The Finalists by David Bell
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Paperback, 400 pages
Publication: July 5th 2022 by Berkley Books
Taken from Goodreads: The competitive selection process for a prized college scholarship turns deadly in the latest thriller from USA Today bestselling author David Bell.
On a beautiful spring day, six college students with nothing in common besides a desperate inability to pay for school gather to compete for the prestigious Hyde Fellowship.
James--The rule follower.
Emily--The social justice warrior.
The six of them must surrender their devices when they enter Hyde House, an aging Victorian structure that sits in a secluded part of campus.
Once inside, the doors lock behind them. The students are not allowed to leave until they spend eight hours with a college administrator who will do almost anything to keep the school afloat and Nicholas Hyde, the privileged and notoriously irresponsible heir to the Hyde family fortune. If the students leave before time is up, they'll be immediately disqualified.
But when one of the six finalists drops dead, the other students fear they're being picked off one by one. With a violent protest raging outside and no way to escape, the survivors viciously turn on each other.
The Finalists is a chilling and profound look at the lengths both students and colleges will go to survive in a resource-starved academic world.
My Thoughts: I have read most, if not all, of David Bell’s book and each has left me so satisfied. He is a talented thriller and mystery writer. I always look forward to his books. The Finalist is the latest of his books and I could not wait to read it. When my copy arrived, I could not get it to it fast enough. I am so excited to say he did not disappoint. I started the book before bed, it took me two days to read it and I read it until my eyes just would not stay open. Now that I have finished the book, I am excited to hear what my thriller friends think of The Finalist.
Six college students of different backgrounds enter a historic house on campus to compete for a scholarship. This scholarship will make or break all six of them. I loved learning about each character, and I really liked that all was not revealed in the beginning of the book. I enjoyed how each character was unique. They had a different reason for needing the scholarship and each of these reasons could also be why they were the killer.
The ending… WOW! I did not see it coming. I never guessed at where David Bell, author, was taking me as the reader. Yet, I am thrilled at how it all came together at the end. I like that I was surprised and am still thinking about how the book ended.
There is no doubt that I will recommend The Finalist to anyone who loves a great thriller book.
**Thank you Berkley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet David Bell (Taken from his website): David Bell is the USA Today-bestselling author of twelve novels from Berkley/Penguin, including THE FINALISTS, KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS, THE REQUEST, LAYOVER, SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER, BRING HER HOME, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL.
His work has been translated into numerous foreign languages, included on several bestseller lists, nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and, in 2013, won the prestigious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author. Recently his thirteenth novel, KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS, was nominated for a 2022 Edgar Award.
He is a professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he co-founded the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and walking in the cemetery near his house. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, young adult author M Hendrix.