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Saturday 8 October 2016

‘Guilty Minds’ by Joseph Finder

Published by Head of Zeus Ltd,
14 July 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-78497-853-2 (HB)

Nick Heller is an ex-CIA agent, with training in the special forces with whom he served in Iraq.  He has used this very particular background to set up as a private spy in Boston – his is a very small business (only two employees) and with a set of skills which attracts a fairly select clientele – lawyers, politicians and, on occasion, foreign governments.  When, in response to a request from a partner in one of the largest law firms, he goes to their Boston office, he is amazed to see that Washington legend, Gideon Parnell, is the person wanting to hire him.  The ostensible task is to stop a scandal website from publishing a story that will ruin the career of a Supreme Court judge.  Heller has to press hard, but eventually finds out the name of the individual involved and takes the case on.  He has 48 hours to try to stop publication and manages, in a fairly short time, to find evidence to disprove the story, but it is still published.  As Heller tries to unravel what is going on, a key ‘witness’ in the original story is murdered whilst under his protection.   As he painstakingly tracks the leads, he uncovers a long-hidden crime. 

Nick Heller makes welcome return in this neatly-plotted and very readable novel, the third in the series.  The characters are interesting and the unfolding story of cover-up and clean-up holds the attention.   Technical information gives added substance to the action and the pace and tension of the story doesn’t falter. 
Reviewer:  Jo Hesslewood
Other books by the author: in the Nick Heller Series:  Vanished, Buried Secrets

Joseph Finder was born in Chicago  and spent his early childhood living around the world, including Afghanistan and the Philippines. In fact, Joe's first language -- even before English -- was Farsi, which he spoke as a child in Kabul. Finally, after a stint in Bellingham, WA, his family finally settled outside of Albany, NY.  After taking a high school seminar on the literature and history of Russia, Joseph went on to major in Russian studies at Yale. He then completed a master's degree at the Harvard Russian Research Center, and later taught on the Harvard faculty. He was recruited to the Central Intelligence Agency but eventually decided he preferred writing fiction.  In 2006 he won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for Killer Instinct. Now a bestselling thriller writer, Jo in addition to his fiction, does occasional work for Hollywood and has written on espionage and international affairs for a number of publications, including, Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. He roots for the Boston Red Sox and lives in Boston with his wife, daughter, and a needy golden retriever, Mia, a dropout from seeing-eye-dog school.

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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