“House on Fire”

“House on Fire” by Joseph Finder is filled with secrets, deception, and even trickery. Nick Heller is a former Army Special Forces, owner of a firm specializing in industrial security, and general all-around good guy, He is devastated when a friend from his military past dies of an overdose of prescription drugs leaving a distraught family behind. Heller is surprised to see a mysterious woman at the funeral. He is even more surprised when she shows up in his office.

Finder takes readers deep into the power and the deception of a large pharmaceutical company, Kimball Pharma, the maker of the drug that caused Heller’s friend’s overdose death. Susan Kimball, daughter and part heir to the Kimball family fortune, hires Heller to attend a family event as her “boyfriend,” and break into her father’s personal office. He is to retrieve a  long buried  clinical drug trial that will expose the greed and duplicity of Kimball Pharma. This is the first of many deceptions that follow.

The family gathering creates more questions than answers, and Heller finds himself in a classic Agatha Christie weekend-in-the-country-house murder mystery. Heller tries to extricate himself from the pit of viperous liars only to find another waiting for him once he gets out. He does not know who is truthful and who is not; perhaps they are all liars, and he must trust only himself.

Finder developed a multilevel plot with abundant suspense, fraud, dishonesty, and uncertainty. He adds corporate greed, personal selfishness, international intrigue, and self-serving family dynamics, and the result is a nail-biting thriller that readers cannot put down with an ending that no one will see coming.

I listened to “House on Fire” by Joseph Finder as an audio book read by Holter Graham. The narration was excellent, and each character had a unique, distinguishable, and believable voice. The text flowed smoothly from scene to scene and from character to character. Graham specifically did an admirable job with the female characters whose voices are sometimes difficult for male narrators.