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July 24, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

Five Reasons To Read Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice

Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice By Elle Cosimano- Summary

Goodreads summary (review below) of Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice by Elle Cosimano:

Finlay Donovan and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero are in sore need of a girls’ weekend away. They plan a trip to Atlantic City, but odds are―seeing as it’s actually a cover story to negotiate a deal with a dangerous loan shark, save Vero’s childhood crush Javi, and hunt down a stolen car―it won’t be all fun and games. When Finlay’s ex-husband Steven and her mother insist on tagging along, Finlay and Vero suddenly have too many meddlesome passengers along for the ride.

Within hours of arriving in their seedy casino hotel, it becomes clear their rescue mission will be a bust. Javi’s kidnapper, Marco, refuses to negotiate, demanding payment in full in exchange for Javi’s life. But that’s not all―he insists on knowing the whereabouts of his missing nephew, Ike, who mysteriously disappeared. Unable to confess what really happened to Ike, Finlay and Vero are forced to come up with a new plan: sleuth out the location of Javi and the Aston Martin, then steal them both back.

But when they sneak into the loan shark’s suite to search for clues, they find more than they bargained for―Marco’s already dead. They don’t have a clue who murdered him, only that they themselves have a very convincing motive. Then four members of the police department unexpectedly show up in town, also looking for Ike―and after Finlay’s night with hot cop Nick at the police academy, he’s a little too eager to keep her close to his side.

If Finlay can juggle a jealous ex-husband, two precocious kids, her mother’s marital issues, a decomposing loan shark, and find Vero’s missing boyfriend, she might get out of Atlantic City in one piece. But will she fold under the pressure and come clean about the things she’s done, or be forced to double down?

Finlay Donovan Links- I have written other posts about the Finlay Donovan Series (also Veronica Ruiz’s novella) and interviewed Elle Cosimano. Please see the links below:

Elle Cosimano Interview

Finlay Donovan Series Summary and Overview

Veronica Ruiz Breaks The Bank Review

Guest Review Of Finlay Donovan Knocks ’em Dead

Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice Teaser Tuesday

Angela Dawe (Finlay Donovan Series Narrator) Interview

Lastly, I want to note that while this can be read as a stand-alone, I highly suggest you read the Finlay Donovan series from the beginning. While each book is unique in its plot, there is a carry-over in both the plot and the characters. 

Reason #1- Characters

This is a Captain Obvious statement to anyone who has read the Finlay Donovan series, but I’m running with it. Of course, the main characters featured throughout the series are perfect. However, as always, Elle Cosimano inserts a new supporting cast that is a riotous addition. From Ike’s wife to this round of gangsters and thieves, they all add to the suspense, mystery, and humor the Finlay Donovan series is known for.

Returning side characters are also cleverly utilized. My personal favorite is Cam, the teen hacker. He is young, full of heart, and has a knack for getting himself in over his head. Not to mention throwing parties in hotel rooms with dead bodies stashed in the bathroom.

The main cast continues their character arcs, keeping them exciting and interesting rather than stale and redundant. Finlay Donovan retains her humor finds more dead bodies while dealing with her motherly duties, her ex-husband Steven, and her new love interest, Nik.

All the while, Finlay finds new drama, mad-cap mysteries, and generally running from one catastrophe to another. Her partner-in-crime (quite literally) and the catalyst of Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice; Veronica Ruiz, is not just a side-kick. Elle Cosimano writes her deeper in this installment of the Finlay Donovan. She is not just laugh-out-loud and outrageous. Instead, Veronica provides a heartfelt storyline regarding Javi, her childhood friend and possible love interest.

Reason #2- Plot

As a series goes on, it can often become repetitive and/or lose its edge. One of the few exceptions to this rule is the Orphan X Series by Gregg Hurwitz. Finlay Donovan is another one of the few exceptions to the rule. One of the ways Elle Cosimano continues to deliver edgy, new adventures while retaining all the things about the characteristics that are loved, in the series.

She doesn’t just keep the characters developing and entertaining, but the plots also move along brilliantly. Each new book in the series connects to the others, bringing characters back with more extensive parts or sometimes smaller parts. This allows for other characters to step forward. While some storylines are tied up, some are just beginning, including a cliffhanger ending.

Additionally, nothing slows down as the series progresses. The pacing is rocket-fast, without ever becoming confusing. As the dead bodies pile up from book to book, so do the stakes rise. It isn’t just the stakes that are upped; the shenanigans continue to delight. Wait till you get to the movement of dead bodies…and, um, the hair dryer.

Reason #3- Writing

Considering what I’ve already said, this might seem redundant, but I want to highlight a couple of points. Elle Cosimano has a gift for writing novels that are fun without being over-the-top absurd. The balance she strikes is pitch-perfect. Next, she excels in intertwining the hysterical with the suspense and thrills. One is never lost over the other. There are always truly harrowing moments and intrigue. It is never overtaken by the fun adventures readers get to join in on.

Elle Cosimano writes incredibly unique characters. Each has different emotive qualities, frustrations, a sense of humor, and purpose. These change throughout the series as characters grow and change over time. But that happens without ever losing the character’s core.

Lastly, consider this: The entire series is from one point of view: Finlay Donovan. This could easily become boring, but her inner narrative is written with such vigor, humor, and heart that it never does.

Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice By Elle Cosimano Summary Review

Thank you to Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio for advance copies of Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice by Elle Cosimano, releasing  March 5th.

Reason #4- Setting

Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice changes the scenery from previous books, and Atlantic City comes alive. The road trip to Atlantic City is already fraught with laugh-out-loud tension between Finlay Donovan and her ex-husband, Steven. Once everyone arrives in Atlantic City, the totally new environment upsets the apple cart. Truthfully, the apple cart is upset on numerous levels, but running around Atlantic City brings in a whole new dynamic. Between the sensory overload of the casinos (try finding two toddlers in one) and the complications of sleeping arrangements (it is like herding cats between Finlay’s mom, Veronica, Stephen, and the kids), the setting is vivid and absolutely an intricate part of the story.

Reason #5- Audio Book Bonus-Angela Dawes

Ok. I know not everyone reads audiobooks, but I highly suggest you try the series out on Audiobook. Macmillan Audio nails the production of the Finlay Donovan series. Moreover, and most importantly, they chose a hell of a narrator in Angela Dawes. She is absolutely the voice of this series. Angela Dawes consistently nails each character, not just in voice but in their personality nuances. Standing ovation for her as she brings the Finlay Donovan series to life.

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