Monday, September 19, 2011

Buried Secrets

by Joseph Finder

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 resuce 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 an ex-sorta 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.

A pretty good standard plot. The secrets just keep getting bigger and more impactfull as the story moves along. You expect this not to be a typical kidnapping and you're not disappointed.

Nick Heller: Ex intelligence operative. Special Forces training. He is now an advanced private investigator uncovering secrets for individuals and companies. He's witty, logical, determined. He's not computer savvy.

Alexa Marcus:17. Claustrophobic. Rebel teen of wealthy dad.

Marshall Marcus: Alexa's billionaire father. Jewish. Short. Hedge fund manager.

Belinda Marshal: Marshall's wife. 45. Georgian accent.

Dorothy Duval: Black, works computer forensics in heller's office. Direct, no BS, b ut will banter with Heller.

Jillian Alperin: nick's receptionsist and office manager. Vegan. A bit inept.

Gabe Heller: 16. Nick's nephew. Artist.

Diana Madigan: Works in the Boston branch of the FBI in the child abduction/child predator unit. She is Nick's ex sorta-lover.

This is a pretty good variety of expected characters with other supporting people in the mix. Nick, even though he's the main character, doesn't do a lot on his own (although he's no slouch when it comes to doing things on his own), but obtains his knowledge and information from others. Heller's character isn't totally serious and can use humor to diffuse situations when need be. He adapts to different circumstance very well.

Standard. Nothing out of line.

Finder is a graduate of the Patterson school of short chapters. There is a lot going on here. Not necessairly complex, just a lot going on here. Heller utilizes a lot of contacts to obtain technoligcal information. The language is not complex, but not detailed informative either. Very mild profanity which is unexpected, but the lack of it is okay and it works. Good descriptions without going overboard. Just enough information to keep the story moving along. Not a whodunit, but a logical step by step revelation of information and secrets.

My ranking:

Blue Belt

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