Saturday, March 4, 2023

What Have We Done

What Have We Done by Alex Finlay
3/7/23; 368 pages

What Have We Done by Alex Finlay is a highly recommended suspenseful mystery/thriller.

Twenty-five years ago five abused and neglected kids, Jenna, Nico, Donnie, Benny, and Arty, are at from a group home for troubled teens, Savior House, when they take turns firing a gun into a shallow grave. What happened, why, and who is was isn't revealed until the end. There are numerous problems at Savior House, where young girls keep disappearing, and the friends have bonded together in order to survive the abuse. Now, twenty-five years later, someone is trying to kill them.

Benny, a federal judge, has already been murdered. Jenna, a stay-at-home mom with a sketchy past as an assassin is forced back into the role when she is contacted to complete an assignment or her family dies. When she realizes the target is Arty, she purposefully misses, but is then relentlessly pursued by a young woman determined to kill her and her family. Donnie, a rocker and alcoholic, is forced over the side of a cruise ship at gunpoint. Nico, a reality show producer and gambling addict, is trapped in a coal mine. These three former friends unite to try to discover who is trying to kill them and why.

The action races along in this action-packed mystery/thriller. This is without a doubt a genre novel and reads like an action movie, which does have a certain appeal. The narrative alternates between events in the past at Savior House, covering the character's backstories, and the present day threat. Finlay includes plenty of misleading clues and twists to keep you guessing who could be responsible and why. The answer has to be in their backstories because their past is what connects them, but what part and why?

Jenna, Nico, and Donnie are all unique characters, but also written as caricatures of a type of individual. This also makes What Have We Done read like an action movie, but a good one with a complex plot and surprises along the way. The suspense, fast-paced plot, and compelling action held my attention throughout.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's via NetGalley

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