cover image If Something Happens to Me

If Something Happens to Me

Alex Finlay. Minotaur, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-86379-9

Finlay (What Have We Done) returns with a tightly coiled spine tingler about a law student under suspicion for his high school girlfriend’s disappearance. Five years ago, while Ryan Richardson and his girlfriend, Alison Lane, were on a date, Ryan fell unconscious and Alison vanished. After Ryan woke up, he recovered vague memories of being attacked by a man with a missing finger, but the residents of Leavenworth, Kans., quickly came to suspect him of killing Alison. Now, Ryan has changed his name and fled Leavenworth for law school. He’s on a summer trip to Italy when he learns that Alison’s car has been discovered in a Kansas lake—but her remains are nowhere to be found. Instead, the waterlogged vehicle contains the skeletons of two unknown men and a cryptic note from Alison. In Tuscany, Ryan catches a glimpse of a man who resembles his and Alison’s possible attacker and ends up chasing him across Europe. Meanwhile, back in Kansas, the deputy who recovered Alison’s car traces the case to unexpected corners of Philadelphia. 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. (May)