Thursday, March 2, 2023

ARC Review: What Have We Done by Alex Finlay

What Have We Done

Author: Alex Finlay
Publication: Minotaur Books (March 7, 2023)

Description: A stay-at-home mom with a past.
A has-been rock star with a habit.
A reality TV producer with a debt.
Three disparate lives.
One deadly secret.

Twenty five years ago, Jenna, Donnie, and Nico were the best of friends, having forged a bond through the abuse and neglect they endured as residents of Savior House, a group home for parentless teens. When the home was shut down―after the disappearance of several kids―the three were split up.

Though the trauma of their childhood has never left them, each went on to live accomplished―if troubled―lives. They haven’t seen one another since they were teens but now are reunited for a single haunting reason: someone is trying to kill them.

To survive, the group will have to revisit the nightmares of their childhoods and confront their shared past―a past that holds the secret to why someone wants them dead.

It’s a reunion none of them asked for . . . or wanted. But it may be the only way to save all their lives.

What Have We Done is both an edge-of-your seat thriller and a gut-wrenching coming-of-age story. And it cements Alex Finlay as one of the new leading voices in thrillers today.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this thriller which brings together people who spent time in Savior House as parentless teens twenty-five years earlier. After the home was closed in part due to the disappearance of the director, the teens were split up to live their own lives.

Jenna found herself in Savior House after the death of her parents in a car accident. She wasn't their long when she was plucked out by a representative of The Corporation and trained to be an assassin. She's left that life behind, married, and is the stepmother to two girls. But then she gets called in to do one last assassination. Only she finds that her supposed target is another one of the kids from Savior House who has become a tech billionaire. After purposely missing the shot, she finds herself the target of killers who want to kill her to clear up loose ends. 

Donnie is a has-been rock star with a drug and alcohol habit who is performing with the remnants of his old band on a cruise ship. He is attacked and thrown off the ship but is picked up by a fishing boat and rescued. His manager makes a deal with a writer for a tell-all book which forces Donnie to look back on those years spent at Savior House even though he doesn't want them to be any part of his story. 

Nico is a television producer for a reality show set in the West Virginia coal mines. He has a major gambling habit and is deep in debt to some criminals. When one of the stars in the show asks to meet him on the set, deep in a coal mine, he is ambushed and left for dead after an explosion happens. He is rescued in the nick of time and wants to find out who set him up. 

The story switches between these viewpoints and the viewpoints of the twin assassins who were sent to kill them all and who have already killed another of the kids who was now a federal judge - the Honorable Robert Benjamin Wood.

The three survivors all meet at the judge's funeral and begin to compare notes. They need to find out who wants them dead if they are ever to have their own lives again. The plot was twisty. Flashbacks from each viewpoint tell more about their lives a Savior House and expose the secret they are all hiding. 

This was an excellent story filled with characters I cared about.

Favorite Quote:
"I said I was done with all this," Jenna tells her. "They said I was free and they wouldn't--"

"That's above my pay grade."

"Please, I can't."

The woman shakes her head. "You'd better. For Simon, Willow, and Tallulah's sake."

The woman steps past her and calmly disappears. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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