ARC Review: Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano

  • Title: Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun
  • Author: Elle Cosimano
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • Release Date: 1/31/23
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Rating: ★★★
  • Publisher’s Summary: 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. From USA Today bestseller and Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano, comes Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun—the highly anticipated, hilarious, and heart-pounding next installment in the beloved Finlay Donovan series…

I read the first two books in the Finlay Donovan series, and I was eager to see what kind of shenanigans Vero and Finlay would get up to in this third installment in the series.

I think I would have been a little bit lost if I hadn’t read the other two books in the series. There are many references to the previous deaths featured in Finlay Donovan is Killing It and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, but they are relatively vague. All of the deaths in the series are connected, and there are several threads running through the series including EZ Clean (a contract killer). It would be hard for any of these books to stand alone.

Vero is unequivocally the most interesting character through the series. She is an accountant and the nanny for Finlay’s kids, but it becomes clearer as the series continues that she has her fair share of dark secrets (including that there is a warrant for her arrest in Maryland). Her gambling debt plays a significant role in Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun as Finlay and Vero have to figure out how to pay back her creditors. Her snarky remarks remain a highlight through this installment on the series as well.

Finlay receives feedback from her agent, Sylvia, that she needs to include more romance between the cop and the assassian (the heroine of her book). I would give that feedback on Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun. There are references to intimacy between Finlay and Nick, but it is infrequent and no detail is given. Additionally, Nick doesn’t seem to trust Finlay. He asks her questions that indicate that he is questioning her alibi in Harris Mickler’s murder from the first book. Of course, he is right to question it, but it didn’t sit well with me that he didn’t feel that trust. I didn’t feel as invested in their relationship as I wanted to.

Finlay and Vero’s relationship remains more interesting than any of the romantic relationships within the series. When Finlay shows up in the first book with a dead body in her trunk, Vero unequivocally agrees to help her without asking many questions. Similarly, Finlay doesn’t hesistate to help Vero when she learns about her large debt. They are fiercely loyal to one another.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun ends on a cliffhanger, and I will certainly be eager to find out what happens next.

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