Category Archives: Alex Finlay

Review: The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

Title: The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From the author of the breakout thriller Every Last Fear, comes Alex Finlay’s electrifying next novel The Night Shift, about a pair of small-town murders fifteen years apart—and the ties that bind them.

“The night was expected to bring tragedy.” So begins one of the most highly-anticipated thrillers in recent years.

It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: planes falling from the sky, elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. A digital apocalypse. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in New Jersey, four teenagers working late at the store are attacked. Only one inexplicably survives. Police quickly identify a suspect, the boyfriend of one of the victims, who flees and is never seen again.

Fifteen years later, more teenage employees are attacked at an ice cream store in the same town, and again only one makes it out alive.

In the aftermath of the latest crime, three lives intersect: the lone survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive the horrors of her tragedy; the brother of the fugitive accused, who’s convinced the police have the wrong suspect; and FBI agent Sarah Keller who must delve into the secrets of both nights—stirring up memories of teen love and lies—to uncover the truth about murders on the night shift.

Twisty, poignant, and redemptive, The Night Shift is a story about the legacy of trauma and how the broken can come out on the other side, and it solidifies Finlay as one of the new leading voices in the world of thrillers.


The Night Shift by Alex Finlay is an intriguing mystery set in a small town.

In Linden, NJ, 1999 ends in tragedy. Four people are dead following a murder at the local Blockbuster video store. Ella Monroe is the lone survivor and fifteen years later, her life intersects with the only survivor of a similar attack at the local ice cream shop. Ella is a counselor who is asked to assist teenager Jesse Duvall who is traumatized in the aftermath of the killings. The only suspect in the Blockbuster murders is Vince Whitaker and he has been missing since he was released for lack of evidence. Is it possible that Vince has recreated his earlier murders? If so, why?

Ella might be a counselor but she has never quite recovered from what happened to her. She self-medicates in very unhealthy ways but she is dedicated to helping other trauma survivors. So, when asked by a friend to help, Ella tries to get Jesse to open up to her. The teenager is in foster care and new to Linden and she has yet to make any friends. Jesse is tough and not exactly willing to reveal much information, but what she does tell Ella makes it clear the two sets of murders are connected.

FBI Agent Sarah Keller teams up with local police Detective Atticus Singh to take a second look at the Blockbuster case. Hopefully fresh eyes will help uncover any threads that might have been overlooked in the earlier investigation. Sarah and Atticus discover new details that will eventually lead them to Public Defender Chris Ford who is very interested in finding a mystery vlogger who films his travel adventures.

The Night Shift is a fascinating mystery that is quite gripping. The characters are vibrantly developed and very relatable. The storyline is well-developed but the pacing is a little slow until after the half-way point. The small-town setting adds tension to the unfolding story as do the interconnected relationships. Although the murderer’s identity is easy to guess, there are plenty of unexpected twists and turns.  Alex Finlay brings this suspense-laden mystery to an exciting, edge of the seat conclusion.

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Filed under Alex Finlay, Contemporary, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Night Shift

Review: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Title: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay is a puzzling mystery.

The Pine family has never been the same since oldest son Danny’s conviction for murdering his girlfriend, Charlotte Rose, seven years ago.  Evan believes his son is innocent and he will do anything to prove it.  Evan is keeping serious secrets from his wife, Olivia, but he knows the time is drawing near tell her the truth.

However, when he and his daughter Maggie receive details that might be the proof they need to clear Danny’s name, Evan books a Mexican vacation.  The only person who does not join them is Matt, who is away at college. After Evan, Olivia, Maggie and youngest son Tommy’s bodies are discovered in their vacation home, Special Agent Sarah Keller must break the news to Matt. With the Mexican consulate demanding a family member claim the remains, Matt travels to Mexico only to find himself in danger. Why would someone want to murder the Pine family? And what, if any, connection do the tragic deaths have to Danny’s murder conviction and the trip to Mexico?

The Mexican authorities believe the deaths were accidental but Agent Keller wants to dig a little deeper.  She understands Matt is  grief stricken, but she needs his help to claim the bodies. After his experience in Mexico, Keller’s instincts tell her she is on the right track. But what new information has been recently been revealed that would lead someone to take such drastic measures?

Weaving back and forth in time and alternating between various points of view, an intriguing picture begins to emerge. Evan and Maggie work as team to try to find evidence that would exonerate Danny. Matt wants nothing to do with Danny’s case since he believes his brother is guilty. Olivia understands Evan’s obsession but she is concerned about the effect his efforts to save Danny are having on the rest of the family.  After their deaths, will Matt and Agent Keller find out the truth about what happened to them and why?

Every Last Fear is an absolutely riveting mystery with a clever storyline.  The cast of characters is interesting and well-developed. The story unfolds at a brisk pace with each chapter and perspective change ratcheting up the tension.  Debut author Alex Finlay brings this mesmerizing mystery to a breath-taking conclusion. I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this outstanding mystery to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Alex Finlay, Contemporary, Every Last Fear, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense