Every Last Fear
Book Club Discussion Guides:
In one of the year’s most anticipated thrillers, a family made infamous by a true crime documentary is found dead, leaving a 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 at once 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 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, 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.
"High-energy . . . Finlay expands the puzzle and ratchets up the action"—New York Times
"Compelling" one of the "Best new thrillers for March 2021"—The Sunday Times (London)
"[G]ripping from the first bone-chilling line until the final page" one of "21 best books to read this spring 2021"—Newsweek
"Alex Finlay delivers a gripping debut in 'Every Last Fear,' a thriller that derives its action from a compelling family drama touching on unconditional love, obsession, and betrayal . . . . 'Every Last Fear' introduces a new talent."—Sun Sentinel
"It's twisty and unputdownable and intensifies until the very end."—Parade
"A deftly crafted masterpiece of a psychological thriller."—Midwest Book Review
"A twisty puzzle that will please fans of thrillers, suspense, and true crime . . . VERDICT Recommended for public library collections."—Library Journal
"This delicious debut is a must-read for those who mainline true crime"—E! Online
"Crackles with tension and fast-paced action while still offering readers a glimpse of heart and passion."—MSN
"Every Last Fear features the perfect blend of the psychological and action thriller in what is sure to be one of the most talked about titles of the year."—Providence Journal
"This heartbreaking story about familial tragedy is as deep as it is twisty" one of "31 best thriller books."—Business Insider
"A cunningly serpentine and emotionally affecting novel, 'Every Last Fear' marks a striking first effort and ultimately, despite the body count, a commanding testament to survival."—The Free Lance-Star
“[F]ull of more adrenaline-pumping twists and turns than a theme park roller coaster . . . Though entirely a work of fiction, true crime fans will appreciate how media coverage and public opinion play into this story.”—Reader's Digest
“[I]n a bravura performance [Finlay] has given us an absolute cracker of a crime thriller about a miscarriage of justice over a gruesome small-town murder . . . .”—Shots Magazine (UK)
“[A] thriller that's at once nail bitingly intense and utterly heartbreaking.”—PopSugar (UK)
"Every Last Fear straddles multiple subgenres in the mystery and thriller categories while providing a number of puzzles that will keep you reading all night . . . . Finlay should have a bright future in the thriller world."—Bookreporter
"[T]he 'buzz' book of early 2021"—Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine
"The story's strands come together in thrilling fashion, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers enthralled."—CrimeReads
“Be prepared for twist after exciting twist. A standout novel.”
—Karin Slaughter, New York Times and #1 International bestselling author
"Finlay imparts nuance via a prismatic narrative that jumps back and forth in time . . . Those who favor character-driven crime novels will find much to admire."—Publishers Weekly
“Explosive! A knife-edged thriller that explores the true meaning of family, including love, loyalty, and lies.”
—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“With so much high praise, one thing is for certain: Every Last Fear is this spring's must-read psychological thriller!”—BookBub
“EVERY LAST FEAR is a hugely ambitious novel that satisfies on so many different levels. It’s a riveting mystery, a propulsive thriller, and a moving portrait of a family torn apart, and brought together, by tragedy.”
—Lou Berney, Edgar award-winning author of November Road
“Alex Finlay’s jaw-dropping EVERY LAST FEAR, about a family found dead years after their true-crime Netflix documentary makes them infamous, is a powerful, standout thriller. Finlay is a masterful storyteller, seamlessly shifting perspectives and timelines to add layers of emotional depth and suspense to this fast-paced, expertly plotted, utterly engrossing novel. Hands down the best thriller I’ve read this year.”
—Jennifer Hillier, author of Little Secrets and the award-winning Jar of Hearts
“Brilliant. Finlay weaves a story as mesmerizing as it is heartbreaking. Hooks you from the very first page and keeps you guessing until the final explosive twist. Taut, smart, and compelling. A do not miss!”
—Liv Constantine, internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
“Alex Finlay’s EVERY LAST FEAR reads like a bullet and had me hooked from the first few brutal pages.”
—Brian Panowich, author of Hard Cash Valley and the award-winning Bull Mountain
“I loved EVERY LAST FEAR. What elevates this thriller are the characters: real, flawed, heroic, driven. What would you do if someone you loved was convicted of a crime you were certain they didn’t commit? You won’t be able to put down this fast-moving, thoroughly compelling story until the very last page. A winner.”
—Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author
"Finlay writes with expertise and authority that makes you wonder who, exactly, is behind the pen name . . . . This is impressive storytelling . . . ."; listed as one of "the best and most anticipated thrillers of the year."—Mystery and Suspense Magazine
"This highly anticipated thriller has layers of mystery and intrigue."—BuzzFeed
“In addition to being a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller, this story is intriguing because of the many different viewpoints it shares . . . . The real strength of this novel is that by enabling us to see each point of view, we become part of the Pines’ world. Just as they never gave up on proving Danny’s innocence, Matt won’t rest until he knows what happened to the rest of his family, providing the closure that they’ve always deserved.”—Mystery Scene Magazine
Finlay “crafts a page-turning novel that blends suspense and heart, and has rightly earned its advance buzz."—The Big Thrill Magazine
"True-crime buffs will devour Every Last Fear," one of "42 books everyone will be talking about in 2021."—PopSugar (U.S.)