Book review (fiction): ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ is a tense and twisted gem | Books


Finlay Donovan is killing it

By JAY STRAFFORD for the Free Lance star

“Eavesdropping,” warns a Scottish proverb, “don’t hear anything good about yourself”.

But they could learn something that could work to their advantage, if not that of their spouse – even under the blue suburban skies of Northern Virginia.

On this basis Elle Cosimano builds her debut novel “Finlay Donovan Is Killing It”.

The Loudoun County’s title character is a 31-year-old writer divorced from serial adulterer Steven and the mother of Delia and Zachary. She is struggling financially, emotionally, and professionally with a new novel that has just begun but is overdue for submission.

When she and her agent meet to discuss the book, another customer at the restaurant, Patricia Mickler, overhears elements of their conversation, concludes that Finlay is a hit man and leaves her a message:

Horrified but intrigued, Finlay tracks down Patricia, calls her, and listens to her describing husband Harris as particularly hideous. Desperate for money but averse to murder, Finlay decides to check him out.

What follows is a seriously comical thriller with a winning mix of bloodthirsty elements – including Russian gangsters – and cracking funny moments and passages, like the embarrassing moments in Finlay’s up-and-coming romance with bartender Julian Baker.


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