Adam Cassidy is twenty-six and a low level employee at a high-tech corporation who hates his job. When he manipulates the system to do something nice for a friend, he finds himself charged with a crime. Corporate Security gives him a choice: prison - or become a spy in the headquarters of their chief competitor, Trion Systems.
They train him. They feed him inside information. Now, at Trion, he's a star, skyrocketing to the top. He finds he has talents he never knew he possessed. He's rich, drives a Porsche, lives in a fabulous apartment, and works directly for the CEO. He's dating the girl of his dreams.
His life is perfect. And all he has to do to keep it that way is betray everyone he cares about and everything he believes in.
But when he tries to break off from his controllers, he finds he's in way over his head, trapped in a world in which nothing is as it seems and no one can really be trusted.
And then the real nightmare begins...
From the writer whose novels have been called "thrilling" (New York Times) and "dazzling" (USA Today) comes an electrifying new novel, Joseph Finder's Paranoia, a roller-coaster ride of suspense that will hold the reader hostage until the final, astonishing twist.
Now a major motion-picture starring Harrison Ford, Liam Hemsworth, and Gary Oldman.
This edition of the book is the deluxe, tall rack mass market paperback.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||Media tie-in, Premium|
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(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. Killer Instinct is also in development a a major motion picture. 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
By Joseph Finder
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2004 Joseph Finder
All rights reserved.
Until the whole thing happened, I never believed the old line about how you should be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.
I believe it now.
I believe in all those cautionary proverbs now. I believe that pride goeth before a fall. I believe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, that misfortune seldom comes alone, that all that glitters isn't gold, that lies walk on short legs. Man, you name it. I believe it.
I could try to tell you that what started it all was an act of generosity, but that wouldn't be quite accurate. It was more like an act of stupidity. Call it a cry for help. Maybe more like a raised middle finger. Whatever, it was my bad. I half thought I'd get away with it, half expected to be fired. I've got to say, when I look back on how it all began, I marvel at what an arrogant prick I was. I'm not going to deny that I got what I deserved. It just wasn't what I expected — but who'd ever expect something like this?
All I did was make a couple of phone calls. Impersonated the VP for Corporate Events and called the fancy outside caterer that did all of Wyatt Telecom's parties. I told them to just make it exactly like the bash they'd done the week before for the Top Salesman of the Year award. (Of course, I had no idea how lavish that was.) I gave them all the right disbursement numbers, authorized the transfer of funds in advance. The whole thing was surprisingly easy.
The owner of Meals of Splendor told me he'd never done a function on a company loading dock, that it presented "décor challenges," but I knew he wasn't going to turn away a big check from Wyatt Telecom.
Somehow I doubt Meals of Splendor had ever done a retirement party for an assistant foreman either.
I think that's what really pissed Wyatt off. Paying for Jonesie's retirement party — a loading dock guy, for Christ's sake!— was a violation of the natural order. If instead I'd used the money as a down payment on a Ferrari 360 Modena convertible, Nicholas Wyatt might have almost understood. He would have recognized my greed as evidence of our shared humanity, like a weakness for booze, or "broads," as he called women.
If I'd known how it would all end up, would I have done it all over again? Hell, no.
Still, I have to say, it was pretty cool. I was into the fact that Jonesie's party was being paid for out of a fund earmarked for, among other things, an "offsite" for the CEO and his senior vice presidents at the Guanahani resort on the island of St. Barthélemy.
I also loved seeing the loading dock guys finally getting a taste of how the execs lived. Most of the guys and their wives, whose idea of a splurge was the Shrimp Feast at the Red Lobster or Ribs On The Barbie at Outback Steakhouse, didn't know what to make of some of the weird food, the osetra caviar and saddle of veal Provençal, but they devoured the filet of beef en croûte, the rack of lamb, the roasted lobster with ravioli. The ice sculptures were a big hit. The Dom Perignon flowed, though not as fast as the Budweiser. (This I called right, since I used to hang out on the loading dock on Friday afternoons, smoking, when someone, usually Jonesie or Jimmy Connolly, the foreman, brought in an Igloo of cold ones to celebrate the end of another week.)
