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“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 sis “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.


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“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 sis “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.

30 review for Every Last Fear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Okay! This is soooo much more than I expected! Action packed, riveting, dazzling, twisty and absolutely unputdownable! For the attention of movie producers: this secret gem could be adapted into an amazing action/ thriller/ drama movie or extremely binge watch worthy limited series. It captivates you from the beginning, hurling so many whirlwind twists at you and picking your interest, focus, entire energy. You just have to cancel your entire schedule. Pull the plug off your loved ones not to di Okay! This is soooo much more than I expected! Action packed, riveting, dazzling, twisty and absolutely unputdownable! For the attention of movie producers: this secret gem could be adapted into an amazing action/ thriller/ drama movie or extremely binge watch worthy limited series. It captivates you from the beginning, hurling so many whirlwind twists at you and picking your interest, focus, entire energy. You just have to cancel your entire schedule. Pull the plug off your loved ones not to disturb you, locking yourself in a safe, silent, peaceful room with lots of refreshments and munchies unless you want to start stress eating your own fingers. Just cancel your responsibilities, unnecessary work loads, tasteless binge watch experience or any other thing you do at the night time. So you can enjoy your fantastic reading experience! So here’s quick summary of our story: imagine to be in Matt Pine’s shoes: a promising NYU filmmaking student whose brother is in jail because of killing his girlfriend. He recently had a falling out with his father because he and his 17 years old sister Maggie focused their own energies to prove his brother’s innocence ( which he doesn’t believe in them)by using entire financial resources of their family. And now FBI agent Sarah Keller appears in his campus and tells him an unfortunate incident happened at Tulsa/ Mexico where his last four members of family was on a trip. Both parents and two siblings are dead because of gas leak poisoning. And Mexican authorities need a next of kin to sign the papers which means Matt has to fly over there and before that he has to face with his brother Danny to share those heart wrenching news. Matt is devastated and his family’s death was not to only worse things he has to deal. The very same night of their death, he goes outside to get fresh air and a suspicious man with a scar on his face, wearing baseball cap, pushing him into moving cars. Throughout his trip of Mexico, he needs to look behind his shoulders became somebody is watching him. And Sarah Keller also finds out there is a foul play about his parents’ murder. Could the death of his family members related with Danny’s murder case? Did his father’s determination to find the real killer of Danny’s girlfriend drag him to the dangerous places and put his family on the radar of powerful people? And could his brother be really innocent? A Netflix documentary has been released and now filmmakers of documentary insist they have new evidences to help him find out the truth. Matt has to find a way to bring out justice for his family without getting killed. This is a real cat-mouse chase! Overall: Characters are adorable and ultra smart Maggie who is brave, brilliant and mature girl who tries to hold her family together and badass, cool, adorable agent Sarah Keller ( if this book will be a movie, Charlize Theron is best casting option to play her!) are my favorites. Even the characters have small parts like Matt’s friends Ganesh, Kala and homeless chess player Reggie were brilliant. I loved the intriguing, intense writing style and brilliant outcome of the story which deserved my full, shiny five stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Minotaur Books for sharing this incredible ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay What a time to read a book that I didn't want to put down. I was reading this book on Christmas Eve and Christmas so I couldn't just read nonstop and ignore my husband, like I might do on other days...ha ha. This story starts with a dead family, mother, father, son, daughter, on vacation in Mexico. Such a terrible tragedy caused by a gas leak.  The Pine family had suffered so much already. Years ago, the oldest son, Danny, was convicted of murdering his high school g Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay What a time to read a book that I didn't want to put down. I was reading this book on Christmas Eve and Christmas so I couldn't just read nonstop and ignore my husband, like I might do on other days...ha ha. This story starts with a dead family, mother, father, son, daughter, on vacation in Mexico. Such a terrible tragedy caused by a gas leak.  The Pine family had suffered so much already. Years ago, the oldest son, Danny, was convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend although a true crime documentary has made a compelling case that the boy's confession was coerced and that a serial killer could be responsible for the death. Due to the crime and then the documentary, the family is both pitied and despised and the second oldest son, Matt, does his best to stay completely under the radar of anyone who wants to discuss the case. Now, Matt is in college when he is notified that his parents, sister, and youngest brother are dead.  The FBI has reason to believe the deaths were not an accident and asks Matt to go to Mexico to get the remains released. Before Matt leaves, someone tries to hurt him and once in Mexico, Matt runs into troubles also. Things cascade from there, red herrings and suspicious people make their appearances, and it wasn't until about halfway through the book that I could pinpoint a potential suspect. So many moving parts, so many points of view, had me questioning everything and everyone.  The story is told in the past and the present. There is the party that Danny attended all those years ago, the night the girl was killed. Then there is the immediate past, where we get to know Matt and his family. Seventeen year old Maggie, Matt's sister, and his dad, Evan, have worked endlessly to clear Danny's name. They've just received a video that sends them hightailing to Mexico to check out their latest lead. It's so hard to get to know the family, especially Maggie and Evan, knowing from the beginning of the book that they are going to be dead in a few days. I really became attached to the Pine family and we know they are dead, in the present timeline.  For me, this fact didn't take away from the tension of the story. Matt is still in danger, someone does not want the truth to come out and will continue to kill. Why was the girl killed, who killed her, who is still killing those connected to the case? The story keeps feeling bigger and bigger as the FBI investigates a cartel and the Mexico government puts roadblocks in front of the investigation. Thankfully FBI agent Sarah Keller is not going to be thrown off the trail. She's a great character and I'd love to see her again, in a future book.  Publication March 2, 2021 Thank you to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** This book reminded me of why I started reading thrillers a few years ago. Among the many mediocre books out there, this one was the real thing!!! This had everything I like in a mystery/thriller. The characters were quite well developed, the plot kept going and intensified and there was resolution at the end of the novel!!! The fact that this is a debut novel makes it that much more impressive. The Pine family has been through a lot!!!!!!! The oldest son, Danny, has bee ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** This book reminded me of why I started reading thrillers a few years ago. Among the many mediocre books out there, this one was the real thing!!! This had everything I like in a mystery/thriller. The characters were quite well developed, the plot kept going and intensified and there was resolution at the end of the novel!!! The fact that this is a debut novel makes it that much more impressive. The Pine family has been through a lot!!!!!!! The oldest son, Danny, has been serving a prison sentence for the murder of a young woman, Charlotte. His father, Erin, has never believed that Danny is guilty and has been fighting for his son in every way he can, actually going through a lot of the family’s savings. Maggie is the 17 y/o daughter who has been using her computer and IT skills to continue to work on Danny’s behalf. Olivia Pine, the mom, has been trying to hold their family together and care for their youngest child, Tommy, age 7. The beginning of the novel is an immediate punch to the gut “They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all texts and social media had gone dark.” This novel is told through multiple points of view. We are introduced first to Matt. He is a student at NYU and is just getting back from a late night out. He is greeted by FBI agent Sarah Keller who delivers the news to him that his family, while on vacation in Mexico have been found dead. The Mexican police have ruled it an accident due to a gas leak. Matt will be the one to deliver the news to Danny in prison. The other points of view include transcripts from the documentary which was made about Danny called “A Violent Nature”. The documentary angered the people in the town where they lived and the family moved to start fresh where everyone didn’t know their sad story. The other points of view are from the family members, Evan, Maggie and Olivia “Before”, so we know their thoughts before their deaths in Mexico. There are mysteries within mysteries and lies within lies. There are a few things that I figured out, but not the main reveal. I can recommend this novel to anyone who likes a