Every Last Fear has a profound mystery underlying a clever perceptive plot that ravages a family through the most brutal and chilling encounters with killers and callously powerful people. What makes this murder mystery that little more poignant are the backdrop similarities with the Netflix true-crime series Making a Murderer.
Danny Pine was convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend Charlotte Rose after a house party many years previous and he has spent the last seven in prison for the crime he emphatically denies. A Netflix series, A Violent Nature, brought notoriety to the Pine family as they sought to prove his innocence. A documentary the family participated in for the best of intentions but not always with the positive consequences they wanted. Danny’s younger brother Matt plays a central role in the story and the novel starts with the news coming through that his family have been found dead in a holiday home in Tulum, Mexico – assumed to be a gas leak accident. Matt’s father, Evan, and his mother, Olivia (Liv) had suddenly decided to take this spring break along with their seventeen-year-old daughter, Maggie, and six-year-old son, Tommy. A trip that didn’t make sense considering they had little finances having spent their savings and loans on trying to clear Danny’s name.
Each of the Pine family, except Tommy, tell their story in alternating chapters and paint the complex mystery with its leads, misdirection and false assumptions. FBI Special Agent Sarah Keller also provides a perspective throughout the story and she delivers a balanced contribution to the conspiracy. The plot feels genuine as not everything falls into place and the well-drawn characters struggle to get on the same page, each with different beliefs and motivations. What is sure is that the trip to Mexico was a disguised holiday where Evan and his daughter Maggie were pursuing a lead to discover more about Charlotte and what happened that night. The dual time periods work well as we see Evan and Maggie investigating and gradually revealing insights into the mystery, but we also know they’re dead, so the anticipation as to whether their findings help in the present day is enticing and tense.
I would highly recommend this book well-written mystery, with great momentum on the surprises and twists that provide an engrossing investigation and thrilling drama. While the source of the crime may become apparent during the novel, I felt the ending upheld the great benchmark in delivering an intelligent and captivating thriller.
I would like to thank Head of Zeus, Aries Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in return for an honest review.