Minotaur Books | 2 March 2021 | 368 pgs
Having read Alex Finlay's The Night Shift and enjoyed it, I was eager to pick up Every Last Fear in which Goodreads listed this as one of the most anticipated books of 2021.
The story begins with the discovery of four bodies of the Pine family at a rented house in Tulum, Mexico. The local police didn't find any evidence of foul play and later proclaimed it as a freak accident after checking the gas line, which they believed was a gas leak that caused the deaths. The only survivors of the Pine family are the two older sons, Danny and Matt, who weren't at the scene when it happened.
Before tragedy struck, the Pine family had been in the spotlight after a true-crime Netflix documentary had made them infamous. Danny, the oldest son, is currently serving a life sentence for murdering his teenage girlfriend, Charlotte. The true-crime documentary, however, suggesting that he may be wrongfully convicted (which aligns with the Pine family's belief) and the producers behind are trying ways to unravel the truth. The FBI, on the other hand, has their own theory and speculations so they assign the case to Special Agent Sarah Keller to look into it and to liase with Matt for some questioning as well as to inform the news to Danny. Prior to leaving home and arriving in Tulum to recover his family members' bodies, Matt encountered some harrowing incidents that made him wonder if the death of his family members are linked to Danny's case. Despite the danger and limited information, Matt is determined to uncover the truth even if means confronting his every last fear.
Told in multiple narratives between the present and the past, this was a riveting read about secrets, deceptions, conspiracies and family drama. I was hooked throughout not only by the plot but with the characters, too. They're all fleshed out and well developed and I even liked a few characters, in particularly Matt's younger sister, Maggie. Her intelligence and her determination in piecing some of the clues left me both in awe and with admiration. FBI Agent Sarah Keller first caught my attention in Finlay's second book, The Night Shift, so I was glad to see her feature in this debut (hopefully there's a series in future?). Overall, I enjoyed this suspense thriller and all the more reading it with my book buddy, Lark (check out her review and the Q&A here.)
Last but not least, here's my answers to Lark's questions:
1. What were your favorite and least favorite things about this novel (characters, writing style, twists, etc.)?
My favourites will be the characters and the twists (it's hard to choose just one). Although likeable characters aren't a must to me, in this case they made this story much more easier to read if you've some characters to root for. My least favourite would be the last few chapters towards the ending. It felt a bit rushed to me but nonetheless still a satisfying wrap-up.
2. If you had to describe this novel in just three adjectives, what would they be?
Riveting, compelling and addictive.
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