well written, character driven and intelligent mystery/thriller with lots to think about. This is one of those books which is best read in a few sittings to keep the tension going and a handle on the facts. A quote explaining the title states “You have two choices when you’re confronted with your every last fear: “Give up or fight like hell.” The Epilogue features Sarah Keller as she is on assignment on a new case in Columbia and makes me wonder if this might be the beginning of a series featuring this character. I will be watching for one!! I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    “You have two choices when you’re confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell.” Every Last Fear is a psychological thriller about an entire family who dies while on vacation in Mexico. Were their deaths accidental or was foul play involved? Two sons survive: One in prison for murder, the other in college. It takes a documentary, an intelligent FBI agent, and a college kid who’s about to break, to solve what really happened to the Pine family. This is a fast-paced, page-turne “You have two choices when you’re confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell.” Every Last Fear is a psychological thriller about an entire family who dies while on vacation in Mexico. Were their deaths accidental or was foul play involved? Two sons survive: One in prison for murder, the other in college. It takes a documentary, an intelligent FBI agent, and a college kid who’s about to break, to solve what really happened to the Pine family. This is a fast-paced, page-turner with characters who made an impression. Told through many POVs, in fact, one too many POVs, all of the pieces slowly come together. The narrative is told through is a mixture of scenes from a true-crime documentary and flashbacks combined with the present. The characters were likable and developed, although Danny Pine’s story and character are never really told. Answers are given about what happened to Danny, but the reader never feels what happened to Danny. The plot focuses more on how his family deals with the situation than Danny himself. He gets one chapter that felt much like a throw-away. I loved Matt and Sarah’s characters, and especially enjoyed Matt’s group of friends, i.e. “The Island of Misfit Toys.” I would like to see Matt and Sarah in another book! Although there are a lot of red herrings, given the nature of the crime, I found the murderer to be fairly obvious. However, I wasn’t able to figure out their reasons why they did what they did until the end. Overall, this was a satisfying read as all questions were answered, the characters were likable, and the Pine family was inspirational. Their love for their children and each other never waned, even in their final moments. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yun

    A thriller that actually thrills from beginning to end? Yesss, sign me up! Every Last Fear starts off with college student Matt Pine receiving the most devastating news: almost his entire family has perished on what should've been a fun-filled spring break trip to Mexico. Now the only remaining person left in his family is his brother Danny, who did not go because he is serving a life sentence for killing his girlfriend seven years ago. At first, their family's death is ruled an accident, but soo A thriller that actually thrills from beginning to end? Yesss, sign me up! Every Last Fear starts off with college student Matt Pine receiving the most devastating news: almost his entire family has perished on what should've been a fun-filled spring break trip to Mexico. Now the only remaining person left in his family is his brother Danny, who did not go because he is serving a life sentence for killing his girlfriend seven years ago. At first, their family's death is ruled an accident, but soon clues emerge that make it look ever more suspicious. This book grabbed me from the very first page. It was action packed and masterfully paced. It felt like the plot was propelled forward by every chapter, and there was no waste or dillydallying just to stretch the fluff or fill the pages. The story is told from a few different characters' perspectives, their narratives interweaving until we see it all coming together in one explosive ending. The short chapters kept me turning the pages, wanting to read just a little bit more. There were so many awesome characters in here. Almost everyone is likable and worthy of our admiration. In particular, Agent Keller really shined. She was quick on the uptake, competent, levelheaded, and compassionate... in other words, a complete badass! Likable characters aren't a must for me, but they do make the reading experience so much more pleasant and enjoyable. In terms of the mystery itself, I found the twists to be fun and the ending satisfying. Because of the taut pacing, I was immersed in the story and didn't really think much along the way. And that's how I like my thrillers to be. I'm not huge on slowly paced ones, because my mind wanders and then I start pondering the mystery and before you know it, I've figured out enough to have ruined it for myself. This story just sucked me in and kept me riveted until the very end. What an impressive debut from Alex Finlay. I read so many thrillers that I often feel jaded. But this one made me remember how much sheer fun a great one of this genre can still be. I cannot wait to read more from this author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Farrah

    ⭐4 Making a Murderer+Taken Hybrid Stars ⭐ I have a name for books like this. I call them 'surface stories'. Kinda the opposite of a book that's character driven. We don't get a lot of depth with the Pine family members, or atmosphere with the locations. Instead the plot moves fast, strong and straightforward. It's a book that reads like a movie, and I was hooked from, like, the first page! A huge THANK YOU to Net Galley for allowing me to read this ARC! ⭐4 Making a Murderer+Taken Hybrid Stars ⭐ I have a name for books like this. I call them 'surface stories'. Kinda the opposite of a book that's character driven. We don't get a lot of depth with the Pine family members, or atmosphere with the locations. Instead the plot moves fast, strong and straightforward. It's a book that reads like a movie, and I was hooked from, like, the first page! A huge THANK YOU to Net Galley for allowing me to read this ARC!

  7. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    I guess what they say about universe giving us signs is true. Universe was conspiring against me/ for me , because it didn't wanted me to read this book. Sign 1 :- My arc request got rejected Sign 2 :- I broke my phone the day I got my eBook so I had to wait for a week till I get to read this. Sign 3 :- When I finally started reading it , nobody in my house got chill , my siblings and parents weren't constantly nagging me. But now when I finally completed it , I guess Universe was correct. 2* Wh I guess what they say about universe giving us signs is true. Universe was conspiring against me/ for me , because it didn't wanted me to read this book. Sign 1 :- My arc request got rejected Sign 2 :- I broke my phone the day I got my eBook so I had to wait for a week till I get to read this. Sign 3 :- When I finally started reading it , nobody in my house got chill , my siblings and parents weren't constantly nagging me. But now when I finally completed it , I guess Universe was correct. 2* Whatever this was ~ * stars TW (view spoiler)[ Attempted Rape , Sexual Assault, Cheating, Murder, Death, Child Death, Racism, Racist Comments, Attempted Suicide , Drug Use, Alcohol Use, Mentions of Suicide, Mention of Pedophilia (hide spoiler)] "You have two choices when you’re confronted with your every last fear. Give up or fight like hell.” > "You have two choices when you’re confronted with a bad book. Give up or rant the shit out of it.” I choose second option. I don't agree with any of the 4 or 5 stars review which claim this book to be " THRILLING, ORIGINAL, FAST PACED" whatever. This book lacked everything - Thrill , originality , pace , storyline , character development EVERYTHING. This was just PLAIN BLAND BORING. But since this was a debut novel I gave it 2 stars and not 1 because the author have potential. Things I didn't like ( pretty much everything) -According to people this was a fast paced book but in my opinion this was a kind of book which start really strong and we assume that it will keep up the momentum but half way everything starts to fall off and they end with being the worst kind of thrillers. -The whole Mexico thing and stereotypical comments nothing was needed at all. So why ?? It happened often throughout the book. -I am kind of person who enjoy multiple POV but when these POV's are used as a filler it bothers me so much . -From starting this whole book was about Danny and the case but we never got Danny's POV which I guess was a bummer for me , because I needed his POV of story as well. -That MC Matt was such a bore , he actually have no real motivation to do anything he is only doing what FBI tells him. And his inner monologue is so far fetched and tandem it made me fell asleep more than once. -There wasn't any real mystery thing in this book and not to forgot that FBI did nothing than to retrieve the information already gathered by dead so basically that mystery was solved by Pine family and FBI was effing doing nothing. -The female characters were all one dimensional you know the type who are solely judged by their beauty wherever they go. I don't like this type of shit being written over and over again in books. -Not to forget the loop holes like The whole Ron Sampson thing? Did Danny and Matt ever learned about the autopsy reports of their family? What exactly happened when Matt fired at Kyle or did he kill himself? The connection between cartel and Evan? Basically the ending was the major bummer , it felt so weak and incomplete. And not to forget definitely not at all original. And the last point why there was a tornado at the end of the book for no fucking reason????

