Finlay Donovan is Killing it by Elle Cosimano – Book Review!

Finlay Donovan is killing it…except, she’s really not. A stressed-out single mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: The new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written; her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her; and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet. She soon discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.

What happens when you’re mistakenly taken for a hitman for hire and someone offers you 50k to knock off her despicable husband? Well, if you’re Finlay Donovan, someone whose writing career hasn’t quite taken off and who is currently in a custody battle with her arsehole ex… you take the job. She just didn’t expect to become embroiled in a real-life murder investigation that has ties back to the Russian Mob. Has Finlay bitten off more than she can chew… we’re about to find out.

I was about to head into one hell of a reading slump but picking this book up absolutely saved me! It was just what I needed, a fun and sometimes intense break from fantasy with brilliantly written characters and a plot that has you hooked from the first page. Finlay is a great character, and someone I empathised with from the start. Cosimano brilliantly portrays her as a woman on the verge, she is constantly trying to stay afloat, but she can’t afford the rent, or the electric bill and between those and the custody battle her ex has threatened her with, it’s easy to understand why she would struggle to turn down something like this, no matter how much it goes against her morals. And while all this may sound a little depressing, and it definitely does hit some emotional peaks in parts, Cosimano gives her a personality filled with wit and fire, making her someone you can’t help but want to succeed, and rub her success in her arsehole ex husbands face. Alongside Finlay my favourite characters were Delia, her little girl who is just portrayed brilliantly, asking only the awkward questions toddlers can and popping up at the worst moments and Vero, Finlay’s nanny turned accomplice.

The thing about this book, and what makes it so great in my opinion, is that it’s the perfect blend of implausible and plausible. Finlay mainly succeeds by accident, and misses out on being caught by the skin of her teeth, and while some of the events seem over the top silly, they also seem incredibly plausible in the mess that is Finlay’s life. It’s hilariously funny in parts, slightly steamy in others and in some, totally heartbreaking, but I found myself constantly smiling whilst reading this. Cosimano takes something that could be incredibly sombre and triller-esque and turns it into a bit of a romp whilst still giving us all the stakes and drama we want from the genre. Her plot twists manage to keep us guessing and I was that glued to the story I finished it in a matter of hours.

The romance was minimal but brilliant and I loved seeing Finlay starting to open herself up to the idea of a relationship… although one of her choices might not have been ideal considering her position. But I think what I loved most was seeing the relationship between Finlay and Vero progress. What starts as an almost reluctant joining becomes something more, these women push each other to become better versions of themsevels, and allowing themselves to have a little fun, and I loved nothing more than seeing Finlay finally stand up to her dickhead ex husband (have I mentioned that I didn’t like him), with a little push from Vero.

In case you hadn’t guessed I loved this book! In fact, I loved it that much I instantly went out and bought the second book which I’m planning to pick up soon. If you’re looking for that cozy thriller vibe, with plenty of hi jinks and hilarity, romance and brilliantly written characters, I cannot recommend this series enough.

6 replies »

  1. Great review of one of my favorite fun series! It’s almost like a cozy mystery series, but not quite – and I loved all three of the books. I hope there’s more to come, and I’m so glad it saved you from a slump!

    Liked by 1 person

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