Review: If Something Happens to Me by Alex Finlay

If Something Happens to MeIf Something Happens to Me by Alex Finlay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Looking for some much desired alone time, Ryan and Ali, a high school couple, find a quiet place to park in their hometown by Suncatcher Lake.

The next thing Ryan knows, it’s hours later, he’s laying on the ground having been bludgeoned in the head and Ali is gone. He remembers being yanked out of the car at some point, and briefly seeing a strange man, but that’s it.

In the aftermath of Ali’s disappearance, everyone suspected Ryan. The ole’ logic of, it’s always the husband, or boyfriend, in full effect. The fact that there’s no evidence against him, doesn’t stop the world from speculating.

Haunted by that night and the blow to his reputation, Ryan changed his last name and moved away for law school. Nevertheless, he hasn’t truly been able to move on. Ali was the love of his life and it tortures him imagining what may have happened to her.

Five years later, in Italy on a trip with some law school classmates, Ryan gets an unexpected call from his father. Ali’s car has just been found submerged in Suncatcher Lake.

Once the car is recovered from the water, a grisly discovery is revealed. There are two dead men in the trunk, along with a cryptic note contained in an envelope that has five words written on it in Ali’s handwriting:

If something happens to me…

Obviously, this reopens everything for Ryan. With that night fresh in his mind, the unthinkable happens. Ryan actually spots the man he remembers seeing that night. What is that man doing in Italy? Who the heck is he?

Ryan is no longer a scared teen. He pursues the man. He needs answers and he’s not stopping until he gets them.

If Something Happens to Me is a whirlwind ride. The drama takes place in multiple countries and follows a few different perspectives. Initially, it’s jarring, but as the pieces start falling into place, the various connections are revealed.

Even though this isn’t my favorite Finlay novel, that distinction goes to The Night Shift, there’s no denying he knows how to deliver the action and page-turning intrigue.

This is a very action-oriented Thriller, most in line with Finlay’s earlier work, Every Last Fear. The various perspectives each help to build out a different aspect of the underlying mystery and it always impresses me how much detail Finlay goes into.

For me, Ryan’s perspective was the most memorable, but I also enjoyed Poppy McGee, a young deputy from Ryan’s hometown, brought onto the case after the car is found.

As a side note, there were certain elements of this that reminded me of the series, Your Honor, featuring Bryan Cranston, but with an international twist.

Overall, this is fast-paced and twisty. I listened to the audio and enjoyed the narration. It felt compelling and I needed to keep reading until it was complete.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. Alex Finlay is a force to be reckoned with in the Thriller space, and I’ll continue picking up his work!

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