Friday, September 23, 2011

Joseph Finder – Buried Secrets

How do you mix an over-privileged socialite with a troubled past, Washington power brokers, high flying Wall Street hedge fund traders, Russian mobsters, a sadistic enforcer and a skilled former spy into one storyline? Start with a skilled storyteller like Joseph Finder and mix in a strong focal point character like Nick Heller and you’re off to the races.

Finder’s latest Nick Heller novel, Buried Secrets, is a classic beat the clock thriller. A troubled daughter of a billionaire disappears, an e-mailed link to a web cam lights the fuse and the race is on to get her back.

Finder does a masterful job of describing the claustrophobic terror that the kidnap victim experiences as she discovers that she is literally buried alive and her only connection to the outside world and reality is a web cam mounted in her underground coffin. You may find yourself gasping for air as he describes the waves of fear that overtake the victim.

Buried Secrets is the second, in what I hope will become a series, of Nick Heller novels. Heller is a private investigator with skillset more than a few pay grades above the average fictional PI. Heller is a former spy with a background in private, for hire, intelligence. As finder weaves the story, Heller showcases the ability to pick up threads that the average investigators might miss.

He also excels at dropping himself into dangerous situations and utilizing his training to escape unscathed. Along the way Heller mixes it up with Russian mobster, who’s bent on looking legitimate, a handful of hardcases and a particularly nasty enforcer who comes packaged with a psychotic killing streak and a stylish prison gang tattoo of an owl that gives him “eyes in the back of his head.”

Buried Secrets is terrific follow up to the first Heller adventure, Vanished; he is a character that can join the likes of Lee Child’s, Jack Reacher; Stephen Hunter’s, Bob Lee Swagger; Brad Thor’s, Scot Harvath; and Vince Flynn’s, Mitch Rapp.

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