Joseph Finder

Buried Secrets

"From the flying start to the eventual standoff, I simply did not want to tear my eyes away from this book for one moment such is the relentless pace."


Private investigator, Nick Heller, has just set up his own agency in Boston and lands a big case which is a lot closer to home than he would like. Alexandra the teenaged daughter of billionaire hedge fund tycoon Marshall Marcus has vanished and Heller is called upon to investigate her disappearance. It soon turns out to be and extra-ordinary kidnapping case which will test all of Heller's mettle.

Alexa has been buried alive in a coffin which has linked video feeds streaming her entreaties over the internet. With only a limited supply of food and water the clock is ticking as Heller races to save her.

Being a close family friend only increases Heller's determination to save the girl but he is up against some heavyweight opponents whose reach extends both into the American government and organised crime on a global scale. Heller has to battle his way through the duplicity, secrets and varying factions to save the girl.

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The second outing for Nick Heller is a rip-roaringly suspenseful espionage thriller that made this reviewer cringe, shudder and laugh all on the one page. From the flying start to the eventual standoff, I simply did not want to tear my eyes away from this book for one moment such is the relentless pace. Nick Heller is your typically atypical lead with a military background, strong moral sense and stunning intellect which allows him to stay ahead of a very dangerous game. Alexa and her terror evoke great empathy in the reader while Diana, Dorothy and Jillian among others provide a support network for Heller. The villains of the piece are marvellously nefarious. As with all good authors writing this kind of novel, Finder sets up various characters as suspects one by one before knocking them over and blindsiding the reader with a reveal worthy of David Blaine. The whole feel of the story is endearing to the reader. You cannot help but like Heller, feel for Alexa stuck underground, mistrust Belinda and actively dislike Snyder. Hell, I even want to visit Boston after reading his description of the city, which is somewhat brighter than Dennis Lehane's depiction. The prose used is delightfully sparse even when detailing high-tech spyware or laying out plot twists. The reader is treated as an adult and should appreciate the way that Finder has created a relatively complex plot which will engage the reader's interest without ever giving them cause for confusion. I attended a writing course Joe Finder took at the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival where he taught budding writers how to create suspense. The course was very informative and I found it particularly enthralling the way he could dissect passages, to explain the mechanics behind the emotions they created. Buried Secrets, though, is the masterclass!

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