  8. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    true crime is super popular in pop culture these days, so i really enjoyed seeing influences of real life cases in this. from a prisoner saying they are wrongfully convicted, to the murder of an ex girlfriend, to netflix documentaries, this books feels like a work of true crime. i think the characters are compelling (i was invested in all of the POVs), the plot is mysterious (so many little misdirections and red herrings), and the writing is engaging (i read this in one sitting). this is a debut n true crime is super popular in pop culture these days, so i really enjoyed seeing influences of real life cases in this. from a prisoner saying they are wrongfully convicted, to the murder of an ex girlfriend, to netflix documentaries, this books feels like a work of true crime. i think the characters are compelling (i was invested in all of the POVs), the plot is mysterious (so many little misdirections and red herrings), and the writing is engaging (i read this in one sitting). this is a debut novel that any author would be proud off. definitely looking forward to what AF comes up with next! ↠ 4 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    Remember this name-Alex Finlay is going to be your next Auto-Request author after you read his debut!! And, this book is AVAILABLE NOW! Opening Paragraph: “They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all the texts and social media had gone dark.” The Pine family was one made infamous by the true crime documentary “A Violent Nature”, which chronicled the story of the conviction of Danny Pine for the murder of his girlfriend, Charlot Remember this name-Alex Finlay is going to be your next Auto-Request author after you read his debut!! And, this book is AVAILABLE NOW! Opening Paragraph: “They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all the texts and social media had gone dark.” The Pine family was one made infamous by the true crime documentary “A Violent Nature”, which chronicled the story of the conviction of Danny Pine for the murder of his girlfriend, Charlotte. And, now, Danny’s Dad and Mom, Evan and Olivia, and his younger siblings, Maggie (aged 17) and Tommy (aged 6) are dead, the Victims of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, in their vacation rental in Tulum, Mexico. But, is that what happened? The family has NEVER given up hope that they could exonerate, Danny, with Evan bankrupting the family in the process, and younger sister, Maggie, leading the way by handling all of the Social Media aspects of the case. In fact, they were following a lead in Mexico. That leaves Danny’s college aged brother Matt..to pick up the pieces because FBI Special Agent Sarah Keller, and the State Department are questioning whether the deaths in Mexico were really an accident. This book has EVERYTHING I require in a thriller to award 5⭐️s! A complex plot-with all the plot points tied together at the conclusion. Red Herrings Misdirection In addition, there was the bonus of well developed characters. Despite the fact that you are told in the opening paragraph that the Pine family is dead-you will get to know Evan, Olivia, Maggie and Tommy, and you will GRIEVE the loss of them. You will get to know and love Matt, and the friends who support him through this horrific time. And, you will even get to know Sarah Keller, the Kick Ass FBI agent, who is determined to get justice for all! This was a fun buddy read with Michael David, and we enjoyed sharing our theories along the way! We got close on some things, and were way off on others, but if we could be trained by Sarah, or Maggie, we may be able to develop our potential! 🕵🏻🕵🏼‍♂️ Thank You to Alex Finlay and St. Martin’s Press, for the digital ARC provided through NetGalley in exchange for a candid review!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    “They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” Matt Pine receives word that his family has been found dead in Mexico. The Mexican Authorities have deemed it an accident. The FBI and State Department have their suspicions. All the remains of their family are his older brother who is in prison and himself. The Pine family is well known. Danny, Matt's older brother is serving time for killing his high school girlfriend, Charlotte. Everyone believes that he is innocent. He was convicted with no evidence “They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” Matt Pine receives word that his family has been found dead in Mexico. The Mexican Authorities have deemed it an accident. The FBI and State Department have their suspicions. All the remains of their family are his older brother who is in prison and himself. The Pine family is well known. Danny, Matt's older brother is serving time for killing his high school girlfriend, Charlotte. Everyone believes that he is innocent. He was convicted with no evidence and an obvious coerced confession. The Pine family was featured in a documentary and everyone knows the family and believes in Danny's innocence. Reeling from his family's deaths, Matt is "welcomed" back to his hometown but hostile individuals who want to keep the past in the past. There he learns that there is more to his family's death than meets the eye. Plus, strange things have been happening around him. Could he be next? Did his family die without incident or were they murdered? Who would have a reason to kill them? Is Charlotte and his family's death related? If so, how? This was a very smart thriller with a nice amount of twists and turns along the way. I really enjoyed how the author kept giving clues, giving some answers and yet also bringing up more questions. I really enjoyed the ride and even though I figured out the killer mid-way though, it did not affect my enjoyment of the book. I found this to be a well written captivating thriller. The pacing was spot on. Nothing in this book felt rushed or drawn out. Most of the characters are likeable and had me wondering what I would do if I were in their shoes. This was told through various POV and with two timelines. Riveting, Smart and well written. Thank you to St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!!! Apparently my New Year’s tradition every year should be to read an amazing psychological thriller, because 2020 began with The Silent Patient, and 2021 has begun with this brilliant gem. Alex Finlay delivered an outstanding debut with this story of a family torn apart by past and present tragedy. You know it’s going to be intense when the book starts with the deaths of most of the members of the family that the book is about. The Pine family: dad Evan, mom Olivia (Liv), da HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!!! Apparently my New Year’s tradition every year should be to read an amazing psychological thriller, because 2020 began with The Silent Patient, and 2021 has begun with this brilliant gem. Alex Finlay delivered an outstanding debut with this story of a family torn apart by past and present tragedy. You know it’s going to be intense when the book starts with the deaths of most of the members of the family that the book is about. The Pine family: dad Evan, mom Olivia (Liv), daughter Maggie, and sons Matt and Tommy, are living in the shadow of eldest brother Danny’s conviction and imprisonment for the murder of his girlfriend Charlotte years before. While the rest of the family participated in a documentary called A Violent Nature (clearly inspired by Netflix’ true-crime doc Making a Murderer) to examine weak points in Danny’s case in hopes of exoneration, NYU student Matt wants nothing to do with it. When the rest of his family is killed on a vacation to Tulum, Mexico that he wasn’t a part of, Matt is left to put together the pieces of their suspicious deaths, as well as Danny’s past, with the help of FBI agent Sarah Keller. The story of Evan, Liv, Maggie and Tommy is told retroactively, spotlighting the family dynamic and some of the complicated individual histories of Evan, Olivia and Maggie in the past and in the days immediately preceding their doomed trip. Interspersed is Matt’s story, both past and present, as well as agent Keller’s story. When Matt finds himself in potential danger from mysterious sources, he and agent Keller have to put together the puzzle pieces of Danny’s past and his family’s deaths to figure out their connections. What makes this story great? It’s smart, well-told, with taut suspense, mystery and a nice variety of flawed, but likable characters. Did I want to throttle the dad, Evan, more than a few times and tell him to stop obsessing about his eldest son and pay quality attention to the rest of his family? Absolutely. He’s a man on a mission for his son, and it’s not until the end where I started to feel more sympathetic towards him. Speaking of the end, if I had to pick a flaw, I would say that during the final “baddie” reveal, it was as I predicted and I thought the story veered a bit into standard movie territory, where the person spills the whole story of why they did what they did, which made it feel just a teensy bit over-the-top. I still loved it and highly recommend it. I can’t wait to see what Alex Finlay gives us next! Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. This is due for publication on March 2, 2021. ★★★★ ½ (rounded to 5) ❤️