Jonesie, an old guy with one of those weathered, hangdog faces that make people like him instantly, was lit the whole night. His wife of forty-two years, Esther, at first seemed standoffish, but she turned out to be an amazing dancer. I'd hired an excellent Jamaican reggae group, and everyone got into it, even the guys you'd never expect to dance.
This was after the big tech meltdown, of course, and companies everywhere were laying people off and instituting "frugality" policies, meaning you had to pay for the lousy coffee, and no more free Cokes in the break room, and like that. Jonesie was slated to just stop work one Friday, spend a few hours at HR signing forms, and go home for the rest of his life, no party, no nothing. Meanwhile, the Wyatt Telecom E-staff was planning to head down to St. Bart's in their Learjets, boink their wives or girlfriends in their private villas, slather coconut oil on their love handles, and discuss company-wide frugality policies over obscene buffet breakfasts of papayas and hummingbird tongues. Jonesie and his friends didn't really question too closely who was paying for it all. But it did give me some kind of twisted secret pleasure.
Until around one-thirty in the morning, when the sound of electric guitars and the screams of a couple of the younger guys, blotto out of their minds, must have attracted the curiosity of a security guard, a fairly new hire (the pay's lousy, turnover is unbelievable) who didn't know any of us and wasn't inclined to cut anyone any slack.
He was a pudgy guy with a flushed, sort of Porky Pig face, barely thirty. He just gripped his walkie-talkie as if it were a Glock and said, "What the hell?"
And my life as I knew it was over.CHAPTER 2
The voice mail was waiting for me when I got in to work, late as usual.
Even later than usual, actually. I felt queasy and my head thudded and my heart was going too fast from the giant cup of cheap coffee I'd gulped down on the subway. A wave of acid splashed over my stomach. I'd considered calling in sick, but that little voice of sanity in my head told me that after the events of last night the wiser thing to do was to show up at work and face the music.
Thing is, I fully expected to get fired — almost looked forward to it, the way you might both dread and look forward to having an aching tooth drilled. When I came out of the elevator and walked the half-mile through the lower forty of the cubicle farm to my workstation, I could see heads popping up, prairie-dog style, to catch a glimpse of me. I was a celebrity; the word was out. E-mail was no doubt flying.
My eyes were bloodshot, my hair was a mess, I looked like a walking JUST SAY NO public service spot.
The little LCD screen display on my IP phone said, "You have eleven voice mails." I put it on speaker and zipped through them. Just listening to the messages, frantic and sincere and wheedling, increased the pressure behind my eyeballs. I got out the Advil bottle from the bottom desk drawer and dry- swallowed two. That made six Advils already this morning, which exceeded the recommended maximum. So what could happen to me? Die from an ibuprofen overdose just moments before being fired?
I was a junior product line manager for routers in our Enterprise Division. You don't want the English translation, it's too mind-numbingly boring. I spent my days hearing phrases like "dynamic bandwidth circuit emulation service" and "integrated access device" and "ATM backbones" and "IP security tunneling protocol," and I swear I didn't know what half the shit meant.
A message from a guy in Sales named Griffin, calling me "big guy," boasting of how he'd just sold a couple dozen of the routers I was managing by assuring the customer that they'd have a particular feature — extra multicast protocols for live video streaming — that he knew damned well it didn't have. But it sure would be nice if the feature was added to the product, like maybe in the next two weeks, before the product was supposed to ship. Yeah, dream on.
A follow-up call five minutes later from Griffin's manager just "checking on the progress of the multicast protocol work we heard you're doing," as if I actually did the technical work myself.
And the clipped, important voice of a man named Arnold Meacham, who identified himself as Director of Corporate Security and asked me to please "come by" his office the moment I got in.
I had no idea who Arnold Meacham was, beyond his title. I'd never heard his name before. I didn't even know where Corporate Security was located.
It's funny: when I heard the message, my heart didn't start racing like you might expect. It actually slowed, as if my body knew the gig was up. There was actually something Zen going on, the inner serenity of realizing there's nothing you can do anyway. I almost luxuriated in the moment.
