I enjoy thrillers and I think, on average, I end up liking more of them than horror novels. I'll always love supernatural stories, but a good thriller is always welcome in my brain. The line between the two can often be indistinguishable, as with The Silence of the Lambs, Psycho, Misery, Koko, or Ill Will.

If I see a thriller novel getting a lot of hype, I'll consider taking a look at it. Sometimes it's a rewarding experience, often it's not. Alex Finlay's The Night Shift recently came under my radar, and upon reading the promotional synopsis, I was intrigued enough to put the book on hold at the library.

The Night Shift is pretty good. Alex Finlay isn't in the same league as S.A. Cosby or Gillian Flynn, but certainly better than the things I've read by Linwood Barclay and Adrian McKinty.

I'll say this: The Night Shift is a fast, engrossing read. It's the kind of story that will probably appeal to Meg Gardiner fans. The book has an arresting opening: On New Year's Eve, 1999, as a Blockbuster Video is closing down, three teenager girls are slaughtered. One young lady's life was spared. The main suspect disappears and the case grows cold. Fifteen years later a similar crime takes place in an ice cream parlor in the same town. Links between the two incidents are inescapable. The original survivor, an FBI agent, and the Blockbuster suspect's brother search for answers.

The plot of The Night Shift gets a little convoluted, and my credibility was stretched by the end. I thought I knew the murderer's identity early on, and I was not wrong. It was pretty obvious. Despite these little trifles, The Night Shift is a solid, enjoyable suspense novel, and I will definitely read Alex Finlay again.

Written by Mark Sieber

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