Buried Secrets (Nick Heller Series #2)

Buried Secrets (Nick Heller Series #2)

by Joseph Finder

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Overview

Joseph Finder introduced Nick Heller, a "private spy" who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden, to widespread acclaim from the critics and wild enthusiasm from the readers, in the New York Times bestselling novel Vanished. Now, in Buried Secrets, Nick Heller returns, finding himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation that's both high-profile and intensely personal.

Nick has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he's urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick's help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the internet. She's been left with a limited supply of food and water and, if her father doesn't meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she'll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus's business. He's being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus's daughter. But to find out who's holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why. Once he does, he uncovers an astonishing conspiracy that reaches far beyond anything he could have imagined. And if he's going to find Alexa in time, he will have to flush out and confront some of his deadliest opponents ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250000361
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Series: Nick Heller Series , #2
Pages: 483
Sales rank: 83,923
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Joseph Finder is the author of several New York Times bestselling thrillers, including Buried Secrets, High Crimes,Paranoia and the first Nick Heller novel, Vanished. Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Thriller, and Company Man won the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller. High Crimes was the basis of the Morgan Freeman/Ashley Judd movie, and Paranoia was the basis for 2013 film with Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. Born in Chicago, Finder studied Russian at Yale and Harvard. He was recruited by the CIA, but decided he preferred writing fiction. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association for Former Intelligence Officers, he lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt

1.

 

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.”

“I’m fine.”