For a few minutes I stared at my cubicle walls, the nubby charcoal Avora fabric that looked like the wall-to-wall in my dad's apartment. I kept the panel walls free of any evidence of human habitation — no photos of the wife and kids (easy, since I didn't have any), no Dilbert cartoons, nothing clever or ironic that said I was here under protest, because I was way beyond that. I had one bookshelf, holding a routing protocol reference guide and four thick black binders containing the "feature library" for the MG-50K router. I would not miss this cubicle.
Besides, it wasn't like I was about to get shot; I'd already been shot, I figured. Now it was just a matter of disposing of the body and swabbing up the blood. I remember once in college reading about the guillotine in French history, and how one executioner, a medical doctor, tried this gruesome experiment (you get your kicks wherever you can, I guess). A few seconds after the head was lopped off he watched the eyes and lips twitch and spasm until the eyelids closed and everything stopped. Then he called out the dead man's name, and the eyes on the decapitated head popped open and stared right at the executioner. A few seconds more and the eyes closed, then the doctor called the man's name again, and the eyes came open again, staring. Cute. So thirty seconds after being separated from the body, the head's still reacting. This was how I felt. The blade had already dropped, and they're calling my name.
I picked up the phone and called Arnold Meacham's office, told his assistant that I was on my way, and asked how to get there.
My throat was dry, so I stopped at the break room to get one of the formerly-free-but-now-fifty-cent sodas. The break room was all the way back in the middle of the floor near the bank of elevators, and as I walked, in a weird sort of fugue state, a couple more colleagues caught sight of me and turned away quickly, embarrassed.
I surveyed the sweaty glass case of sodas, decided against my usual Diet Pepsi — I really didn't need more caffeine right now — and pulled out a Sprite. Just to be a rebel I didn't leave any money in the jar. Whoa, that'll show them. I popped it open and headed for the elevator.
I hated my job, truly despised it, so the thought of losing it wasn't exactly bumming me out. On the other hand, it wasn't as if I had a trust fund, and I sure did need the money. That was the whole point, wasn't it? I had moved back here essentially to help with my dad's medical care — my dad, who considered me a fuckup. In Manhattan, bartending, I made half the money but lived better. We're talking Manhattan! Here I was living in a ratty street-level studio apartment on Pearl Street that reeked of traffic exhaust, and whose windows rattled when the trucks rumbled by at five in the morning. Granted, I was able to go out a couple of nights a week with friends, but I usually ended up dipping into my checking account's credit line a week or so before my paycheck magically appeared on the fifteenth of the month.
Not that I was exactly busting my ass either. I coasted. I put in the minimum required hours, got in late and left early, but I got my work done. My performance review numbers weren't so good — I was a "core contributor," a two band, just one step up from "lowest contributor," when you should start packing your stuff.
I got into the elevator, looked down at what I was wearing — black jeans and a gray polo shirt, sneakers — and wished I'd put on a tie.CHAPTER 3
When you work at a big corporation, you never know what to believe. There's always a lot of tough, scary macho talk. They're always telling you about "killing the competition," putting "a stake in their heart." They tell you to "kill or be killed," "eat or be eaten," to "eat their lunch" and "eat your own dog food" and "eat your young."
You're a software engineer or a product manager or a sales associate, but after a while you start to think that somehow you got mixed up with one of those aboriginal tribes in Papua New Guinea that wear boars' tusks through their noses and gourds on their dicks. When the reality is that if you e-mail an off-color, politically incorrect joke to your buddy in IT, who then cc's it to a guy a few cubicles over, you can end up locked in a sweaty HR conference room for a grueling week of Diversity Training. Filch paper clips and you get slapped with the splintered ruler of life.
Thing is, of course, I'd done something a little more serious than raiding the office-supply cabinet.
They kept me waiting in an outer office for half an hour, forty-five minutes, but it seemed longer. There was nothing to read — just Security Management, stuff like that. The receptionist wore her ash-blond hair in a helmet, yellow smoker's circles under her eyes. She answered the phone, tapped away at a keyboard, glanced over at me furtively from time to time, the way you might try to catch a glimpse of a grisly car accident while you're trying to keep your eyes on the road.
I sat there so long my confidence began to waver. That might have been the point. The monthly paycheck thing was beginning to look like a good idea. Maybe defiance wasn't the best approach. Maybe I should eat shit. Maybe it was way past that.
