Primary Genre(s): General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Published: 2 March 2021 by Minotaur Books
Page count: 368 (hardback)
My Format: eBook via NetGalley
Do I Recommend: Absolutely
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy Every Last Fear
My rating: ★★★★★
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.
This is a phenomenal book… and it is a debut no less!! Here are my pros and cons for Every Last Fear:
- This story will absolutely grab you and not let go. The writing was crisp, conversational, and exciting. There is no fluff here. You are given the perfect amount of information to keep the story moving at a pace that will keep you intrigued and wanting more. I love it when stories are succinct and stay on point and this one absolutely does that.
- The Pine family dynamic was dysfunctional and incredibly sad. I can’t even imagine the horrible situation they found themselves in with a son serving a life sentence for murder. Their entire situation will break your heart.
- The characterizations are amazing and genuine. All of them! From the main protagonists to characters that show up for a just a scene or two, you will really get a sense that these are real people with real lives.
- The death of the family, particularly the children, is heartbreaking.
- I loved Maggie (the sister). She was brave, smart, and determined to figure out a way to prove her brother’s innocence.
- Matt was a very complex character. He is not convinced his brother is innocent and he has felt isolated from his family due to their fanatical focus on exonerating his brother. Then he finds himself dealing with unwanted “fame” from a documentary about his brother and the very difficult chore of dealing with his family’s sudden death. Throw in some FBI suspicions that the deaths weren’t an accident as reported and you have a young man with a lot on his shoulders. I really sympathized with Matt for a lot of reasons.
- The chapters are short and alternate between the POV of Matt, his family members, and the FBI agent. Excerpts from the true crime documentary are interspersed throughout the book to provide some context and background information. There were also some transitions between past and present events. All of these transitions were smooth and well executed.
- This is a complex story, but it is written incredibly well so it is easy to follow.
- The ending is satisfying.
Put this on your reading list now! You will absolutely want to read this riveting debut novel when it is released in March! The plot moves quickly, the story never dulls, and you are rewarded with a very satisfying ending. I raced through it and loved every minute. I can’t wait to see what Alex Finlay writes next!
Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books for a free eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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