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Wow! What a book! "You have two choices when you're confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell." Matt Pine, a student at NYU, wakes up with a raging hang over after a hard night of partying only to find that the FBI would like a word with him. His world comes crashing down when they inform him that his father Evan, his mother Liv, his teenage sister Maggie, and five year old brother Tommy died while vacationing in Mexico. An apparent gas leak but FBI agent Sarah Keller Wow! What a book! "You have two choices when you're confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell." Matt Pine, a student at NYU, wakes up with a raging hang over after a hard night of partying only to find that the FBI would like a word with him. His world comes crashing down when they inform him that his father Evan, his mother Liv, his teenage sister Maggie, and five year old brother Tommy died while vacationing in Mexico. An apparent gas leak but FBI agent Sarah Keller isn't so sure. Matt's older brother Danny was convicted of murdering his high school girlfriend, Charlotte, and is in prison for life. Evan and Maggie never stopped investigating sure of Danny's innocence. Maggie had recently received an anonymous tip which is why the family flies out to Mexico. Was this truly a horrible accident or were Evan and Maggie getting too close to the truth? You'll have to read this to find out. How often does it happen that you adore everyone in a book. Oh how I came to care for the Pine family. I adored Agent Sarah Keller and her husband Bob. Evan and Bob are devoted husbands and fathers and in the thriller genre that is very unusual but so very refreshing. Even Matt's friends were a devoted and loyal group and provided him a support system he so desperately needed. This book had me riveted to the pages. A true page turner in every way. I can't think of one thing to complain about. Not one thing. I may have even gotten misty eyed a time or two. Highest recommendation. ALL THE STARS!!! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my digital copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    My thanks to St. Martin's Press, Alex Finlay and Netgalley. This story. I don't even have the words to tell you how it broke me. The thing is that from the beginning, you know "mostly" how it ends. I got to know these people. I had hoped that the beginning was a ruse. It's not. Everyone who knows me also knows that I love murder and mayhem. This though. This broke my brittle, dried up beef jerky heart! I hate when "family" is messed with! In truth? As horrified as I am by this book, I do believe My thanks to St. Martin's Press, Alex Finlay and Netgalley. This story. I don't even have the words to tell you how it broke me. The thing is that from the beginning, you know "mostly" how it ends. I got to know these people. I had hoped that the beginning was a ruse. It's not. Everyone who knows me also knows that I love murder and mayhem. This though. This broke my brittle, dried up beef jerky heart! I hate when "family" is messed with! In truth? As horrified as I am by this book, I do believe that "thriller wise" it's probably the best thriller book that I've read this year. I'm ready to read much more from this author!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    Every Last Fear is now available! Find this and more of my reviews at: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/rev... In 2018, an Iowa family of four died after asphyxiating from toxic gas while vacating at a resort in Akumal, Mexico. Being an Iowan myself, this story was pervasive at the time. First they were missing, since loved ones weren’t able to get in touch with them, but Mexican authorities eventually found them dead in their rental condo. Their names are Kevin, Amy, Sterling (12) and Adrianna ( Every Last Fear is now available! Find this and more of my reviews at: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/rev... In 2018, an Iowa family of four died after asphyxiating from toxic gas while vacating at a resort in Akumal, Mexico. Being an Iowan myself, this story was pervasive at the time. First they were missing, since loved ones weren’t able to get in touch with them, but Mexican authorities eventually found them dead in their rental condo. Their names are Kevin, Amy, Sterling (12) and Adrianna (7) Sharp. Have you ever heard of the Sharps and their tragic story? It seems as if author Alex Finlay has, as he begins his thriller Every Last Fear with, “They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” The bodies are those of a Midwestern family of four who seemingly died from toxic gas asphyxiation while on vacation in Mexico. There’s evidence that the bodies were staged though, so perhaps foul play is involved. The story then jumps to follow their surviving college-age son, Matt Pine, as he deals with the aftermath and mysterious circumstances of their deaths. He also has to deal with the media and a maelstrom of public interest, since his family gained notoriety as subjects of a Netflix documentary that profiled his older brother’s murder conviction years before (an obvious nod to “Making a Murderer”). Matt is guided by a gritty FBI agent, Sarah Keller, who believes there’s more to the story than gas poisoning. Was it a murder/suicide committed by the father? Was there a tie to his former employer’s shady cartel-related business dealings? Was the eldest son’s murder case somehow involved? Clearly there is A LOT going on in this story! Whatever the opposite of a “closed room” mystery is, this is it. We go from New York, to Washington DC, to Tulum, to Chicago, to small-town Nebraska. Alternating chapters follow multiple characters at various points in time. While this zigzagging style can often be hard to follow, it's not in this case. In fact, it makes for a real page turner. I flew through Every Last Fear in a few sittings, never knowing how the mystery would be resolved. It would have been a 5-star read for me had it not ended THE LAMEST WAY POSSIBLE. (See my GR profile bio if you don’t mind the spoiler.) There was also an inherent sadness I felt while reading it, constantly thinking back on the real Sharp family whose deaths I can’t imagine weren't the seeds that planted this story in Finlay’s mind. My thanks to the author and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy via NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    A brilliant debut! Matt Pine is an NYU student with a lovable and eclectic group of friends. Matt is going to need those friends. He’s just received tragic news… his entire family has been killed while vacationing in Mexico. Unfortunately, Matt is no stranger to bad luck in his life. His older brother Danny was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and now behind bars. And Matts’ father has never lost confidence in the belief that Danny is innocent. It seems like a huge leap of faith to imagine th A brilliant debut! Matt Pine is an NYU student with a lovable and eclectic group of friends. Matt is going to need those friends. He’s just received tragic news… his entire family has been killed while vacationing in Mexico. Unfortunately, Matt is no stranger to bad luck in his life. His older brother Danny was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and now behind bars. And Matts’ father has never lost confidence in the belief that Danny is innocent. It seems like a huge leap of faith to imagine the death of his family could possibly be connected to Danny’s conviction. Right? This was a fabulous introduction to an author I’m confident we’ll be seeing more of in the future. The characters were all given clear and concise voices. The writing and storyline flowed easily! Recommend for all thriller lovers! A buddy read with Susanne. Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an ARC to read and review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    3.5 stars I was excited to read this book after seeing the positive reviews and it didn’t disappoint! The first chapter opens up with “They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all the texts and social media had gone dark.” and the story doesn’t slow down. Matt Pines is surprised when an FBI agent, Sarah Keller, stops by and the last thing he imagines learning is that his family was found dead in Mexico. Although the Mexican authori 3.5 stars I was excited to read this book after seeing the positive reviews and it didn’t disappoint! The first chapter opens up with “They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all the texts and social media had gone dark.” and the story doesn’t slow down. Matt Pines is surprised when an FBI agent, Sarah Keller, stops by and the last thing he imagines learning is that his family was found dead in Mexico. Although the Mexican authorities claim it was a gas leak, evidence suggests otherwise. What follows is Keller to find more about what happened and Matt trying to catch up with his new reality, until his discovers that his family might have been murdered. The book is told from several perspectives. In the present, we have Matt and agent Keller. But we also read about the past (the days before the accident) from Evan, Olivia (the parents), and Maggie (the daughter) perspectives. But you might wonder, what’s different about them? You see, the eldest son, Danny, has been charged with murder seven years ago. And if that wasn’t enough, a hit documentary was made claiming Danny is innocent and in fact, he didn’t kill Charlotte, his girlfriend who was killed horrifically. So the Pines’ case received more spotlight because of their fame. I won’t discuss the plot much further and I’ll leave it to you to discover and try to guess what happened. While I didn’t see the plot twists coming, I did guess a suspicious.. let’s call it “element”. I’m getting better at this :D I love how Alex Finlay constructed the family. Evan the passionate. Maggie, the smart and mature kid (I loved her, she didn’t deserve this fate at all L not that anyone does.. but you get what I mean), and Olivia, the mother with her own inner demons. Danny was the promising child and Matt always lived in his shadow. Even after his incarceration, Evan was all too focused on proving his son’s innocence. It was Tommy’s birth that saved the family after Danny’s case. My only complaint is that I did not