Arnold Meacham didn't get up when the receptionist brought me in. He sat behind a giant black desk that looked like polished granite. He was around forty, thin and broad, a Gumby build, with a long square head, long thin nose, no lips. Graying brown hair that was receding. He wore a double-breasted blue blazer and a blue striped tie, like the president of a yacht club. He glared at me through oversized steel aviator glasses. You could tell he was totally humorless. In a chair to the right of his desk sat a woman a few years older than me who seemed to be taking notes. His office was big and spare, lots of framed diplomas on the wall. At one end, a half-opened door let onto a darkened conference room.
"So you're Adam Cassidy," he said. He had a prissy, precise way of speaking. "Party down, dude?" He pressed his lips into a smirk.
Oh, God. This was not going to go well. "What can I do for you?" I said. I tried to look perplexed, concerned.
"What can you do for me? How about start with telling the truth? That's what you can do for me." He had the slightest trace of a Southern accent.
Generally people like me. I'm pretty good at winning them over — the pissed-off math teacher, the enterprise customer whose order is six weeks overdue, you name it. But I could see at once this wasn't a Dale Carnegie moment. The odds of salvaging my odious job were dwindling by the second.
"Sure," I said. "The truth about what?"
He snorted with amusement. "How about last night's catered event?"
I paused, considered. "You're talking about the little retirement party?" I said. I didn't know how much they knew, since I'd been pretty careful about the money trail. I had to watch what I said. The woman with the notebook, a slight woman with frizzy red hair and big green eyes, was probably there as a witness. "It was a much-needed morale boost," I added. "Believe me, sir, it'll do wonders for departmental productivity."
His lipless mouth curled. "'Morale boost.' Your fingerprints are all over the funding for that 'morale boost.'"
"Oh, cut the crap, Cassidy."
"I'm not sure I'm understanding you, sir."
"Do you think I'm stupid?" Six feet of fake granite between him and me and I could feel droplets of his spittle.
"I'm guessing ... no, sir." The trace of a smile appeared at the corner of my mouth. I couldn't help it: pride of workmanship. Big mistake.
Meacham's pasty face flushed. "You think it's funny, hacking into proprietary company databases to obtain confidential disbursement numbers? You think it's recreation, it's clever? It doesn't count?"
"No, sir —"
"You lying sack of shit, you prick, it's no better than stealing an old lady's purse on the fucking subway!"
I tried to look chastened, but I could see where this conversation was going and it seemed pointless.
"You stole seventy-eight thousand dollars from the Corporate Events account for a goddamned party for your buddies on the loading dock?"
I swallowed hard. Shit. Seventy-eight thousand dollars? I knew it was pretty high-end, but I had no idea how high-end.
"This guy in on it with you?"
"Who do you mean? I think maybe you're confused about —"
"'Jonesie'? The old guy, the name on the cake?"
"Jonesie had nothing to do with it," I shot back.
Meacham leaned back, looking triumphant because he'd finally found a toehold.
"If you want to fire me, go ahead, but Jonesie was totally innocent."
Excerpted from Paranoia by Joseph Finder. Copyright © 2004 Joseph Finder. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've enjoyed all of Joseph Finder's books but Paranoia is unquestionably his best! The plot is very fast-paced, the characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional and the suspense involving corporate spying is non-stop. If this isn't enough to make you want to rush right out to get a copy of this compelling thriller, be aware that Finder provides twists and turns that will keep you intrigued and surprised right up to the very end. Be prepared for a very exciting and fun reading experience. Paranoia will keep you glued to the edge of your seat. It is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in quite awhle. Paranoia deserves to be at the top of the bestseller lists when it comes out in late January 2004 and it should help Joseph Finder become one of the elite group of today's popular writers.
If you have ever worked for a big company, you will immediately recognize and identify with the scene that Finder paints: the office politics, the feeling that you are simply a pawn on a giant chess board, and the mind-boggling greed and stupidity of your 'superiors.' Finder even gets the tiniest details down: the office furniture, the absurd meetings, the joy of sharing a bathroom with several thousand of your closest friends. The story that he weaves grabs you and won't let you go. I won't reveal the end, but I can guarantee you that you won't suspect what's coming! This was an enjoyable read. I was sorry to get to the last page, because I didn't want it to end.
