I just finished #EveryLastFear from #NetGalley, and I could not be more proud of my fellow Alabamian, Alex Finlay. This is a solid debut novel, and if it’s not nominated for a best thriller award in 2021, I will be utterly shocked and appalled.
Matt Pine’s family is famous…for all the wrong reasons. They were the subject of the binge-worthy Netflix show, A Violent Nature, which featured an investigation into his brother’s wrongful conviction and life-sentence after his high school girlfriend was murdered. Matt had nothing to do with the show because he saw something the night of the murder that makes him sure his brother is guilty.
When his remaining family is found dead while on vacation in Mexico, Matt finds himself orphaned with only his NYU college friends keeping him sane. However, the FBI expects foul play, and Matt realizes that he might have been wrong about everything.
Thank you, Alex Finlay, for giving me a love-able protagonist who’s NOT determined to suffer alone. Seriously, I’ve read so many thrillers in which the main character is a loner who’s lost his/her family and therefore can never afford to love anybody ever again.
Matt is not that cliche. In fact, he has a supportive group of college friends (who he lovingly refers to as the “misfit toys”) ready to come to his aid in his time of need. Moreover, Matt lets them come to his aid. It’s like he’s actually looking for healthy ways to deal with his enormous grief, and I approve.
Truthfully, the twists in this novel are great, but the characters are what make it for me. FBI Agent Sarah Keller could easily have been some Quantico knock-off or “g-man” cliche, but she wasn’t! Her motivation is clear and the way her heart breaks for the fate of Matt’s sister, Maggie, is as humanizing as it is grounding.
I really warred with myself over the rating of this novel. I don’t like to hand out five-star ratings, but I honestly could not find anything wrong with this one. It is everything a thriller should be, and you won’t be able to put it down.