connect with them as much as I would've liked to. I’m not a big fan of the “before” and “after” stories because they usually are a cheap way in my opinion to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. And the before part rarely interest me. Not here. It was necessary to give color to the dead family members. To understand what Matt was going through. How this news hit Danny. And simply, to feel the story. Also, the before part wasn’t a mere filler. You see, Maggie got a tip and her dad had an unbelievable call from Mexico, hence the “vacation”. Overall, this was a good mystery/thriller and I couldn’t stop reading it. It's not a perfect mystery. Not even a great one and yes would not happen irl but I enjoyed it. I'm not 100% satisfied with the ending but Every Last Fear was a page-turner that kept me anxious and worried. Although I knew the Pines will die in Mexico, I kept hoping they don’t. Somehow. Especially Maggie. Thanks to Head of Zeus and Netgalley for sending me an e-arc of this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Matt Pine, an NYU student, receives some devastating news that his father Evan, mother Olivia, sister Maggie and baby brother Tommy have died at their holiday accommodation in Mexico. His elder brother Danny is in prison convicted of killing his girlfriend Charlotte. The family utterly believe in Danny’s innocence and cite a false coerced confession which is the subject of a Netflix documentary about wrongful conviction. Matt receives sucker punch after punch in this very compelling psychologica Matt Pine, an NYU student, receives some devastating news that his father Evan, mother Olivia, sister Maggie and baby brother Tommy have died at their holiday accommodation in Mexico. His elder brother Danny is in prison convicted of killing his girlfriend Charlotte. The family utterly believe in Danny’s innocence and cite a false coerced confession which is the subject of a Netflix documentary about wrongful conviction. Matt receives sucker punch after punch in this very compelling psychological thriller. The story is told in multiple perspectives by the Pine family and SA Sarah Keller which works really well. So strap yourself in for a suspenseful read but be warned, you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away until the end! I’m sure this debut novel will rate as one of the best thrillers of 2021. The credible plot has all the essential ingredients of a well crafted, clever, slick mystery:- 1. Numerous well thought out twists and turns ✅ 2. Very believable, well developed characters from Matt to his cute little brother, to clever brave Maggie, Evan who is prepared to go to any lengths for his son and the dogged determination of Sarah Keller ✅ 3. Very colourful and likeable minor characters such as Matt’s uni gang of misfits especially Ganesh ✅ 4. Intense, well written storyline ✅ 5. Instances where your jaw thunks to the deck in shock ✅ 6. Excellent fast flowing and fluid pace ✅ 7. Mystery, danger, excitement, tension, surprises and unpredictability ✅ 8. Coverups, credible, slickly believable liars and diverting red herrings ✅ 9. Keeps you dangling with eager anticipation right up to the surprising end ✅ 10. Plenty of atmosphere in various locations ✅ I could probably go on but you get the gist! I love the movie references too and the inclusion of the Netflix documentary interspersed in the narrative and the highlighting of the shocking statistics of wrongful conviction which is very concerning. Overall, this is a standout from the crowd psychological thriller which keeps you riveted and intrigued until the deeply satisfying end. I can’t wait to read what Alex Finlay writes next which hopefully will feature the excellent Sarah Keller. Sign me up now please!! With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Aria and Aries, Head of Zeus for the much appreciated arc for an honest review

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    This turned out to be an excellent mystery thriller! The story begins with Matt, a college student who’s suddenly informed that almost his entire family is dead. It doesn’t really make any sense that these deaths could be an accident, and there’s more to the story that’s yet to be disclosed. The family already has some history, and now Matt has to deliver the news to his brother who’s serving time for something from his past. Were these deaths just an accident, and can all of this somehow connect This turned out to be an excellent mystery thriller! The story begins with Matt, a college student who’s suddenly informed that almost his entire family is dead. It doesn’t really make any sense that these deaths could be an accident, and there’s more to the story that’s yet to be disclosed. The family already has some history, and now Matt has to deliver the news to his brother who’s serving time for something from his past. Were these deaths just an accident, and can all of this somehow connect? It was hard to not get nervous at first with the different points of view and the back and forth writing, but it came together perfectly and wasn’t hard to follow at all. I couldn’t figure everything out right away either, which is always nice. Here’s a true puzzling thriller that I refuse to spoil! It’s heavily character driven, and it’s like you really connect with these people. If you love thrillers, go check this one out, and be sure to go in blind. I practically finished this in one sitting. 5***** I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me in exchange for my honest review. This review can also be found @www.readrantrockandroll.com

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    The book begins with tragedy. The Pine family has been found dead while vacationing in Mexico. Matt, the son and brother, is informed of their death. But was his family really vacationing? That’s the big question. The Pine family had it hard. Their oldest son Danny was convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend. Then, moving her dead body to the creek using a wheelbarrow. Yet the father, Ethan Pine knows in his heart, his son is not guilty and he has spent the last few years trying to prove it. Ma The book begins with tragedy. The Pine family has been found dead while vacationing in Mexico. Matt, the son and brother, is informed of their death. But was his family really vacationing? That’s the big question. The Pine family had it hard. Their oldest son Danny was convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend. Then, moving her dead body to the creek using a wheelbarrow. Yet the father, Ethan Pine knows in his heart, his son is not guilty and he has spent the last few years trying to prove it. Maggie, Ethan's daughter and Matt's sister, is soon going to MIT. She is a tech whiz and is helping Ethan collect clues to prove Danny's innocence. After Danny is taken to prison, his mother finds comfort in her new pregnancy and when Tommy is born, she dedicates her time to take care of the baby of the family. Then all four are gone. Matt becomes the sole contact responsible to reclaim their bodies. Travelling to Mexico and realizing that something is amiss. I thought it was a very intriguing and interesting way to tell their story. Knowing they were all dead didn’t diminish how important they were. It made my heartache to know they were all gone and Matt was all alone. It’s hard to say anymore without letting the cat out of the box. Each chapter captivated me and made me want to continue reading. I did guess the ending but I enjoyed the delivery. 4/5 fangs Cliffhanger: No A complimentary copy was provided by Minotaur Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  20. 4 out of 5

    preoccupiedbybooks

    Happy publishing day! (2nd March 2021) A fast paced, heart-breaking mystery/thriller about family, secrets, lies and love. "You have two choices when you're confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell." (Evan Pine) What would you do if one of your loved ones was convicted of a crime, which you knew they didn't commit? Matt Pine's family is found dead in Mexico, after their true-crime documentary on Netflix about his older brother Danny's conviction for murdering his girlfrie Happy publishing day! (2nd March 2021) A fast paced, heart-breaking mystery/thriller about family, secrets, lies and love. "You have two choices when you're confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell." (Evan Pine) What would you do if one of your loved ones was convicted of a crime, which you knew they didn't commit? Matt Pine's family is found dead in Mexico, after their true-crime documentary on Netflix about his older brother Danny's conviction for murdering his girlfriend made them famous. Was their death an accident like the Mexican police say, or was it foul play like the FBI suspect? OMG I loved this! This is probably going straight into my top ten thrillers for 2021, and we're only in February! This book would be perfect for making into a film, or even a tv series, as it whisks you off to Mexico, NYC, Chicago and Nebraska, and I can totally envision myself hooked on that too! I thought that Every Last Fear was Alex Finlay's debut but I have my doubts now! This name appears to be a pseudonym, and this book really didn't feel like a debut, but I could be wrong! If it is a debut, then well done Mr Finlay! Well plotted and suspenseful, Every Last Fear started so strongly, and the plot just kept building and getting bigger, it was so well done, and had me engrossed! It was very emotional reading about a family pulled apart by tragedy, and I was a heartbroken, sweaty mess by the end! Seriously, I lay in bed after feeling so sad, because even though I knew the Pine family were dead from the very first page, I felt like I knew them. Reading from their POV, made me care about them, and I was genuinely upset when I finished the