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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

If Something Happens to Me

Narrators: Helen Laser, John Pirhalla,

Paul Dateh

Macmillan Audio

ISBN: 978-1250863799

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 05/28/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars + (ARC)

From “one of the genre’s most exciting voices” (E! News) comes one of the year’s most-anticipated thrillers.

For the past five years, Ryan Richardson has relived that terrible night. The car door ripping open. The crushing blow to the head. The hands yanking him from the vehicle. His girlfriend Ali’s piercing scream as she is taken.

With no trace of Ali or the car, a cloud of suspicion hangs over Ryan. But with no proof and a good lawyer, he’s never charged, though that doesn’t matter to the podcasters and internet trolls. Now, Ryan has changed his last name, and entered law school. He's put his past behind him.

Until, on a summer trip abroad to Italy with his law-school classmates, Ryan gets a call from his father: Ali's car has finally been found, submerged in a lake in his hometown. Inside are two dead men and a cryptic note with five words written on the envelope in Ali’s handwriting: If something happens to me…

Then, halfway around the world, the unthinkable happens: Ryan sees the man who has haunted his dreams since that night.

As Ryan races from the rolling hills of Tuscany, to a rural village in the UK, to the glittering streets of Paris in search of the truth, he has no idea that his salvation may lie with a young sheriff’s deputy in Kansas working her first case, and a mobster in Philadelphia who’s experienced tragedy of his own.

In classic Alex Finlay form, If Something Happens to Me is told through the perspectives of several distinct, compelling characters whose paths intersect. The story explodes with twist after pulse-pounding twist, cementing Finlay as one of the leading thriller writers today.

About the Author

Photo Credit: Kristina Sherk Photography

Alex Finlay is the author of the 2021 breakout novel Every Last Fear, the 2022 Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller, The Night Shift, and the 2023 LibraryReads Hall of Fame recipient What Have We Done. His work has been an Indie Next pick, a LibraryReads selection, an Amazon Editor’s Best Thriller, as well as a Cosmopolitan, CNN, Newsweek, E!, BuzzFeed, Business Week, Goodreads, Parade, PopSugar, Scribd, and Reader’s Digest best or most anticipated thrillers of the year. Alex’s novels have been translated into twenty-one languages and sold worldwide. All of his novels have been optioned for film and television, and Every Last Fear is in development for a major limited series.

Alex writes under a pen name and is a prominent Washington, D.C. lawyer who has represented clients in more than 40 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

His next novel, If Something Happens to Me released on May 28, 2024.

Connect with Alex:


Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk!


chat with bestselling

Author Alex Finlay

Behind the Book & the Author

Welcome to the third May 2024 #AuthorElevatorSeries —and joining us for the first time a personal and fan favorite, special guest bestselling author Alex Finlay with his fourth novel— the highly anticipated thriller and his best yet, IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME.

From “one of the genre’s most exciting voices”

(E! News) comes one of the year’s most-anticipated thrillers.

Join us as Alex shares some fascinating behind-the-scenes exclusives from the book and up-close and personal fun moments from this powerhouse author!

Welcome, Alex!


A young law student who’s lived under a cloud of suspicion after the disappearance of his girlfriend five years ago thinks he sees the man who abducted her while on a trip with his classmates to Italy.

Q. SETTING (s): Tell us more about the book settings and why you selected them. How it ties in with your personally, etc.

For all of my books I choose places where I’ve been, though I tend to make the settings more bleak than they really are. As a boy, I lived briefly in Leavenworth, Kansas, where small town deputy sheriff Poppy McGee is based. I’ve been to Philadelphia quite a bit, so it was a natural setting for the scary O’Leary criminal organization. And I’ve lived in Georgetown DC, an important setting for the book. But the most fun was traveling around Paris, Italy, and the UK scouting locations for scenes. As I said in the Acknowledgements page, I’ve become an insufferable Francophile.

