Cheap Parlor Tricks

filled star filled star filled star star unfilled star unfilled
negan88 Avatar


Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay seemed like it would be a fantastic thrill ride of a murder mystery. Sadly, I was quite disappointed. Was this book entertaining? Sure it was. However, there was a major flaw, for me anyway, that disappointed me.

The plot of Every Last Fear is rather intriguing. Matt Pine is at NYU, his brother Danny is in prison for a murder committed years ago, and everyone in his family feels Danny is innocent except for Matt. Olivia and Evan Pine think that their son Danny is innocent, as does Matt’s little sister Maggie, and little Tommy hasn’t even met Danny since he is too young. It goes without saying that Matt doesn’t have the closest relationship with his family.

While Matt is at NYU he gets contacted with life shattering news regarding his mom, dad, Maggie, and Tommy’s trip to Mexico. As FBI agent Keller is assigned to Matt’s case she begins to go down a rabbit hole into the past to reveal answers to the present. As Matt’s world crashes down around him will justice be served? Will a tragedy be vindicated? Is Danny to blame? Will Matt find solace, and be able to put the past where it belongs?

I understand as you read this review you may be thinking to yourself that it sounds like a fabulous plot. I will warn you though. It is a compelling, and decent read. Nonetheless, as I mentioned it has a fatal flaw that, for me at least, put it on the killing floor. If you are not a fan of figuring out what is going to transpire in a book you will be disappointed. If you usually don’t put things together until the end it may be right for you. In my case I had the whole plot figured out very quickly. I would say a hundred or less pages into the book.

The writing is well done, but the mystery is subpar. My favorite aspect of the book was Evan and Maggie’s bond, Matt’s love for movies (a lot of movie references), and Matt having to return to a town that hates his family after a documentary claiming Danny was innocent. I also found Matt to not really show realistic grief in everything that he was going through, but I suppose that everyone deals with grief differently. However, under the circumstances I feel he would be much more distraught. Possibly Finlay was attempting to add more possibilities as to the outcome, but it didn’t work for me. Finlay’s attempts to throw the reader off the trail is cheap parlor tricks at best, and can easily be explained if you pay attention.

Overall, I give Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay two and a half stars out of five stars. I stated my reasons, but the main one has to be I figured everything out. Therefore, in the end it wasn’t a very satisfying read for me. I can overlook some of the smaller flaws, but figuring out the entire plot too soon is a book killer for me. Enjoyable? Yes. Memorable? No. Until next time, my friends.