“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

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Buried Secrets 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
MerleG More than 1 year ago
Just when you thought he was at the very top of his game, Joseph Finder rocks the thriller world again with yet another best seller-to-be in BURIED SECRETS (June 21, 2011) All fears that you could possibly imagine are rolled into one emotion-packed page turner, as a rebellious teen named Alexa is kidnapped by a ruthless killer and buried alive in a coffin....ten feet underground. A video camera mounted over her head allows her distraught father, Marshall Marcus, and the reader to witness every terrifying, anguished moment of Alexa's torurous experiences. Nick Heller, hero of Joseph Finder's latest best-seller, Vanished, is asked by Marshall Marcus, a friend of his father, Victor Heller, for his help in finding his daughter. As the reader experiences in very vivid detail, the horror of Alexa's captivity, the mental and emotional torture that is inflicted on her by her deranged captor, Nick races against time, to put together pieces of the puzzle to find and save Alexa before it is too late. If you have claustrophobia, this book will leave you gasping for air...if you don't have claustrophobia, before the end of the story, you will! Buried Secrets is going to take you on one "HELLer" a ride!
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy books by James Patterson or James Rollins, then you will definitely like this novel. The beginning is a bit familiar. Rich girl gets drugged, kidnapped, and buried alive, while waiting for her wealthy father to pay up. But it turns out the kidnappers are not asking for money. The hero, Nick Heller, presently working out of Boston after leaving a high profile job with a D.C. company, is a slick investigator ready for almost any eventuality. When Nick gets a call from an old family friend saying that his daughter is missing, he doesn't hesitate. The author takes this premise and runs with it. Providing us with plenty of twists and action to keep us glued to the pages till we find out just who the kidnappers are and what they really want. I especially liked the author's gradual development of the character Dragomir. Slowly adding layer upon layer to the evil nemesis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just before readong this book I have read Joseph Finder's "Vanished". I'm glad I did because it made me easily know Nick Heller's background. This book is far better than Vanished I must say. A real page turner all they way to the end. I love the way he writes with humor especially his funny comments and descriptions over almost anyone or anything. My favorite writer is John Grisham no matter what but I sure consider now that Joseph Finder will be one of the legal thrillers I will always follow. Stay funny Joseph. Good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joseph Finder writes the best intrigue books. Hooks you from the start and keeps you up nights. Enjoyed the mystery and the way the plot and characters kept evolving.
Reads_Alot_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I was very skeptical when I read the cover flap of BURIED SECRETS. I didn't know if I could read a storyline about a kidnapped girl that as buried alive for ransom. Just a chilly feeling. But Joseph Finder did a great job making me feel uncomfortable but not claustiphobic. I always root for his heroine Nick Heller. And fortunately you know that everyone is going to make it out alive, although there were some twists to who got killed. Another great Joseph Finder.
bobbewig More than 1 year ago
Whenever I read a Joseph Finder thriller -- and I've now read all eleven of them -- the only question for me is HOW good will it be; it has never been an issue of will it be good. Regarding Buried Secrets, my answer is that it is a VERY good book and it serves to foster my opinion of Finder as one of the best of the best of today's thriller writers. Buried Secrets is the second book in the series featuring Nick Heller, a former high-powered private intelligence company operative with Special Forces training who has now gone "private." In this book Heller is hired to find the kidnapped teenage daughter of a family friend, who happens to be a billionaire hedge find titan (think Bernie Madoff-type). The girl's captors are very canny and ruthless, but Heller -- with the help of his tech expert employee, Dorothy, and ex-lover, FBI special agent, Diana Madigan -- is able to force his way through layers of deception and manipulation to uncover the buried secrets behind her kidnapping. Without going into more detail, let me just say that in addition to its suspenseful and exciting plot, Buried Secrets has all the other important ingredients that should keep you glued to your seat from beginning to end -- interesting and credible characters, realistic dialogue and a fast-paced writing style. To be honest, however, Buried Secrets is not flawless but the few flaws it has are too unimportant with which to take up your time. All in all, if you haven't heard of Buried Secrets, I hope this review lets the secret out of the bag for you.
PattiBascomb More than 1 year ago
"Buried Secrets" by Joseph Finder 'Nightstand Book Reviews' by Patti Phillips What's the definition of a 5-star book? "Buried Secrets," by Joseph Finder. Totally, slam-dunk, 5-star thriller! Ratings can be subjective, but I think everyone would agree that certain elements are apparent in each reader's choice for a 5-star book, whatever the genre. 5-star books have characters so compelling that it's impossible to forget them. Nick Heller is a former intelligence officer with Special Forces background. Heller is excellent at uncovering secrets, is loyal to his family and friends and has an ache in his heart for an old FBI flame. He has a secretary who can hack into anything and contacts going way back. And a look that you defy at your own peril. Even Heller is not always immune to 'the look.' A family friend, evasive billionaire Marshall Marcus, asks for Nick's help when his daughter, Alexa, is kidnapped. Alexa is a troubled, intelligent teenager with an earlier kidnapping experience that colors her fear of small spaces. This time, she has been buried alive with limited food and water. Finder has drawn Alexa so well that I felt her terror as she pushed against the coffin, as she tried to stay calm and lost it, as she pleaded for release, as she screamed. 