From the author of the breakout thriller Every Last Fear, comes Alex Finlay's electrifying next novel The Night Shift, about a pair of small-town murders fifteen years apart—and the ties that bind them.
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“The night was expected to bring tragedy.” So begins one of the most highly-anticipated thrillers in recent years.
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.
Twisty, poignant, and redemptive, The Night Shift is a story about the legacy of trauma and how the broken can come out on the other side, and it solidifies Finlay as one of the new leading voices in the world of thrillers.
The pseudonymous Finlay's strong sophomore effort (after 2021's Every Last Fear) opens on New Year's Eve 1999 at a Linden, N.J., Blockbuster Video store, where the manager and three teenage employees are murdered; only a fourth employee, Ella Monroe, survives. The chief suspect, high school student Vince Whitaker, disappears. Fifteen years later, the words the killer whispered as he stabbed Ella, "Goodnight, pretty girl," still haunt her. When the Linden high school principal asks Ella, now a therapist, to counsel student Jessica Duvall, the only survivor of a copycat crime at a local ice cream store, she reluctantly agrees to do so. Thrust back into her nightmare, Ella struggles to help Jessica, who's fixated on the Blockbuster slayings. When Jessica is charged with the ice cream store murders, her public defender has reason to conceal his own ties to Whitaker. Meanwhile, as an FBI agent and a Linden police officer investigate, small-town secrets from the past and the present start to emerge. Finlay does a fine job weaving the tangled lives and crimes together in a suspenseful tale that's marred only by a forced conclusion. Thriller fans will eagerly await Finlay's next. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary.
Very good book. Never saw the twist & turns this book took.
I just— The Night Shift was a miss for me, and that’s okay. I felt the characters were one dimensional and overly cliched. It was a sloOoOow burn and I was bored. I really didn’t care for Special Agent Keller. Maybe it’s because I grew up on Criminal Minds and she didn’t live up to Emily Prentiss? I really wanted to like this book, and it wasn’t terrible, it just fell flat. Er— was flat, and never really built to begin with so didn’t have anywhere to fall from.
This guy really knows how to write a thriller! I read a lot and most books are simple. Finlay keeps me in suspense. I don’t see what’s coming. And that’s good! Great characters too. Can’t wait for his next book!