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 titles right away. I purchased “Vanished,” the first Nick Heller novel, the day after I finished “Buried Secrets.” Joseph Finder has several award winning novels 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. Terrific thriller!
For more information about Joseph Finder and his work, visit www.josephfinder.com
"Buried Secrets" won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel.