The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

Published: March 1, 2022

Minotaur Books

Pages: 312

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Alex Finlay is the pseudonym of an author who lives in Washington, D.C. His 2021 breakout thriller, EVERY LAST FEAR, was an Indie Next pick, a LibraryReads selection, an Amazon Editor’s Best Thriller, as well as a CNN, Newsweek, E!, BuzzFeed, Business Week, Goodreads, Parade, PopSugar, and Reader’s Digest best or most anticipated thriller of the year. Alex’s work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned for film and television.

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.

“But the beast is back.”

After a tragic crime that leaves a single survivor in 1999, a small town is shaken yet again 15 years later. A nearly identical crime scene and a lone survivor. Now it’s a rush to try and find the guilty party and find any connection between the two scenes.

I loved how this story was told. Between alternating narrators and dual timelines, the plot unfolds in a brilliant albeit terrifyingly tragic way.

The characters were so dynamic and defined. Keller is an absolute rockstar and incredible leading character. I enjoyed her narratives and her thought process. Her husband was a fantastic comedic relief, and their relationship is a beautiful example of a true partnership.

Ella is a tough but damaged character. I loved how the mix of strength and chaos was woven into her narrative. She has a lot of baggage and a lot of questions.

Chris was so well done. He was the perfect balance to Ella, and his perspective was such a powerful addition to the plot. I enjoyed his inner dilemma and his desire to help.

Jesse and Atticus were great characters. I enjoyed how they added to the story and the ability to adapt. Both are very necessary for different reasons.

There were some twists in this book that I did not see coming until they smacked me in the face. Holy buckets. The hits kept coming! This is such a well-written journey.

I enjoyed the synchronized chaos throughout the plot. This was a well-choreographed tango. As things explode, pieces fall together, and the writing on the wall becomes clear.

The themes in this novel were painful and beautiful. I loved the development throughout. This was a fast-paced thrill ride that kept me guessing until the very end.

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