Q. ADAPTATION: For fun, do you have any cast of stars in mind for any of your leading roles for movie or TV series?

I try to leave those thoughts to the experts. Four of my books are at some stage of development in Hollywood and I know enough to know that the novelist doesn’t always have the best perspective on casting or even how the book will be adapted.

Q. WRITING: Do you have a favorite chapter or scene in the novel you enjoyed writing the most?

I always love writing the epilogue. Obviously one reason is because that means I’ve actually finished the novel. Another, it’s an emotional goodbye for me in a way.

Q. DID YOU KNOW? Name 1-5 things that readers may not know about your new book.

I wrote the first draft on my phone while on long walks. My wife and daughter are my first readers. I wrote the words The End while in a café in the 7th arrondissement. (I told you: insufferable Francophile…)

Q. UPCOMING: Can you share what you are currently working on or what is next in ten words or less?

My 2025 novel is called Parents Weekend—about five college kids who go missing during, you guessed it, parents weekend at their university. It will mark the return of FBI Agent Keller from Every Last Fear and The Night Shift. That’s well over 10 words, sorry.

THANK YOU, Alex, for spending time with us today!

Thank you for having me!

Join Alex on Tour!


Publishers Weekly Starred Review

A Goodreads' "Biggest Books of the Spring"

A Goodreads Readers' Most-Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2024

A Novel Suspects Most-Anticipated Crime Fiction Novel of 2024

A Nerd Daily Most-Anticipated 2024 Book Release

A Deadly Pleasures Magazine Most Anticipated Mystery and Thriller of 2024

A Real Book Spy Must-Read Mystery and Thriller of Spring 2024

“A tightly coiled spine tingle . . . As in Finlay’s previous novels, relentless pacing, impressive characterizations, and the author’s knack for surprise combine to produce top-shelf entertainment. This is a smart, unpredictable winner.”―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“The twists are nonstop . . . Finlay’s name on the cover guarantees a great read, and this one will end up on many best-of-the-year lists.”

―First Clue

“Finlay crafts characters that are a pleasure to read about, mysteries that captivate, and novels that are as exhilarating as they are intricate. This blend makes for an invariably exceptional reading experience with his books, and If Something Happens to Me adds another distinguished accolade to his already remarkable repertoire.”

―Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“A brilliant and taut action-packed thriller that begs to be read in one sitting. I know I did If Something Happens to Me is perfectly plotted, nail-bitingly intense, and incredibly compelling. Finlay proves once again that he is a master of his craft.”

―Jeneva Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage

“If Something Happens to Me shows why Alex Finlay is one of the leading thriller writers today. Pulse-pounding, layered, and impossible to put down. Finlay―the master of twists―has outdone himself.”

―Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Tonight

“Alex Finlay has outdone himself with If Something Happens to Me―a riveting thriller with a twist that you won't see coming. I loved this book.”

―Laura Dave, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me

“Told at a breakneck pace, peppered with whiplash twists that will make you question every premise, If Something Happens to Me is easily one of the best thrillers of the year. Alex Finlay has already established himself as a titan in the thriller world; this novel may be his best yet.”

―David Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of Look Closer

My Review

Stay tuned for my upcoming #AuthorElevatorSeries Chat with Alex, where we will go behind the scenes of the book and this talented author (pub day, May 28th)!

Powerhouse author Alex Finlay returns following What Have We Done with IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME —An explosive, globetrotting, heart-pounding multi-layered suspense thriller that will blow your mind as you scramble to solve the clues of this clever mystery.

STELLAR! Alex Finlay is at his finest. Top Books of 2024!

Masterfully told in three parts alternating with different voices and settings:

Leavenworth, Kansas— Ryan, and Alison

As the novel opens, Ryan and Alison, high school sweethearts, are off to different colleges and their last night at home. They drive in Alison's BMW to Lovers' Lane by the river. They were going to head to their favorite spot under the giant oak tree, but it started to rain, and back to the car. The next thing they know, the door is yanked open, Alison is screaming, Ryan gets knocked out with a blow to the head, and in the morning wakes up outside on the grass. Alison and the car are both gone.