5-star books can't be put down until the last word is read. I carried "Buried Secrets" everywhere. I read it while waiting in line, while eating. I just couldn't abandon Heller while he dealt with the constantly lying father, the rule conscious FBI, the sick kidnappers, the layers of secrets, the pulse-pounding race against time. A 5-star book makes me want to buy the author's next book or backlist title right away. I purchased "Vanished," the first Nick Heller novel, the day after I finished "Buried Secrets." Joseph Finder has several award winning titles to his name, as well as "High Crimes," upon which the Freeman/Judd movie of the same name was based. I'm going to read them all. A 5-star book pushes 'tell-all' buttons. I wanted to tell everyone about it. I gushed about compelling characterization and riveting storylines, achieved realistically. A 5-star book is saved, whether on an e-reader or in hardcover, so that it can be relished, studied and enjoyed again. My copy is a hardcover edition. Best thriller I've read in a long time!
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
What secret could be so important it might cost a girl's life? In Finder's latest mystery, ex-intelligent operative Nick Heller seeks to answer this question. With a cast of expected characters (the rich man in dire straits with a closet full of skeletons, the terrified innocent teenager, the ruthless bad guy and an array of contacts, each with his or her own specialty) "Buried Secrets" takes you down a path strewn with corruption, lies and mortal danger. Along the way, layer by layer, you discover revelations for which some people will kill. Nick Heller is hired by billionaire Marcus Marshall to rescue his kidnapped seventeen-year-old daughter. Right away, Heller knows he isn't being told the entire truth. Marshall, a friend of Heller's family, has gotten into some bad dealings with some very nasty individuals and somebody wants a piece of highly important information apparently only Marshall can provide. With the assistance of computer gurus and a "sort of" ex-girlfriend working for the local branch of the FBI, Heller slowly tracks both the location of the girl and the individuals behind the kidnapping. The mystery deepens when Heller uncovers secrets nobody should have and a sociopath starts playing by his own rules. This starts as your average kidnapping mystery and if it continued along the same vein with a few common surprises thrown in, I was going to be disappointed. Heller is not your typical detective. He's also not the know-it-all. He's had special-forces training, but possesses very little computer savvy. A little witty, dedicated and determined, he can think logically, but most of his knowledge is obtained from his many contacts. I hoped the story would rise up to the level warranting the intensity shown by the kidnappers. I hoped the story would give reasons for the tempering of the serious situations with bits of dry humor. If you're a fan of Finder's previous work, you'll hope this one holds up to your standards. It does. Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine
Zot79 More than 1 year ago
This thriller is about as fine as they get. It has a gripping plot, interesting and distinct characters, unexpected twists, and realistic action. The clock is ticking from the very first page and doesn't let up until the satisfying end. The story is told from both the first person and third person limited points of view. But the reader is never confused about why or where they are. The setting is, for the most part, confined to a few locations in the immediate vicinity of Boston--unusual for a thriller these days, which tend to range a bit wider afield. Perhaps it was done this way to emphasize the confined world of the buried girl. It works. The prose is smooth and easy on the inner ear. This is a great summer read.
Alla_S More than 1 year ago
"Buried secrets" by Joseph Finder is the second book where Nick Heller (the first was "Vanished") tries to uncover a crime and find a missing person. The missing person in this book is Alexa Marcus-the carefree daughter of a Boston billionaire, who disappears after she gets drunk in a nightclub and is given a ride by a handsome stranger. Nick's suspicion immediately falls on Alexa's best friend Taylor, who was also present at the nightclub that night and introduced Alexa to the stranger. Also suspicious is Alexa's father Marshall Marcus, who has the FBI after him and is obviously not telling Nick something. Marshall's young wife Belinda, Alexa's stepmother, is no better-claiming she loves Alexa, while Nick's own nephew Gabriel-a friend of Alexa's--claims she always hated her. Then there's David Schechter, Marshall Marcus's lawyer and an acquaintance of Taylor's family-a man who knows more secrets than he lets up. As Alexa winds up buried alive, while some strange files are demanded from her father, the succession of shady characters continues. I thought the setup of the story works well. Overall, it was an engrossing read.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Alexa Marcus, the teenage daughter of multimillionaire Marshall Marcus is kidnapped and Marshall asks old family friend Nick Heller to find her before she is killed. Nick pulls no stops in trying to locate the young girl who is buried alive with time running out. The ransom demand is something that Marshall cannot or will not give to the kidnappers. This fast paced story is so intense that you won't want to put it down. I couldn't help but wonder if Nick would be to save the girl and the day! A truly powerful read with twists that you won't know who to trust or believe.
lyn21 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book - an exciting read that kept my interest... I can't wait to pass this book on to others so they can enjoy the ride.
Gatorhater on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a enjoyable novel about the kidnapping of a multimillionaire's daughter, Alexa Marcus, who gets upducted from a bar in Boston with the help of her friend, Taylor Armstrong which is the daughter of a Mass. state senator. Marshall Marcus hires a old friend, Nick Heller to try to locate and return his daughter, the upductors have buried her alive, information and time are the only things that might bring her back alive. The clock is ticking, will they find her in time !
FredB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A taut thriller. Nick Heller is a PI charged with finding Alexa, the teenage daughter of a friend who has been kidnapped. The bad guys who have her put her in a very frightening place described graphically. The story alternates between Heller trying to locate the child and Alexa's torment.The ending is a bit trite and predictable. But otherwise I could not put this one down.
TomWheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another good read by this author. The storyline was a bit different than other books that I have read by this author. It was a page-turne,r even though the storyline was a bit creepy, as the reader wants to know how or if the kidnapped girl will get rescued.
macabr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At first look, BURIED SECRETS is the sort of book I generally don¿t read. There are people with too much money, the children of people with too much money who are held captive because of it, the FBI, some very, very bad people whose cruelty makes the Mafia seem childish, government skulduggery, the FBI, and it is the second in a series and I like to read series from the beginning.In its favor is the setting, Boston, my hometown, and it was a Goodreads giveaway. These two pros outweighed the six cons (I only counted the FBI once). Happily, it turns out that everything about BURIED SECRETS is really, really good.Nick Heller has set himself up in business as a private spy. Nick had been the real thing in secret organizations in Washington, DC and in the military and now offers his services to rich people who need information that even they can¿t access. Nick doesn¿t expect that one of his first jobs is going to be something very close to home. Marshall Marcus is a billionaire financier who was a close friend of Nick¿s father¿s until Victor Heller ends up in prison for doing the same kind of thing Bernie Madoff did. Marshall calls Nick in a panic. Someone has kidnapped Alexa, his seventeen year-old daughter and is holding her for ransom. Problem for Alexa and her father is that he has also managed to lose billions of dollars that didn¿t belong to him and he has made some very nasty enemies. Nick knows that Marshall isn¿t telling him the truth but when streaming video of Alexa is sent to Marshall¿s computer, Nick has no choice but to do what he can to rescue the girl.Almost everything about this book is right. Nick Heller is not superman. He has skills most people do not have but he doesn¿t have superpowers. His relationship with his assistant, Dorothy, rings true. She has skills that complement his and Dorothy is not young and not in his bed. The dialog sounds right, not silly; there are acronyms and computer-speak but it isn¿t irritating. Nick connects with a former girlfriend who works with the FBI but their mutual attempts to deal reasonably with their former relationship is grown-up.Finder knows Boston. One scene that locals will understand is a meeting between Heller and Senator Armstrong, the junior senator from Massachusetts, who lives on Louisberg Square, the ritziest address in the old money section of Boston, Beacon Hill. Finder didn¿t need to use much imagination for the scene; he just needed to substitute senior senator for junior senator and he is describing a morning in the life of John Kerry. Joseph Finder is as good as the late William Tappley and Robert Parker in bringing the city to life.The only thing I did not like is the graphic violence that comes in toward the end of the book. I hope that the weapon used is the product of the author¿s imagination. I read BURIED SECRETS in a day. I will read VANISHED in order to meet Nick Heller at the beginning of the series and then I will likely move on to the other books Finder has written.
CaliforniaGardener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fast paced mystery that draws you in! The night I received it in the mail, I had to force myself to put it down at one in the morning! Luckily, I was able to finish it the next day. The story of a teenage girl who is kidnapped and the related search for her. A great summer read! I was forunate to receive an ARC- thank you to St. Martin's Press.
DBower on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by Joseph Finder but it will definately not be my last. I received a copy of the book through early reviewers and thank you, thank you, thank you! He does a fantastic job of character development - the characters are quite complex which makes them very real to the reader. Mr. Heller also does an amazing job in setting the context making you feel part of the story which at times is quite unsettling. Finally the pace of the book is such that it is impossible to put down. If you like PI mysteries with great characters and fast paced action READ THIS BOOK! I look forward to reading all of Mr. Finder's other books.
VirginiaGill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was really excited when I learned I'd get "Buried Secrets" by Joseph Finder as an advance reader. The temptation to go track down and read Mr. Finders entitled "Vanished" where he first introduced the Nick Heller character was huge. Then because I have such a huge pet peeve about series and serial characters that do not stand independant of each other within the larger framework the author envisions I forced myself to wait and dive into "Buried Secrets" without any other knowledge of this author or his character. I'm so glad I did. This book passed all my tests with flying colors! Readers are not left with gaps in knowledge by not having read the first book and I trust that will remain the case as the character moves forward into more stories. Nor is the reader stuck with annoying story breaks where awkward chunks of background are tossed. The characters in this book are all interesting and have enough depth that it pulls you in and makes you want to get better acquainted. The story itself is action packed and full of suspence, I read the entire book in a day because I simply couldnt walk away.I will be watching for more of Nick Heller's adventures...thank you Mr Finder!