book! Alex Finlay seamlessly wove many POVs together, over different timelines, throwing in red herrings and twists which made me gasp. I never knew what happened, who did it, or why! I have to say that I did get a bit of a bad feeling about one of the characters though, and was 100% right! Although the plot was very well done, and kept me turning the pages and guessing, it was the well developed characters which I loved the most. As I said above, I got to know the dead Pine family, and loved them in all their flawed glory. They suffered so much, and I felt for them, as they tried to navigate life after Danny's conviction. Evan and Olivia, as they tried to keep the case alive, and at the same time bring their family back together. Maggie, the teenaged amateur detective, wanting to help and be as close to her father in any way she could. I loved her, she was well written, and actually felt like a teenaged girl to me, in the decisions she made, her thoughts, feelings, and of course, in her embarrassment of her parents ha ha! Then there was Tommy.. his death hit me the hardest, with him being the same age as my daughter. What a waste of a young life, so sad :( A lot of the book was written in Matt Pine's POV, as he had to sort out getting his family home from Mexico, and unwittingly got drawn into something else. I really liked Matt, and I sympathised with him, as he felt so lost and alone after the imprisonment of his elder brother, and the death of his family. Luckily he had some great friends, who bought some much needed comedic moments to the story! I also really loved Sarah Keller, the FBI agent tasked with the case. A strong, smart woman, with a good sense of humour. I adored her relationship with her husband Bob, and how supportive and encouraging he was of his wife 😍 After reading the epilogue, I am hopeful that maybe agent Keller will be involved in a spin off?! I would definitely read that! An intense and clever book, with a satisfying ending, Every Last Fear had me invested from the first page! I definitely recommend it, and advise you to read it in as few sittings as possible! Find a quiet place and enjoy the ride! Many thanks to NetGalley UK and Aria & Aries for my ARC, in exchanged for an honest review, very much appreciate it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to one of my favorite reads in 2020!! 5 stars to one of my favorite thrillers of the year! Matt Pine, a college student at NYU, returns from a night of partying...only to find out that his mom, dad, younger brother and sister died while vacationing in Mexico. The cause of death was apparently a gas leak. This makes headlines for multiple reasons, but mainly because the Pine Family is famous after a Netflix documentary was released regarding Danny Pine, Matt’s older brother, HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to one of my favorite reads in 2020!! 5 stars to one of my favorite thrillers of the year! Matt Pine, a college student at NYU, returns from a night of partying...only to find out that his mom, dad, younger brother and sister died while vacationing in Mexico. The cause of death was apparently a gas leak. This makes headlines for multiple reasons, but mainly because the Pine Family is famous after a Netflix documentary was released regarding Danny Pine, Matt’s older brother, who is serving life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend...which he may or may not have committed. A series of events prove that the deaths in Mexico may not have been accidental, and may have to do with Danny and the murder of his girlfriend. Fasten your seatbelt, because this twisted ride of suspense will take you from New York to Mexico to Illinois to Nebraska...and won’t let up until the very last page. This book has it all: impeccable character development, twists, surprises, multiple suspects, red herrings, and increasing suspense. I’m astounded that this is author Alex Finlay’s debut. He gets everything right, and through an abundance of twists, he manages to wrap everything up with no loose ends. I found myself really caring about the characters as well, which doesn’t always happen in these fast-paced thrill rides. This is one of the most perfectly written thrillers of the year. No complaints from me, and I highly recommend. Also, as others have mentioned, this would make a fantastic film! This was a buddy read with Jayme. I had such a great time discussing our theories throughout. There were times we were able to pat ourselves on the backs due to our detective skills, and other times where we just missed the target. Thank you to Alex Finlay, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bridgett

    "They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all texts and social media had gone dark." I know we're only a couple weeks into 2021, but Every Last Fear might very well be one of my favorite books of the year...and this is a debut novel for Alex Finlay. Color me impressed! This book has everything...a twisty, clever plot (with no plot holes), characters which are all beautifully fleshed out and real, pulse-pounding red herrings, an "They found the bodies on a Tuesday. Two days after the family had missed their flight home. Six days after all texts and social media had gone dark." I know we're only a couple weeks into 2021, but Every Last Fear might very well be one of my favorite books of the year...and this is a debut novel for Alex Finlay. Color me impressed! This book has everything...a twisty, clever plot (with no plot holes), characters which are all beautifully fleshed out and real, pulse-pounding red herrings, and a conclusion I was genuinely happy to read. My only criticism was that, perhaps, the Pine family was a bit too unlucky. That, and I was able to figure out the antagonist pretty early on. Nevertheless, this was a taut, riveting read and I highly recommend it to any reader who enjoys thrillers. 4.5 stars Available March 2, 2021 My heartfelt appreciation to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my review copy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Blaine

    People think I’m obsessed, that I’m crazy. That I’m selfish and a fool. But what would you do if your son was convicted for a crime he didn’t commit? If he was locked up for the rest of his life and you knew in your bones he was innocent? If your family was broken? You have two choices when you’re confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ARC of Every Last Fear in exchange for an honest review. The elevator pitch fo People think I’m obsessed, that I’m crazy. That I’m selfish and a fool. But what would you do if your son was convicted for a crime he didn’t commit? If he was locked up for the rest of his life and you knew in your bones he was innocent? If your family was broken? You have two choices when you’re confronted with your every last fear: Give up or fight like hell. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ARC of Every Last Fear in exchange for an honest review. The elevator pitch for this book is simple. Danny Pine is in prison for allegedly killing his girlfriend Charlotte during their senior year of high school. While millions of people now believe him to be innocent due to a fictional Netflix documentary series that is basically Making a Murderer, his brother Matt saw something that night that left him believing Danny was guilty. But then the other four members of the Pine family are found dead during a hastily planned vacation to Mexico. Now Matt is left to try to figure out whether what happened in Mexico was a tragic accident or foul play, and to try to finally figure out who killed Charlotte all those years ago. The story alternates between different narrators, both in the past and the present, with occasional clips from the documentary. In the present, the story is told by Matt and the lead FBI Investigator, Sarah Keller, as they try to determine what happened in Mexico and why. In the past, the story is told by Matt’s parents and sister, as they continue following leads generated by the series to try to prove Danny’s innocence. Each of the narrators is nicely developed and has a distinctive voice; the ones who are obsessed with the series speak in the shorthand language of such people when addressing theories like the Unknown Partygoer. This book works for several reasons. The writing is crisp and strong; it’s hard to believe it’s the author’s debut novel. The alternation of timelines and narrators does a nice job of slowly revealing little morsels about what happened, the characters’ various secrets, and the occasional red herring. When the book reaches its climax it does a very satisfying job of tying up all of the loose ends and revealing what happened to Charlotte and to the Pines. Finally, there’s an emotional core to this book that’s interesting and unusual. Not all of Danny’s family members believe he’s innocent, and even those who do have varying levels of fight in them. Add to that the public scrutiny that comes with a documentary series and you’re left with a family on the brink, unlikely to make good choices. A well-plotted, well-written thriller that practically screams to be made into a movie or, if it’s not too on the nose, a Netflix series. Recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this suspenseful, grim, fast-paced psychological thriller. The dynamic plot is intricately crafted, complex and well-executed. The story grips one from its opening sentence, " They found the bodies on a Tuesday." From this beginning, we learn members of the Pine family have died at Tulum, Mexico, a noted tourist site. The victims are Evan Pine, his wife, their 17 -year-old daughter, Maggie, and their young son, aged seven. First reports f 4.5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this suspenseful, grim, fast-paced psychological thriller. The dynamic plot is intricately