Montepulciano, Italy— Ryan

It has been five years since Alison went missing. Now Ryan is a law student at Georgetown, traveling abroad with classmates to Italy during the break. He even had to change his last name, change colleges, and give up sports, as everyone thought he was guilty; however, there was no proof. Ryan even went to a hypnotist and recovered a vision of a man's face and hands, with one missing a pinky finger dragging him out of the car. He calls him a monster. The man or Alison—not found.

Leavenworth, Kansas— Poppy

Five years later, in Kansas, Poppy McGee is the new Deputy Sheriff after spending time in the Army (Military discharge). She has moved back home to take care of her sick father after her mom died unexpectedly. Her older brother Dash was an NBA star, but now he sells cars in their hometown.

Poppy gets her first case when some YouTubers found a vehicle submerged in Suncatcher Lake. It is Alison's car. She is not in the vehicle but two dead men. Later, a cryptic note is found in a waterproof bag in Alison's handwriting titled, "IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME." Is this note meant for Ryan, or is it about him?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania —Shane

Here, we are introduced to Shane O'Leary, a crime boss. He is married with a son, Anthony, who is bullied at the new private elite school. Shane and his wife, Gina, are distraught. He goes to his accountant (fixer) to see what is happening with his son since his daughter Taylor attends the same school.

Kansas City —Poppy

This could be Poppy's chance with a big case to solve. She knows all too well about harassment and bullying. Where is Alison, and who are the dead men in her car? Did Alison know them? At the time back then, they finally said Alison must have been kidnapped or killed by the Missouri River Killer. Alison had been in the same class as Dash, two years ahead of Poppy, at the high school on different sides of the track. Also, she wonders how they missed the car when the Cold Case Company found it in less than two hours.

PODCASTER: We also meet the host of the Treehouse in Kansas City, a true crime podcast that is pretty sharp and has his theories. (very funny with Poppy).

Alternating from Pennsylvania with Leary, Kansas with Poppy, and back to Italy with Ryan. None of his friends, except Nora, knows about Ryan's past; however, when he receives the phone call from his dad that the car was found and the note, he is concerned. Also, he receives notes that someone knows who he is and wants to meet.

From Florence, Italy; Lackford, England; Bury Saint Edmonds, England; M11 Mororway, England; A20 Motorway, France; Cordes-sur-Ciel, France; to Paris, France, we follow Ryan and The Pinky Man (The Monster). Ryan is being followed and tries to figure out the clues to the mystery. What was Alison trying to tell him? What was she involved in?

So, how are the THREE complex storylines connected?

From all the globetrotting and back and forth, we reach the Epilogue, where the author brilliantly wraps up the story one year later in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Leavenworth, Kansas, and Georgetown, Washington, DC.

IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME is explosive! Action-packed, high stakes, and riveting suspense with codes, clues, and more twists than you can imagine. A winner!

The author marks each chapter so you are always aware of the location and the characters. You will be frantically turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning to see how all the storylines are connected.

The author seamlessly juggles multiple characters, storylines, timelines, and settings like a rock star, creating a top-notch, first-class thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page is turned!

I hope we see more of Poppy in future books! I highly recommend all of Finlay's books (all 5 stars); however, IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME is a highly creative favorite.

This is for fans of David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, Robert Dugoni, and Michael Connelly and readers who enjoy intelligent, creative, twisty action thrillers with well-crafted characters.

AUDIOBOOK: I listened to the audiobook and the narrators, Helen Laser, John Pirhalla,

Paul Dateh delivered an outstanding performance for all voices, keeping you glued to your AirPods. Loved it. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Thanks to Minotaur Books, St. Martin's Press, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for an ARC, ALC, and paperback copy for an honest opinion. #MacAudio2024 #SMPInfluencers

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 28, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars +







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