I decided to try out Joseph Finder based on an talk I heard that had him discussing the business world with Malcolm Gladwell. This book, the first I found in the library, was OK, but not great. Based on the talk with Gladwell, I'll give him a second chance, but under normal circumstances I wouldn't. The problem I had with this work was that I hated the narrator. I guess he was supposed to come across as street-smart, cool and sophisticated, but to me he came across as a complete a-hole. Given this, I wasn't really interested in how he resolved his problems since my preferred solution would have been for him to have been caught and thrown in prison for the rest of his life.
I feel mixed on this one, the sixth book I've read from the Suspense portion of The Ultimate Reading List. It read very quickly, easy reading with short chapters and while the style is far from literary, it compares well against the likes of Dan Brown, James Patterson or Harlan Coben. I know some reviews complained of the style, citing in particular the use of the juvenile and jerky phrase "bodacious ta-tas" to describe the love interest. All I can say is that the voice sure fits the first person narrator, Adam Cassidy. He is juvenile and a jerk. The kind of guy from whom I'd back away slowly if he tried hitting on me, and I'd hate working with me, over me or under me. The kind of guy who used to take pride in how much he could slack off work, he fraudulently uses company funds to throw a retirement party for a coworker without counting the cost, and then is shocked, shocked when the bill comes to over 78,000 dollars and he is told that adds up to embezzlement and possibly decades in prison. Except he makes a deal with the company head, Nick Wyatt. They'll drop the charges if Adam infiltrates Wyatt's main competitor in the high tech business, Trion Systems. A couple of things kept me reading. First, sleaze Adam might be, he's not completely unsympathetic. He's taking care of his dying abusive father, a man who'll never be proud of him no matter what he does. And he does develop a twinge of conscience, some guilt for what he's doing to people who have given him his first real chance. At one point, when his slacker friend Seth boasts of how he avoids doing anything productive at work, Adam asks him just who Seth is cheating by doing that, and I thought he might be learning something. The other reason this kept my interest through over 400 pages was the look at corporate espionage. Finder worked as a Sovietologist in academia and is a member of The Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Each of the nine parts of the book has a piece of tradecraft as its title and is headed by a definition from The Dictionary of Espionage: Fix, Backstopping, Plumbing, Compromise, Blown, Dead Drop, Control, Black Bag Job, Active Measures. The action of each part is an illustration of each word. Finder also evidently did his research on high tech industries, although at times I wished he didn't feel the need to show off all the jargon. So that I mostly found this an interesting ride to the end earns this a three.The book might have earned a four from me were it not for the ending. Other reviews said they hated that ending, but I think for reasons different than mine. I didn't mind the open ending, didn't even think it abrupt, but I hated the entire destination, sensibility behind the whole twist. And it's not as if that twist didn't play fair. In fact it made sense of what seemed gaping plot holes from the beginning. A lot falls into place afterwards. But I still hated it, in a I-doubt-I'll-ever-read-this-author-again way. It's too cynical and too slick, and in its way far too predictable. I hate how it confirms the worldview of the worst characters in the book. For its, yes, paranoid, view of the business world and ambition.
Bit formulaic, but a good page turner.
Very engaging and relaxing read.
Adam Cassidy, a young man without ambition, is a low-level employee in the marketing division of Wyatt Telecommunications. Caught using company funds to throw a retirement party for a dockside worker, Nick Wyatt, ruthless head of the company gives Adam a choice--Federal prison or penetrate Trion, Wyatt¿s biggest competitor, as a corporate spy and ferret information on AURORA, a top-secret project that Wyatt fears will be a death knell for his company. Adam reluctantly agrees.What follows is a very fast-paced but somewhat over-the-top corporate espionage thriller, complete with references to the latest in telecommunications gadgets and spyware, hi-tech security measures, and the up-to-date perks of the rich in 21st century US.It¿s a fascinating story, and well-done from the corporate culture, industrial espionage, and hi-tech gadget point of view. In his Acknowledgements, Finder lists the people with whom he talked about the various scams as well as the telecommunications industry and state of the art technology: the list is impressive, and includes people from Cisco, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard and others. Adam¿s use of the various gadgets and software does not seem far-fetched as happens in other spy-type books; it felt, while reading, as if the hardware and software were based in solid research, and it seems as if they were. It lends a nice authenticity.The writing is not Lehane or Silva, but is certainly adequate to the plot. I had two problems with the plot, which prevented me from giving it a higher rating: there was just one too many high-risk security break-ins-- it pushed the book a little over-the-top for me; as well, the resolution has wonderful twist to it but again, a little too improbable, and there were some glaring loose ends.But otherwise it¿s a fine, entertaining read in the genre. Recommended.