crafted, complex and well-executed. The story grips one from its opening sentence, " They found the bodies on a Tuesday." From this beginning, we learn members of the Pine family have died at Tulum, Mexico, a noted tourist site. The victims are Evan Pine, his wife, their 17 -year-old daughter, Maggie, and their young son, aged seven. First reports from Mexico indicate the cause of death was a gas leak in their hotel room. The story goes back and forth in time and allows us to get to know the well-developed characters, including the flawed Pine parents, and grieve for the death of the family. NYU film student, Matt Pine, age 21, is having a bad day. His girlfriend has broken up with him, he has a hangover, and has left behind some of his belongings in a bar. He is now approached by capable FBI agent, Sarah Keller, who informs him of the shocking death of his family. He is devastated but now must face the dreaded task of breaking the terrible news to his only remaining sibling, Danny. His older brother, Danny, has been in prison for seven years. He was once a popular high school athlete but is now serving a life sentence for the brutal killing of his pregnant girlfriend. Matt witnessed something the night of the murder that convinced him of his brother's guilt. Matt is estranged from his father due to Evan's obsession with a miscarriage of justice leading to Danny's imprisonment. The Pine family who lived in a small town in Nebraska became notorious when a true-crime documentary was televised. The townspeople reacted with hostility because many thought the documentary put their town in a bad light. The father, Evan, lost his job and depleted most of their savings in searching for clues to free Danny. Maggie supported her father in his obsession to prove Danny's innocence. Evan brings his family to Mexico following a clue Maggie received on the internet and they die. Sarah Keller is beginning to suspect there is a connection between Danny's life sentence and the death of the four members of the Pine family in Mexico and that they were probably murdered. The only part of the story that I found slow was her investigation into a case of financial fraud. She tells Matt that he must go to Mexico to sign for the release of the bodies in order to bring them home. Matt is apprehensive because a man with a facial scar pushed him into traffic and he feels he is being watched. His trip to Mexico goes from bad to worse. He is not met on his arrival in Mexico, he is threatened by a policeman and narrowly escapes death while being chased into a remote wooded area. This is a tale of deceit, lies, secrets, conspiracy, and malevolent political forces. This is a complicated, but very readable, fast-paced, emotion-packed plot. Alex Findlay has written a great thriller and I can't wait to read anything he writes next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Suspense Mystery, but I would not call this a thriller. I really loved the beginning, but the ending was just good not great. I guess all the twist way before they where revealed which kindof let me down. I did think the plot/storyling was good, and the characters where good. I do think if you did not guess the reveal it would be a really great read. I enjoyed the book, and I still really liked this book. This book did keep me wanting to reading it, and there where points that was stil This is a Suspense Mystery, but I would not call this a thriller. I really loved the beginning, but the ending was just good not great. I guess all the twist way before they where revealed which kindof let me down. I did think the plot/storyling was good, and the characters where good. I do think if you did not guess the reveal it would be a really great read. I enjoyed the book, and I still really liked this book. This book did keep me wanting to reading it, and there where points that was still very suspenseful. (*)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    4.5 stars Every Last Fear is one of the best mystery thrillers I have read in the last couple of years. And I stand by that statement because I double checked by looking at my list of completed books on Goodreads. Sure enough, after comparing it to the many books I have read in the mystery and thriller genres, this book is what I consider a top tier read. An interesting premise that hooked me early on. NYU student Matt Pine receives devastating news that his parents and younger siblings have been 4.5 stars Every Last Fear is one of the best mystery thrillers I have read in the last couple of years. And I stand by that statement because I double checked by looking at my list of completed books on Goodreads. Sure enough, after comparing it to the many books I have read in the mystery and thriller genres, this book is what I consider a top tier read. An interesting premise that hooked me early on. NYU student Matt Pine receives devastating news that his parents and younger siblings have been found dead in Mexico with local authorities claiming it was due to an accidental gas leak in their vacation home. The tragedy makes national news because the family was featured in a crime documentary not too long ago. Matt's older brother, Danny, was convicted and is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend. Many people believe Danny is innocent of the crime which is one of the things that was explored in the documentary. The FBI has their suspicions about the deaths of Matt's family members and Matt wonders if there is some connection between the deaths and Danny's case. I love how the author told the story with the present day chapters featuring Matt and the FBI agent, and the chapters featuring the family members and everything going on in their lives before their deaths. Essentially it's like I was getting two mysteries and so as the chapters alternated between the past and present, my interest level was quite high in both and seeing if everything would tie in together somehow. The chapters featuring the parents and sister were haunting knowing I was witnessing some of the last moments of their lives. It is a compelling story and you can't help but wonder the lengths you might go to if you believed a loved one was innocent of a crime. The ending is complex enough that I don't think any reader can predict how everything plays out exactly. I was left feeling like I was in the dark for much of the story although I did pick up one piece of puzzle. But it was one of those things in which I still wasn't confident it even fit in the story and certainly didn't have a working theory for it. So for the most part I was clueless until the author finally laid everything out on the table. Not quite a grand slam ending, but definitely a solid home run. Highly recommend picking this one up if you enjoy reading books in this genre. I received a free advance copy of this book and all views expressed in this review are my honest opinions.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Deception Every Last Fear is a profound mystery diffused into a clever perceptive plot that ravages a family through the most brutal and chilling encounters with killers and ruthlessly powerful people. What makes this murder mystery that little more poignant are the backdrop similarities with the Netflix true-crime series Making a Murderer. Danny Pine was convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend Charlotte Rose after a house party many years previous and he has spent the last seven in prison Deception Every Last Fear is a profound mystery diffused into a clever perceptive plot that ravages a family through the most brutal and chilling encounters with killers and ruthlessly powerful people. What makes this murder mystery that little more poignant are the backdrop similarities with the Netflix true-crime series Making a Murderer. Danny Pine was convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend Charlotte Rose after a house party many years previous and he has spent the last seven in prison for the crime he emphatically denies. A Netflix series, A Violent Nature, brought notoriety to the Pine family as they sought to prove his innocence. A documentary the family participated in for the best of intentions but not always with the positive consequences they wanted. Danny’s younger brother Matt plays a central role in the story and the novel starts with the news coming through that his family have been found dead in a holiday home in Tulum, Mexico – assumed to be a gas leak accident. Matt’s father, Evan, and his mother, Olivia (Liv) had suddenly decided to take this spring break along with their seventeen-year-old daughter, Maggie, and six-year-old son, Tommy. A trip that didn’t make sense considering they had little finances having spent their savings and loans on trying to clear Danny’s name. Each of the Pine family, except Tommy, tell their story in alternating chapters and paint the complex mystery with its leads, misdirection and false assumptions. FBI Special Agent Sarah Keller also provides a perspective throughout the story and she delivers a balanced contribution to the conspiracy. The plot feels genuine as not everything falls into place and the well-drawn characters struggle to get on the same page, each with different beliefs and motivations. What is sure is that the trip to Mexico was a disguised holiday where Evan and his daughter Maggie were pursuing a lead to discover more about Charlotte and what happened that night. The dual time periods work well as we see Evan and Maggie investigating and gradually revealing insights into the mystery, but we also know they’re dead, so the anticipation as to whether their findings help in the present day is enticing and tense. I would highly recommend this book well-written mystery, with great momentum on the surprises and twists that provide an engrossing investigation and thrilling drama. While the source of the crime may become apparent during the novel, I felt the ending upheld the great benchmark in delivering an intelligent and captivating thriller. I would like to thank Head of Zeus, Aries Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in return for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    A Pulse Pounding Thriller! Matt Pine is a student at NYU when he receives the terrible news that his entire family has been found dead while vacationing in Mexico. At first the deaths appear to be accidental. Soon however, Matt’s own life is in danger. Years prior, Matt’s older brother Danny was incarcerated for murdering his girlfriend. Danny still maintains his innocence. A Podcast has since surfaced which also suggests that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Are these events linked? Is anyone sa A Pulse Pounding Thriller! Matt Pine is a student at NYU when he receives the terrible news that his entire family has been found dead while vacationing in Mexico. At first the deaths appear to be accidental. Soon however, Matt’s own life is in danger. Years prior, Matt’s older brother Danny was incarcerated for murdering his girlfriend. Danny still maintains his innocence. A Podcast has since surfaced which also suggests that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Are these events linked? Is anyone safe? A heart stopping mystery suspense that will leave you guessing! While I had my suspicions and was right on, I enjoyed this thriller and look forward to seeing what Alex Finlay comes out with next. 3.5 Stars. Another buddy read with Kaceey! Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Alex Finlay for the arc. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 11.12.20.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    4.5 stars A family hit with tragedy; a young son, Danny, imprisoned for many years for a murder he claims he didn't commit. A family devastated and the father devoting his life to finding out answers for he knows his son is innocent. Many parents might think their child incapable of an appalling crime as in this case, the young pregnant girl's face was smashed in and she was found in a horrific state. The mother wounded by the hateful looks, telephone messages, and social media, that has torn not 4.5 stars A family hit with tragedy; a young son, Danny, imprisoned for many years for a murder he claims he didn't commit. A family devastated and the father devoting his life to finding out answers for he knows his son is innocent. Many parents might think their child incapable of an appalling crime as in this case, the young pregnant girl's face was smashed in and she was found in a horrific state. The mother wounded by the hateful looks, telephone messages, and social media, that has torn not only her son apart but the family as well. Maggie, a daughter, a high school senior on the road to much success, but harmed by the innuendo and hatred that has been directed to her family. A young son, Tommy, caught up in the devastation of a broken-hearted family that longs for all their children to be safe and happy. Now, there is a crime documentary that has stirred up questions giving the family hope, but is it a false hope? Can it be that what the family wants so desperately might be within their grasp? Another son, Matt, a college student at NYU, has a dark secret, one that he just can't share with his family as close as they try to be. Then devastating news hits, and the family that was in turmoil turn up dead of a supposed gas leak, Mother, Father, Sister, and Brother gone on vacation in Mexico have perished in what seems to be a tragic accident. Nonetheless, finding out the reason for their trip to Mexico looks to be one of tracking down another possible clue to the killing of Charlotte. Poor Matt sees a world where most of his family are gone, a world where fate has played an awful game. Of course, the media and the community are frenetic, making Matt's return to bury his family a circus, rabid groups looking for a story and gossip. There is much afoot in this well-done suspense story that contains some twists that will surprise the reader as well, as the various forces of evil and duplicitousness that like a bike heading downhill picks up speed and debris along the way. The story is told in alternating points of view as well as flipping back between the present and the past. It's a sad tale about the destruction of a family and their belief that their oldest son is not guilty. Will Matt survive the onslaught and will Danny be ultimately proven to be innocent is the focus in the page turning book by Alex Findlay due out March 2, 2021. Definitely a book recommended by this reader! ...and he is a debut author!!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodward

    **Many thanks to BookishFirst, Minotaur, and Alex Finlay for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 3.2.21!** Stunning, compelling, and absolutely addictive! First off, any book that starts with a line like "They found the bodies on a Tuesday."? IMMEDIATELY has my undivided attention. Finlay wastes no time plunging the reader into the middle of this scintillating mystery: the bodies of the entire Pine family have been found in a hotel room in Mexico...the entire family, that is, save for son Matt **Many thanks to BookishFirst, Minotaur, and Alex Finlay for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 3.2.21!** Stunning, compelling, and absolutely addictive! First off, any book that starts with a line like "They found the bodies on a Tuesday."? IMMEDIATELY has my undivided attention. Finlay wastes no time plunging the reader into the middle of this scintillating mystery: the bodies of the entire Pine family have been found in a hotel room in Mexico...the entire family, that is, save for son Matt who is off at college. And then of course, there's older brother Danny: in prison for the murder of his former sweetheart Charlotte. The Pine family's story is far from private, as a Netflix documentary has thrust father Evan, mother Olivia, daughter Maggie, and even youngest son Tommy into the national spotlight. Evan Pine is desperate to clear his son's name, and will stop at nothing to exonerate him. Clever and determined Maggie is all-too-willing to help her father bring this justice to light, and mother Olivia is on guard, although she's been left in the dark by these two. In the aftermath of the murders, FBI agent Sarah Keller gets assigned to the case and informs Matt he needs to go to Mexico in order for the bodies to be released. But although Matt is as anxious to get to the bottom of the mystery as the authorities, he is keeping a few secrets of his own about the night of Charlotte's murder...like the vision of a man who looked suspiciously like his brother with a wheelbarrow across the way that he probably wasn't supposed to see. Was the perpetrator's intent to take out the rest of the Pine family in one fell swoop connected to that terrible night so many months ago? Can Matt and Agent Keller simultaneously work through the clues and tease out the connection between the crimes before Matt before the case reaches even deadlier heights? There are so many components that take a thriller from good to outstanding, and this book had all of them in spades: *Fantastic characters and character development : It takes a special writer to make EVERY character interesting, and Finlay is incredibly gifted in this sense. Everyone from our cast of Pines to special agent Keller to Matt's cadre of college friends and strangers he encountered in Mexico, every individual was fully fleshed out, real, and intriguing in so many ways. This only helped to enhance the narrative as a whole and allowed for multiple POVs to feel smooth, interconnected, and balanced. I loved hearing from absolutely everyone, and that is entirely rare. Not a page is wasted here! *Multiple POVs, done right: See above. If you're going to use this device, make it worth it, and Finlay does. I was invested in absolutely EVERYONE in this story, to the extent that I almost want a sequel just because I didn't want to let these characters go! *Eyebrow raising moments: Okay, so normally they are jaw dropping rather than eyebrow raising for me, but I counted at least FOUR times that this happened to me while reading, so I really wish I'd had the reaction cam on for that! This is the sort of thriller where the entire world falls away while you're reading it, and there is absolutely nothing I enjoy more. Some of these moments were twists, others were red herrings, but they were all brilliantly plotted and kept me desperately flipping the pages. *Quick, punchy chapters: One of my favorite psychological thriller devices when done well, and the pacing here was perfect. Little excerpts of screenplay from the documentary are tossed in at just the right moments and there are no long expository passages here, no narrative filler. Just action, intrigue, plot, and surprisingly, a lot of heart! *Adaptation potential: Although this isn't a necessity, the fact that this book is ripe for adaptation on either the small screen or the silver screen is a huge bonus. I could see it playing out beautifully in either format and would be first in line to see these characters fully realized and real, since I feel like I know them already! This is the sort of thriller that actually makes you tense because of all of the adrenaline coursing through your body at any given moment, and honestly, I couldn't get enough! This was an absolute stunner of a debut, and if this is only the beginning for Finlay, the sky is the limit. I haven't given a book 5 stars since October of last year (!) and I can't think of a more deserving book than this one for my first 5 star read of 2021. 5 spectacular, shiny stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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