March 3, 2021

Every Last Fear

Every Last Fear

by Alex Finlay

Published March 2, 2021
by St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books

Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Mystery & Thillers

In one of the year’s most anticipated debut psychological thrillers, a family made infamous by a true crime documentary is found dead, leaving their surviving son to uncover the truth about their final days.

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

My Thoughts

Every Last Fear could have been titled “why do bad things happen to good people”.  Finlay does a great job at character development, giving us insight to the family dynamics.  Even though there are some hiccups (no family is perfect), you find yourself rooting for the all the members of this tragic family.

Everything was bad enough when son and brother (Danny) was imprisoned for killing a girl, Dad Evan transfers from work at his job in a small town in Nebraska, to the Chicago, Illinois headquarters.  But after a “wrongful conviction” documentary, things escalate. 

We start to get all the clues as the chapters told in different POV before and after the death (and presumed murder) of the family in Mexico begin to unravel the story of who, why, what, where and when.

Matt has escaped the murder because he was in college at NYU, but when the FBI approach him about the deaths, he’s unwittingly placed in the crosshairs of both the documentarians, the possible killer, and the outraged community in his hometown.

This thriller had a very different plot and was a nice change from the domestic thrillers I normally read.  I can see this becoming a Netflix movie or even playing out as a crime podcast.  Kudos to Alex Finlay on his debut novel!

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for this advance reader’s copy for review.

Mystery, Other Genre, Psychological Suspense, Thriller 0 Replies to “Every Last Fear”