From the Publisher
“Thrilling.” The New Yorker on Zero Hour
“Breathlessly exciting.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Zero Hour
“A labyrinth of suspense...brilliant...a master storyteller.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Zero Hour
“A thinking person's thriller with bite.” Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Zero Hour
“Fast and furious.” The New York Times Book Review on High Crimes
“Exciting . . . deliciously absorbing . . . full of hair-pin turns.” The Washington Post on High Crimes
“A powerhouse tale.” Chicago Tribune on High Crimes
“Provocative and chilling.” Publishers Weekly (starred review) on High Crimes
“Rattling good entertainment.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on High Crimes
“The best thriller of the year.” Chicago Sun-Times on Vanished
“Lots of unpredictable plot twists and a furious pace.” San Francisco Chronicle on Vanished
“Lightning-paced from the first page to the last.” Providence Journal on Vanished
“If Jack Reacher met Nick Heller in a dark alley, my money's on Reacher. But it would be ugly. Or would it? Actually, I think they'd go for a beer together and set the world to rights--because Joseph Finder has given me a terrific new hero to root for. This is an action-packed, full-throttle, buy-it-today-read-it-tonight series that you definitely shouldn't miss.” Lee Child on Vanished
“A humdinger....a thriller to enjoy for its Washington locales, convincing familiarity with cutting-edge spy gadgetry, and taut action scenes.” Washington Post on Vanished
“Cliffhangers galore, the fascinating tradecraft of corporate espionage, and an engrossing story will propel readers through this outstanding thriller. Highly recommended as a great summer read.” Library Journal (starred review) on Vanished
“Written in staccato chapters that are emotionally supercharged and action-packed, this thriller will more than satisfy adrenaline junkies and have them guessing until the very end.” Publishers Weekly on Vanished
“If you only read one book this summer, make it Vanished.” Crimespree magazine on Vanished
“Moves at the pace of an injected neurotoxin...You'll curse Finder for keeping you up into the early hours.” Shots magazine on Vanished
“Even though I'd been warned that everyone who'd read it did so in one sitting, I cracked the cover at 10 p.m., figuring yeah, yeah, one sitting, right. When I passed out at 4 a.m., I was thinking, boy, if I could just keep my eyes open long enough to finish this!” Myles Knapp, Contra Costa Times on Vanished
“A white-knuckle tale of suspense.” Chicago Sun-Times on Power Play
“A fast-paced fun ride...a delicious, perfectly prepared mixture.” Boston Globe on Power Play
“A bloody, rollicking thrill ride...the plot moves at light speed.” Richmond Times-Dispatch on Power Play
“The action is swift...keeps the plot bubbling and the pages turning.” Wall Street Journal on Power Play
“Thrilling. . . Start Power Play this afternoon and you'll have the nightstand lamp burning at bedtime.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Power Play
“Unstoppable.” USA Today on Killer Instinct
“Masterful.” Houston Chronicle on Killer Instinct
“Explosive...wickedly fun.” Entertainment Weekly on Killer Instinct
“Master of a complex suspense formula...flawlessly executed violence, crisp dialogue, and taut pacing.” The New York Times Book Review on Killer Instinct
“A first-rate thrill ride.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Killer Instinct
“A roller coaster of a read.” Cosmopolitan on Killer Instinct
“It starts off with a bang and doesn't slow down until the last page.” Ottawa Sun on Killer Instinct
“It's everything a thriller should be: suspenseful, entertaining--and, above all, thrilling.” Chicago Sun-Times on Company Man
“Once again, Finder has produced a page-turning corporate thriller with enough twists and turns for any reader.” Denver Post on Company Man
“The thriller is rejuvenated by Joseph Finder with Company Man. That's because Finder puts the emphasis on sharply created characters instead of potentially eye-glazing business minutiae.” Chicago Tribune on Company Man
“A high-octane thrill ride.” San Francisco Chronicle on Paranoia
“The most entertaining thriller of the year.” Publishers Weekly on Paranoia
“Jet-propelled...this twisting, stealthily plotted story...weaves a tangled and ingeniously enveloping web...[with a] killer twist for the end.” The New York Times on Paranoia
“Riveting...perhaps the finest of the contemporary thriller novelists, you may think you've read one mystery too many. Find Finder and you'll think again.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Paranoia
“Page-turning perfection... Finder has that rare knack for instantly pulling the reader into the story and then tops that with surprises within surprises.” Cleveland Plain Dealer on Paranoia
“Imaginative and original, this is a gripping thriller with three characteristics too rare in the genre: humor, heart, and good writing.” Detroit Free Press on Paranoia
…with Heller, Finder paints an appealing hero, engaging, in part, because he's not a superhero. Comparisons with Lee Child's Jack Reacher are inevitable, but Heller's actions are never those of a lone cowboy…Racing alongside Nick Heller, you'll want one more chapter, then another, and then one more. You know he has to prevail; you just need to know how.