Paranoia is told in the first person by the protagonist. He is Adam Cassidy, a mid-twenties low-level corporate sales guy who got caught diverting company funds to throw a retirement party for one of the foremen in the loading dock of the high-tech company he works for. He did it because he felt sorry for the guy and generally bored with his job. The CEO and the head of security instead of prosecuting him would blackmail him into becoming a mole of the company's biggest competitor. They would train and repackaged him into this smart, up-and-coming corporate whiz and engineer his employment to be one of the competitor's top executive to be able to pass along proprietary and classified information on the competitor's products and on-going projects. Overnight Adam turns into this hard-working genius of an executive and corporate spy at the same time and the pressure of leading this make-believe double life is was putting a lot of stress on the guy. What would make matters worst was he likes his new boss, who treats him like his son, and he fell in love with the woman executive who was handling the project, the information of which he needs to steal. How he was transformed from slacker to a driven executive, his double life, and what happens in the end makes Paranoia an excellent suspense thriller and a look at what extent corporations would go to, to destroy their competition.Paranoia was such a page-turner that I believe that I finished it in three days. It piqued my curiosity of other works of its author.I have read or listened, to via books on CD, Finder's Killer Instinct, and Power Play; and just finished listening to Company Man. Killer Instinct is about this helpful friendly guy turned stalker and deranged killer that the protagonist happened to recommend for a position in security of the company he work for. Power Play is your corporate team-building retreat turned hostage situation. And Company Man is about Nick Conover, a CEO of a major corporation, who had to deal with issues like facing the fallout of firing five thousand employees, fending off the hostile takeover of his company, covering up an accidental killing and being one step ahead of its investigation, a rebellious son, and a crazed stalker all at the same time.I still find Paranoia as the best of the lot but I generally enjoyed them all. What I noticed as common elements of Finder's writing and style are his choice of the corporate environment as the setting for his works and how Finder's protagonists would be this all-around likable guy thrusts in a bad situation, or being in a wrong place at the wrong time. Even if it was the protagonists' fault that landed him in the tight situation he is in like in Paranoia or just plain bad luck, like in Power Play and Company Man, you can't help rooting for the guy. I also noticed that Finder invests his protagonists with family issues, or father issues like with Adam in Paranoia and Nick Conover in Company Man to add depth to the characters and in turn, make his reader feel sympathy or empathize with the character's predicament.
I like his writing and I liked this book until I got to the end. I couldn't believe there weren't more pages! It just stopped too soon and I felt as though someone must have ripped out the end of the book!
I would never have read this if a company hadn't given me a free audio download of the book. The theme is corporate culture and espionage and those aren't genres I've previously explored, but I did find this pretty interesting throughout. Lots of twists and turns along the way as our hero becomes a kind of double agent, hired by one corporation to spy on another. I found "Paranoia" a little long but overall I'd say it was an intriguing read.
True thriller, kept me reading throughout the night. A lot of tech jargon, but it doesn't negatively affect the reading, it enhances the authenticity of the situation. Plus the main character is pretty much in the same position as the readers, so it's kind of amusing. The twists and turns in this book give it those extra brownie points. Fantastic piece of writing, highly recommended!
A page turning thriller devoid of terrorists, murders or explosions. A unique book in every sense of the word - One of the better thrillers I've ever had the chance to put my nose into.
