The Finalists

Berkley. Jul. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780593198698. $27. THRILLER
The founding family of Hyde College finances a lucrative scholarship annually, and six enrolled students are hand-selected as Hyde fellows to compete for the scholarship in an all-day process. The finalists are locked in the historic Hyde House on the outskirts of campus with one member of the Hyde family and a college administrator. The day’s itinerary prohibits technology and closely follows century-old rules from the Hydes, including a written exam and personal interviews. The schedule veers off kilter when one of the finalists is murdered, and the situation quickly spirals out of control. Everyone has something to lose if they leave prematurely, so greed trumps safety. What begins as the opportunity of a lifetime, turns into a dangerous game of survival for the eight locked in Hyde House. Secrets and motives emerge as the day continues, and soon no one can be trusted.
VERDICT Bell (Kill Your Darlings; The Request) has crafted a contemporary whodunit reminiscent of Agatha Christie that thriller fans will devour.
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