Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun
- Author: Elle Cosimano
- Genre: Mystery
- Publication Date: January 31, 2023
- Publisher: Minotaur Books
- Series: Finlay Donovan #3
Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: violence, blood, death, mention of murder, gore, mention of cancer, gun violence
Author and single mom Finlay Donovan has been in messes before―after all, she’s a pro at removing bloodstains for various unexpected reasons―but none quite like this. When Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they had “borrowed” in the process of saving the life of Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob did her a favor and bought the car for her. And now Finlay owes them.
Mob boss Feliks is still running the show from behind bars, and he has a task for Finlay: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. The problem is, the killer might be an officer themself.
Luckily, hot cop Nick has just been tasked with starting up a citizen’s police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay’s looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with a tempting detective), Finlay and Vero use their time in police academy to sleuth out the real contract killer to free themselves from the mob’s clutches―all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero’s past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.
Deciding to start this book in the evening was a terrible decision. I wound up staying up way late to read it, and then woke up early still thinking about it, so I obviously had to finish reading. Naturally, since I was exhausted, I went back to sleep. But at least I can say I accomplished something before 9 am, right?
In this installment, Finlay is trying to tie up some loose ends from the last book. She’s indebted to Feliks after the whole Aston Martin incident in book 2, and there’s now paperwork that ties her to him, so she owes him a favor. Feliks being who he is wasn’t going to leave a favor outstanding for long, and he quickly calls it in—she’s got to find out who EasyClean is, and do it quickly.
Sounds easy, right? Of course not, because nothing is easy for Finlay! Vero is struggling with some poor choices that she’s made which are coming back to bite her (and Finlay), she’s got issues with Steven (naturally), there’s a problem with her book and she has to rework some of it with a deadline hanging over her head, and as if our dynamic duo needed anything else to deal with, they both got recruited to join Nick’s super-intensive citizen’s police academy. What’s that? Well, they stay at the police academy, surrounded by police officers, and undergo rigorous training. Sounds like fun, except for the fact that her every move is being watched by Joey, Nick’s suspicious partner.
While there were plot twists galore and action, I loved the humor so much. That’s one of my favorite parts of the story, and a huge part of what keeps me coming back for more in this series. I was also approved for the audiobook, where Angela Dawe narrates, and she continues to do a fabulous job. She’s amazing, and I love the different voices and accents that she does for the characters! But where the series, and this book especially, really shines, is the connections between the characters. I especially love the relationship between Finlay and Vero, which has gone from employer/employee to something so much deeper. They’re friends but have more of a ride or die relationship, and they’ve developed a trusting bond between them that gets even stronger in this book. I also liked seeing the connection building between Finlay and Nick, especially as they’re placed into forced proximity during this book. These characters are all great, and even the side characters are fleshed out and intriguing.
It was difficult to figure out who the bad guy really way in this story, and it kept me thinking for the entire book. However, when the villain was revealed, it came as a complete surprise. I loved being surprised, and it was written well. This fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny series is great, and I’m definitely already looking forward to the next book.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 16
Categories: Book Review