The Washington Post
Bestseller Finder's compulsively readable sequel to Vanished opens fast and never slows down. When 17-year-old Alexa Marcus, the spoiled daughter of Marshall Marcus, a wildly successful money manager, is kidnapped from a Boston club and buried alive in a coffin equipped with an air hose and a video camera (for Internet streaming, of course!), Marshall asks his old intelligence expert friend, Nick Heller, to find her. The search leads into an expanding world of "buried secrets," from Marshall's gold-digging trophy wife, Belinda, and his crumbling investment empire to allegations of government funding for covert operations and the Russian mafia. A number of characters from Vanished, like Dorothy Duval, Heller's "forensic data tech," and Diana Madigan, his FBI agent ex-girlfriend, lend support. Self-effacing, wry, and ridiculously competent, Heller makes a reasonably engaging protagonist, but this thriller's real star is the suspenseful, expertly paced plot. (June)
Following the acclaimed Vanished, Nick Heller is back in Boston to help an old friend, hedge fund millionaire Marshall Marcus, rescue his rebellious teenage daughter, Alexa, who is being held captive in an underground crypt, linked via satellite to both her kidnapper and her father. But as Nick begins the search for Alexa, he discovers an array of lies involving Marshall, a former female escort posing as Marshall's adoring wife and Alexa's mother, a U.S. senator, a scheming lawyer, and various government agents and Russian spies. Nick's expertise in Russian studies and international espionage together with the digital forensics skills of his former lover Diana help to locate Alexa—the buried brat who's, like, totally cool. VERDICT Highly recommended not only for Finder fans but for mystery lovers fascinated with digital surveillance. Crisp, clipped chapters and numerous cliff-hangers propel the action at a breakneck pace. Finder's outstanding writing and engrossing plot twists embellish a captivating summer read. [Major marketing campaign; see Prepub Alert, 12/20/10.]—Jerry Miller, Cambridge, MA
Read an Excerpt
If this was what a prison was like, Alexa Marcus thought, I could totally live here. Like, forever.
She and Taylor Armstrong, her best friend, were standing in a long line to get into the hottest bar in Boston. The bar was called Slammer, and it was in a luxury hotel that used to be a jail. They’d even kept the bars in the windows and the huge central rotunda ringed with catwalks, that whole cell-block effect.
She was checking out this bunch of guys behind her who looked like MIT frat boys trying too hard to be cool: the untucked shirts, the cheap blazers, all that product in their hair, the toxic fumes of their Axe body spray. They’d stumble home at two in the morning, puking on the bridge to Cambridge, bitching about how all the girls at Slammer were skanks.
“I’m loving the smoky eye,” Taylor said, studying Alexa’s eye makeup. “See? It looks amazing on you!”
“It took me like an hour,” Alexa said. The fake eyelashes, the black gel eyeliner and charcoal eye shadow: She looked like a hooker who’d been beat up by her pimp.
“Takes me like thirty seconds,” Taylor said. “Now look at you—you’re this totally hot babe instead of a suburban prepster.”
“I’m so not suburban,” Alexa protested. She glanced over at a couple of skinny Euro-looking guys smoking and talking on their mobile phones. Cute but maybe gay? “Dad lives in Manchester.” She’d almost said, “I live in Manchester,” but she no longer thought of the great rambling house she grew up in as her home, not since Dad had married that gold-digger flight attendant, Belinda. She hadn’t lived at home in almost four years, since going away to Exeter.
“Yeah, okay,” Taylor said. Alexa caught her tone. Taylor always had to let you know she was a city kid. She’d grown up in a townhouse on Beacon Hill, in Louisburg Square—her dad was a United States senator—and considered herself urban and therefore cooler and more street-smart than anyone else. Plus, the last three years she’d been in rehab, attending the Marston-Lee Academy, the tough-love “therapeutic boarding school” in Colorado where the senator had sent her to get cleaned up.
Good luck with that.
Every time Taylor came back to Boston on break, she was rocking some different Girls Gone Wild look. Last year she’d dyed her hair jet black and had bangs. Tonight it was the skintight black liquid leggings, the oversized gray sheer tee over the black lace bra, the studded booties. Whereas Alexa, less adventurous, was wearing her ink skinny jeans and her tan Tory Burch leather jacket over a tank top. Okay, not as fashion-forward as Taylor, but no way was it suburban.
