Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
Finlay Donovan is—once again—struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish.
On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.
Meanwhile, Vero’s keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay’s first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes… and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.
With her next book’s deadline looming and an ex-husband to keep alive, Finlay is quickly coming to the end of her rope. She can only hope there isn’t a noose at the end of it…
About: Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is a mystery thriller written by Elle Cosimano. It was published on 2/1/2022 by Minotaur Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, hardcover, 368 pages. Narrator Angela Dawe via Macmillan Audio. There are two books in this series so far: book 1 is Finlay Donovan is Killing It and book 2 is Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead. According to Macmillan’s website, “Minotaur established in 1999, Minotaur is a premier publisher in the bestselling category of crime fiction. St. Martin’s Press has a long and respected history of publishing a solid and varied list. We are dedicated to publishing emerging new authors, and offering a fresh perspective on classic genres, while maintaining a diverse and interesting range of books.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading and listening to an audiobook for Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead on 4/4/2022 and finished it on 4/6/2022 at 12:15am. Another fantastic read and audiobook! I liked the banter between Finlay, her sister Georgia, and their mom. Listening to this book makes me wonder if conversations between writers and agents were as exciting in real life as in this story! I enjoyed the glimpse into a writer’s life. A writer who’s got kids is a juggle just like any other person with jobs and kids. I often imagine that writers get to travel the world and write in peaceful places like the gazebo out in the meadows. Reading this book told me that my imagination is way off because Finlay wrote her books in the middle of chaos. That scene where Finlay was with Nick at Delia’s school was cute. Again I love the humor and banter in this story. I enjoyed Vero and Finlay’s strategy discussions. There were some good twists I was not expecting. All well developed characters. There’s friendship and family in this book that was not taken lightly.
This book started with Christopher’s passing. Christopher was Delia’s pet fish. Finlay said her ex-husband wanted to fight with her on custody battle of their kids because he strongly believed she couldn’t take care of them. Now the pet fish is dead was just another reason to prove him correct. Then the story began with Finlay actively investigating on who would want her ex-husband, Steven, dead. Her ex-husband was back on custody battle with Finlay now because he knew she’s dating a younger guy. He’s also bitter after his fallout with his fiancé, Theresa, and the failure of his farm after 5 bodies were found buried there. Knowing that someone wanted her ex-husband dead, she couldn’t just let her kids go with Steven alone so she and Vero tailed him. Finlay and Vero couldn’t tell Steven about his situation and couldn’t ask for her cop sister, Georgia, for help because she couldn’t risk her involvement to come out. The note to inform her about Steven’s situation mentioned that it was originated from an online forum. Finlay and Vero kept up combing the forum for more clues. When one night Steven and his kids were out Christmas tree shopping, he was attacked. Finlay was there to help and Steven was upset, thought that Finlay didn’t trust him alone with their kids. After that incident, the thread on the online forum escalated and Finlay was forced to join in on the forum pretending to be interested in the hit job.
Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead was well written and narrated. I liked the narrator and the accents were my weakness. I liked Julian so hopefully he will be in book 3 too. There’s book 3 because this book 2 ended with another cliffhanger. The ending was good. A good reminder about how innocent online forums with simple terms can be misunderstood into life and death situations. Another good reminder about husbands and men. One part I was confused on was Finlay’s missing phone. She lost after her parcel drop off at Theresa’s house but at the end of the book, Nick said the phone was found after the shootout at Mrs. Westover’s house. There were some thrilling parts in this story I enjoyed a lot. I was disappointed it took Finlay and Vero into the entire book to find out the identity for only one forum user. I’m excited for book 3 nonetheless, so I still recommend everyone to read this series!
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Elle Cosimano is a USA Today bestselling author, an International Thriller Award winner, and an Edgar Award nominee. Elle’s debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, kicked off a witty, fast-paced contemporary mystery series, which was a People magazine pick and was named one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021. In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in HuffPost and Time. Cosimano lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia. (Photo and info obtained from Macmillan’s website).
More Information About Macmillan Audio
***Many thanks to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an audiobook and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.