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Final Act


Worth reading 😎

With those sporting the VT2 watch, their Final Notice can appear. A rise of violence has forced the creator to track their emotions, sort of!

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Van Fleisher for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

After devouring the first book by Van Fleisher, which lays the groundwork for this novel, I knew that I needed to read more, if only to learn how things with the VT2 watch developed and what Dr. Vijay Patel had in store for the world. While the watch has been working effectively to offer its users a ‘final notice’ before their deaths, Patel and others have also come to see a rise in gun violence among those with nothing to lose—the premise of the series debut. After selling the company, Patel chooses to take a leadership role within the wing of the company that is working on these notices and some other software. Teamed up with a Special Agent within the FBI, Patel is trying to work out an added layer to the notice option, tracking levels of aggression and blood chemistry that might help trigger knowledge that could alert to the potential of a violent outburst during this final notice period. When Patel is forced from his job by a vindictive company CEO, he tries to keep the new level of tracking going, only to have all his pathways shut down. Knowing that this is a vital portal, Patel will bend the rules, if only to help stop the continuous spree of killing. However, someone is trying to play their own version of Big Brother, tapping into the Final Notice data to exact revenge on high-ranking officials and yet keeping the blood off their own hands. As high-profile murders begin to take place during an election year, Patel and his FBI counterpart must work from the outside to gain new and covert access to the VT2 data, saving lives and yet tracking those who are most likely to become violent. All of this has major implications, especially with the true puppet master still lurking in the shadows. A decent follow-up piece that seeks to delve a little deeper into the story and keep the reader questioning every plot twist. Van Fleisher does well here, but the story lacked the punch I would have hoped, coming off a successful debut novel.

While I know some panned Fleisher’s opening piece as being too silly or even a novel that seeks to ride on the coattails of current events, I quite enjoyed the banter between characters and how he developed his plot. There was a great deal of potential with this piece, as it sought to look a little deeper into the Final Notice aspect of the VT2 watch and look at those who use this as a means to tie up their personal loose ends and exact some revenge, knowing they will not face the consequences. However, the story got wonky part way in and never really was able to right itself effectively. The thriller aspect of Patel trying to work from the outside propelled the piece forward, but there were countless instances where interactions between characters seemed inserted to fill space rather than develop the story effectively. The premise of the book had much potential, though I think it got bogged down throughout the meandering narrative and over abundance of plot points. The mix of chapter lengths helped balance out some of the less than strong storytelling, as I could push through shorter portions and set the book down until I had a mental reset. Fleisher can tell a story, there is no doubt, and his choice to inject some social commentary throughout is never a bad thing. I do wonder, however, if a reworking to sharpen and strengthen this piece could help create a better duology on the topic. I think Fleisher might want to hire a new editorial team to help him define a stronger story that will sell and perhaps look back to his debut novel, finding its strengths and building on them, rather than trying to toss so much into the book and hope to please everyone with a little something here and there!

Kudos, Mr. Fleisher, for a decent second novel. There are a mix of good and bad things for me, but I hope those who read both novels get the larger themes and points you see to address.  

Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.

While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.


About the author

I've enjoyed two careers affording me the opportunity to read voraciously on thousands of flights and learn about people, cultures, business, and life. FINAL NOTICE was my first thriller, followed by a sequel, FINAL ACT. I live in California, and France, with my partner and our goldendoodle. view profile

Published on April 19, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by