“Oh God,” Alexa murmured as the line drew closer to the bouncer.
“Just relax, okay, Lucia?” Taylor said.
“Lucia—?” Alexa began, and then she remembered that “Lucia” was the name on her fake ID. Actually, it was a real ID, just not hers—she was seventeen, and Taylor had just turned eighteen, and the drinking age was twenty-one, which was way stupid. Taylor had bought Alexa’s fake ID off an older girl.
“Just look the bouncer in the eye and be casual,” Taylor said. “You’re totally fine.”
* * *
TAYLOR WAS right, of course.
The bouncer didn’t even ask to see their IDs. When they entered the hotel lobby, Alexa followed Taylor to the old-fashioned elevator, the kind that had an arrow that pointed to the floor it was on. The elevator door opened, and an iron accordion gate slid aside. Taylor got in along with a bunch of others. Alexa hesitated, slipped in, shuddered—God, she hated elevators!—and just as the accordion gate was knifing closed, she blurted out, “I’ll take the stairs.”
They met up on the fourth floor and managed to snag a couple of big cushy chairs. A waitress in a halter top so skimpy you could see the flower tattoo below her armpit took their order: a couple of Ketel One vodka sodas.
“Check out the girls on the bar,” Taylor shouted. Models in black leather butt-baring shorts and black leather vests were parading around on top of the bar like it was a catwalk.
One of the MIT frat boys tried to mack on them, but Taylor blew the guy off: “Yeah, I’ll give you a call—next time I need tutoring in like differential calculus.”
Alexa felt Taylor’s eyes on her.
“Hey, what’s wrong, kid? You’ve been acting all depressed since you got here.”
“You think maybe you need to change meds or something?”
Alexa shook her head. “Dad’s just, I don’t know, being all weird.”
“Nothing new about that.”
“But like he’s all paranoid all of a sudden? He just had these surveillance cameras put in, all around the house?”
“Well, he is like the richest guy in Boston. Or one of the richest—”
“I know, I know,” Alexa interrupted, not wanting to hear it. She’d spent her entire life dealing with being a rich kid: having to play down the money so her friends didn’t feel jealous. “But it’s not his normal control-freak mode, you know? It’s more like he’s scared something’s going to happen.”
“Try living with a father who’s a friggin’ United States senator.”
Taylor had started to look uncomfortable. She rolled her eyes, shook her head dismissively, looked around the now-crowded bar. “I need another drink,” she said. She called the waitress over and asked for a dirty martini. “How about you?” she asked Alexa.
“I’m good.” The truth was, she hated hard liquor, especially vodka. And gin was the worst. How could anyone voluntarily drink that stuff? It was like chugging turpentine.
Alexa’s iPhone vibrated, so she took it out and read the text. A friend at some rager in Allston, telling her it was epic and she should come over. Alexa texted back sorry. Then, abruptly, she said, “Oh my God, oh my God, did I ever show you this?” She flicked through her iPhone applications until she came to one she’d just downloaded, launched it, held the iPhone to her mouth. When she talked into it, her words came out high pitched and weird, like one of the Chipmunks: “Hey, babe, wanna come back to my dorm and take off our clothes and do some algebra?”
Taylor squealed. “What is that?” She tried to grab the phone, but Alexa yanked it away, swiped the screen and started speaking in the creepy voice of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings: “Must have preciousssss!”
Taylor shrieked, and they both laughed so hard that tears came to their eyes. “See—you’re feeling better already, right?” said Taylor.
“May I join you?” A male voice.
Alexa looked up, saw a guy standing there. Not one of the frat boys, though. Definitely not. This one had dark hair and brown eyes, a day’s growth of beard, and he was totally a babe. Black shirt with white pinstripes, narrow waist, broad shoulders.
Alexa smiled, blushed—she couldn’t help it—and looked at Taylor.
“Do we know you?” Taylor said.
“Not yet,” the guy said, flashing a dazzling smile. Late twenties, early thirties, maybe? Hard to tell. “My friends ditched me. They went to a party in the South End I don’t feel like going to.” He had some kind of Spanish accent.
“There’s only two chairs,” Taylor said.
He said something to a couple seated next to them, slid a vacant chair over. Extended a hand to shake Taylor’s, then Alexa’s.
“I’m Lorenzo,” he said.
Copyright © 2011 by Joseph Finder