Head of Zeus | 3 March 2022 | 320 pgs
Source: Library 

New Year's Eve, 1999. Four teenagers working late are attacked at a Blockbuster video store in New Jersey. Ella Monroe is the lone survivor among the other four victims (including the store manager) and while the police is quick to identity the perpetrator, he is later released due to a lack of evidence. No one knows his whereabouts thereafter and the case remains unsolved. 

Fifteen years later, a murder case occurred in the same town as four teenagers are attacked at an ice cream store. Like the tragedy at the video store, only one survived from the brutal attack. Jessica Duvall, the survivor, wouldn't speak to anyone except Ella, who has now become a therapist though she's not fully walked out from that horrific past. FBI agent Sarah Keller and Officer Atticus Singh are assigned to investigate the case and I've to say they made a terrific team despite their differences. Sarah is heavily pregnant with twins but that doesn't deter her from her investigations. While Atticus may not be as experienced as Sarah, he's keen and supportive and I liked him right from the start. Added to the intrigue is Chris Ford, the brother of the perpetrator fifteen years ago and is now a public defender. Those passing years have not stopped him from searching for his brother, and he still harbours the faith that his brother is innocent despite everything. 

What made this an engaging read is not only about the mysteries of the two cases but also the various cast of characters. Ella and Jessica shared a connection through their traumatic experiences; Sarah's and Atticus' great teamwork and the childhood relationship between Chris and his brother are all well defined alongside the webs of mysteries. Another aspect that interest me is the Y2K time period and we all remember the excitement and the worry about what the future may bring, don't we? 

Overall this book was a fast-paced read with the short chapters and the multiple narratives that switch between the present and the past. While the relevation wasn't entirely shocking if you read the story carefully, I still enjoyed the ride and Finlay's writing. His previous novel, Every Last Fear, is on my to-read list and I'll be watching for his future releases as well. 
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10 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    Melody, I think this one sounds good. Have you read the author's first book? I discovered he had one when I went looking on my library website for this one. I've bookmarked both of them.

  2. Lark Says:

    I love when a thriller also has great characters in it, too. I can't wait to read this one...and Every Last Fear. :D

  3. This sounds like a great story that worked well and had well written characters too. Hadn't heard of it.

  4. Melody Says:

    Melody - This is the first book I read by this author. I think he's released two books so far - this book and "Every Last Fear". He's a new book out next year in March. Looking forward to that. Hope you'll enjoy his books, Kay! :)

  5. Melody Says:

    Lark - Can't wait for our next buddy read! :D

  6. Melody Says:

    Diane - It was a good one with great characterisations. I've also found out that "Every Last Fear" featured FBI Agent Sarah Keller, too.

  7. I enjoyed this one too, especially the late 90s nostalgia. I still need to read Every Last Fear.

  8. Greg Says:

    This sounds fun. I love it when mysteries have short, punchy chapters that really keep the flow going. And the Y2K / Blockbuster element is a fun bit of nostalgia lol!

  9. Melody Says:

    Diana - I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this book too, Diana. :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Greg - It was a fun read; and the short chapters definitely made it a much more easier read. :)

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