story that draws you into the characters' world, paints them in an authentic, sympathetic way, and leaves you dreading the tragedies you know are about to befall them.  Knowing their fates doesn't make the novel less compelling, however.  If anything it makes it even more engrossing.  True, the plot is a bit predictable, with a rather obvious killer, but still, it's a gripping thriller that had me ripping through the pages to see what was going to happen next.  Although Every Last Fear is not a happy tale, it is a hopeful one, which made it even more appealing to me.  In the end, then, I enjoyed this absorbing novel, which kept me riveted from its first page to its last.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, mild sexual content, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Every Last Fear from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press via those at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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