souleswanderer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder (2011 St Martin's Press) ARC via goodreads.comMay 28, 2011 With an introduction quoting Edgar Allan Poe, a master of the macabre, Joseph Finder sets the tone for his newest Nick Heller novel, Buried Secrets. Alexa Marcus and her best friend, Taylor Armstrong set out for a night of partying at the hottest bar in Boston called the Slammer. It doesn't matter that the two young girls are underage, they're out to have a good time, and what could possibly go wrong? They've got each other. Until suave, sophisticated, and slightly older Lorenzo introduces himself to the pair. A few drinks, a little conversation later and Taylor excuses herself to allow Lorenzo and Alexa time alone. Alexa never makes it home.Nick Heller, owns and operates Heller's Associates, having discovered his investigative research methods were more suited to a broader spectrum then that allowed by previous employers. And still trying to escape the shadow of his father hanging over him when he receives a call for help from Alexa's father, Marshall, an old friend of the family, and one the of nation's wealthiest men. A live video feed of Alexa is played, via a social networking site, and the only ransom demand is for Mercury. What appears at first to be a simple kidnapping, soon becomes a maze of tangled lies and motives, with plenty of obstacles to thwart and misdirect Nick in his pursuit of finding and freeing Alexa. The FBI states their displeasure at his interference, his home is broken into, her parents lie to him, and he continually runs into dead-ends. Through it all Nick manages to hang on to a few close contacts to aid and assist him. Even an old ex is back in town, working for the Feds.Nothing is what it seems as Finder deftly twists the thrill dial up a few notches, never quite letting the reader catch their breath before grasping their hand and pulling them along on Nick's race against time. I started this book thinking it would be easy to put down in an hour or so, and then found myself staying up much too late to finish reading it. But I had to know the ending.The one word I would use to describe Nick Heller is dogged. He is akin to a pit bull when he gets his teeth into something and only discovering the answer will he possibly be persuaded to let go. Like his employee Dorothy, he refuses to give up and has a deep-seeded sense of family along with strong morals. Nick's a character I can't wait to read more of.
Nebraska_Girl1971 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first was told that I would be receiving this book, I sought out the Vanished, the first book in the series. I find it helpful to have read both, but not necessary - this book could hold its own as a stand alone. In this book, Nick Heller has has to track down a teenager that has been kidnapped, but there is a complicated political sub-plot behind the kidnapping. I really enjoyed the suspense and action, but this book was a little bit more political and technical then Vanished, which did not quite make it a beach read.
Draak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Buried Secrets, Joseph Finder brings back Nick Heller, ex-Army special ops turned private investigator. Nick has relocated from Washington to Boston and brought some friends with him to work in his office. When he gets a phone call from his mothers former boss telling him that his daughter, Alexa, is missing Nick kicks it into high gear to find her. He soon discovers that it goes deeper than just kidnapping and ransom of a rich girl. For one thing they don't want money, the FBI is investigating her father, there are Russians, assassins, and plenty of secrets to go around. Time is of the essense as they discover that Alexa has been buried alive. There is not a dull spot in this book. The characters are very likable and Nick is written as an ordinary man, meaning he makes mistakes, gets tired, and when he gets hurt he needs time to recouperate. I loved Vanished and Buried Secrets is even better. This is a must read and I cannot wait for the next installment of Nick Heller and friends.
KevinJoseph on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Buried Secrets features Nick Heller, the spy-for-hire that Joseph Finder first intoduced us to in Vanished. As with the previous Heller plot, Finder uses a disappearing person as the hook. This time it's the teenage daughter of one of Heller's old friends, a man whose Wall Street maneuvering has the same shady qualities as those of Heller's own father. While this conspiracy thriller retreads the ground of others in the genre, it achieves a distinctly creepy level of suspense by employing a nasty, buried-alive device. Throw in a fittingly twisted villian and a rekindling of an old Heller romance and you have a solidly entertaining read. For me, though, I would rather see Finder return to writing corporate-centered thrillers like Paranoia that stand apart as a fresh thought-provoking subgenre.-Kevin Joseph, author of The Champion Maker
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't read the first in the series but had absolutely no sense of having missed something important in this story because of that. It is completely stand alone, and the characters behave as you'd expect even without knowing the events of an earlier point in their lives.It's a great detective/investigation novel. However, it is not (as someone suggested) anything like Lee Child's Jack Reacher series - it's not nearly violent enough. Heller kinda works just outside the rules, but not really and he doesn't use the toe of his boot to deliver any justice.The story was suspenseful for the most part, but it did get quite political and Heller had a lot of help from characters who popped into the story just in time and just long enough to provide the skill that was needed at that moment to do the next miraculous thing that drove the plot forward. It was all a bit too convenient. All in all it was a decent read - not fantastic, but decent enough.
bwhitson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought I would need to have read Finder's first book "Vanished", but found it wasn't necessary. Buried Secrets centers on Nick Heller, who has been hired to find a billionaire¿s kidnapped daughter. The FBI is investigating Alexa¿s father, the Russian mafia is involved, billions have disappeared from an offshore account and secret information called Mercury is at the heart of the case. Nick is an ex-Army "private spy". He is smart, tough, and has a well defined ethical and moral center. The other thing that Finder adds to Heller is realism; he is not "superman," he gets tired, he loses blood, he does not totally recover by the next page. Quite simply, he is human. Adding to the enjoyment of the novel is the dialogue, which confirms that Finder actually listens to how real people talk to one another and is able to transfer that knowledge to the page. The characters are interesting, the plot tight with excellent pacing, and this novel will hold your interest until the last page is turned. It is a book that will make you uncomfortable, as Finder describes what it is like for kidnapped Alexa to be buried alive. I do plan to acquire "Vanished" because I enjoyed "Buried Secrets" so much.