What an absolutely awesome thriller! I loved this book. The story line was superb, the characters were believable and the ending was fabulous.Adam Cassidy made a mistake. He was caught by his superiors at the high-tech corporation where he worked, and rather than end up in prison, he reluctantly decided his only option was to go through with his boss's plan.....to go to work for the competition and learn their secrets.Arrangements were made and Adam became a new employee of Trion, another high-tech corporation, who had a highly guarded secret project that would turn the world upside down upon it's release. Adam's boss at Wyatt wanted him to find out all he could and report everything back to him, or else he would turn Adam over to the authorities for his wrongdoing.Adam becomes enmeshed in his new, high paying job, and before long he becomes a personal assistant to the CEO of Trion. He cannot believe his luck. This turn of events would make his covert job of corporate espionage much easier, as he would have better access to the secrets of the company now. Before long, he gradually starts to like Mr. Goddard, the CEO of Trion. He's a genuinely nice guy. And Adam begins to resent, more and more, his old boss at Wyatt, who is a first class jerk.Although Adam continues to find out the new company's secrets, he realizes that he simply cannot continue to rat out this new boss, because he almost feels as though he is the warm, caring "father" he never had. This creates a huge conflict in Adam's mind, so he decides to stop reporting to Wyatt.As the story moves along....Adam meets and has a relationship with a beautiful co-worker. His relationship with the CEO of Trion grows stronger. His old boss puts on the pressure to report or there will be consequences. Adam is faced with the possiblity of being turned in by Wyatt if he doesn't comply. So he finally decides that he either must choose to follow his conscience and stop the espionage or just do what he was intitially sent to Trion to do, then inform Wyatt that he is finished with them for good.The story progresses with higher and higher suspense, peaking near the end and then a shocking surprise ending that was unexpected by this reviewer. This book was one of the best suspense novels I've read to date. I have moved Mr. Finder up to one of my top ten favorite authors, in the company of Lee Child, Dennis Lehane, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, and Robert Crais. I can certainly understand how this book could be good enough to be made into a movie. But I recommend reading this one first. It's a finely crafted tale by a superb author. FIVE STARS!
I hated this main character so much that it took a while to realize I also did not like the incredible amount of tedious detail included in this book. Blah. Just kept reading to find out what sort of horrible punishment this jerk gets - and was even disappointed there.
Finder Pushes the EnvelopeThis is a great book. However, it should be sold with a warning label. Do not start reading unless your spouse is prepared to be ignored for a few days; your children¿s self-esteem can weather being told not to interrupt you; there is absolutely nothing pending at work and you can drive with a single eye while reading with the other.Be forewarned. You are not putting this thriller down until you reach page 423. It is not often an author leaves me regretting all of my previous five stars thriller ratings. They should have been reserved for this book. Joseph Finder successfully pushed the edge of the envelope with Paranoia.
I really enjoyed this book and read it in about 3 days. The author's style and subject are very similar to books by Michael Crichton. This one is about corporate espionage. The story is told by Adam Cassidy, who is quite bluntly, an asshole. He's one of those too-cool guys who arrive for work late, leave early and park in the private parking spots. He knows the rules, but they don't really apply to him, even the ones about not de-frauding you employer of $70,000. Then he get's caught.His employer offers him an interesting deal. They will report him to the police, or he can infiltrate their competitor and steal information. You can guess what Adam chooses. They give him lots of coaching and support and guess what; he's really good at it.The rest is for you to read. No great message, or thought provoking ideas. Lots of useful spy terms are clearly defined and illustrated. I'd recommend reading it.===============Purchasing this book posed an interesting dilemma. It was favourably reviewed as a Palm Reader format book. Purchasing it for my Palm would have cost ~23.00 Cdn and would have been encrypted to my Clie username AND credit card number. Or for an additional $1.00, I could buy a printed copy which I could loan or give to whomever I wanted when I was done. A clear demonstration of the need for better digital rights.
Reading one of Joseph Finder's books is to become immersed into an all-consuming adventure!
This book had me on the edge if my seat... then the ending had me wanting to throw my Nook at the wall.
I have enjoyed each of his books so far. Can't get enough of them. This is one of the best.
A friend had recommend this author. I checked the libraries but he was not listed. As a new author to me I was very happy with the novel. I enjoy murder mystery novels and this one kept me reading.