The Finalists by David Bell [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: The Finalists

Author: David Bell

Publisher: Berkley Books

Publish Date: July 5, 2022

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Finalists by 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.
Milo—The front-runner
Natalia—The brain
James—The rule follower
Sydney—The athlete
Duffy—The cowboy
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 by David Bell


Six college students compete for a fellowship. The students arrive at Hyde House, an old building on the campus, to be interviewed. They are locked inside and cannot leave until the interview process is completed. Unfortunately, one of the finalists dies. The others must figure out if there is a murderer among them, and how they will survive.

An interesting idea, but this book fell a little flat for me. I liked the setting of an old Victorian building on a small college campus. Unfortunately, the story moved along too slowly for my liking. The characters are all unlikable… everyone has secrets and is desperate for the scholarship. Unlikable characters aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do like to have someone to root for while reading a novel like this.

The Finalists was an entertaining locked room mystery. Good for fans of David Bell and locked room mysteries.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by David Bell:
  1. Cemetery Girl
  2. The Hiding Place
  3. Never Come Back
  4. The Forgotten Girl
  5. Somebody I Used to Know
  6. Since She Went Away
  7. Bring Her Home
  8. Somebody’s Daughter
  9. Layover
  10. The Request
  11. Kill All Your Darlings
  12. The Finalists
  13. She’s Gone
  14. Try Not to Breathe

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