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Buried Secrets

Cover of Buried Secrets

Buried Secrets

Nick Heller Series, Book 2
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Joseph Finder introduced Nick Heller, a "private spy" who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden, to widespread acclaim from the critics and wild enthusiasm from the readers, in the New York Times bestselling novel Vanished. Now, in Buried Secrets, Nick Heller returns, finding himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation that's both high-profile and intensely personal.

Nick has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he's urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick's help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the internet. She's been left with a limited supply of food and water and, if her father doesn't meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she'll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus's business. He's being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus's daughter. But to find out who's holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why. Once he does, he uncovers an astonishing conspiracy that reaches far beyond anything he could have imagined. And if he's going to find Alexa in time, he will have to flush out and confront some of his deadliest opponents ever.

Joseph Finder introduced Nick Heller, a "private spy" who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden, to widespread acclaim from the critics and wild enthusiasm from the readers, in the New York Times bestselling novel Vanished. Now, in Buried Secrets, Nick Heller returns, finding himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation that's both high-profile and intensely personal.

Nick has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he's urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick's help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the internet. She's been left with a limited supply of food and water and, if her father doesn't meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she'll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus's business. He's being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus's daughter. But to find out who's holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why. Once he does, he uncovers an astonishing conspiracy that reaches far beyond anything he could have imagined. And if he's going to find Alexa in time, he will have to flush out and confront some of his deadliest opponents ever.
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Excerpts-
  • Copyright © 2011 by Joseph Finder

    1.

    If this was what a prison was like, Alexa Marcus thought, I could totally live here. Like, forever.
    She and Taylor Armstrong, her best friend, were standing in a long line to get into the hottest bar in Boston. The bar was called Slammer, and it was in a luxury hotel that used to be a jail. They'd even kept the bars in the windows and the huge central rotunda ringed with catwalks, that whole cell-block effect.
    She was checking out this bunch of guys behind her who looked like MIT frat boys trying too hard to be cool: the untucked shirts, the cheap blazers, all that product in their hair, the toxic fumes of their Axe body spray. They'd stumble home at two in the morning, puking on the bridge to Cambridge, bitching about how all the girls at Slammer were skanks.
    "I'm loving the smoky eye," Taylor said, studying Alexa's eye makeup. "See? It looks amazing on you!"
    "It took me like an hour," Alexa said. The fake eyelashes, the black gel eyeliner and charcoal eye shadow: She looked like a hooker who'd been beat up by her pimp.
    "Takes me like thirty seconds," Taylor said. "Now look at you—you're this totally hot babe instead of a suburban prepster."
    "I'm so not suburban," Alexa protested. She glanced over at a couple of skinny Euro-looking guys smoking and talking on their mobile phones. Cute but maybe gay? "Dad lives in Manchester." She'd almost said, "I live in Manchester," but she no longer thought of the great rambling house she grew up in as her home, not since Dad had married that gold-digger flight attendant, Belinda. She hadn't lived at home in almost four years, since going away to Exeter.
    "Yeah, okay," Taylor said. Alexa caught her tone. Taylor always had to let you know she was a city kid. She'd grown up in a townhouse on Beacon Hill, in Louisburg Square—her dad was a United States senator—and considered herself urban and therefore cooler and more street-smart than anyone else. Plus, the last three years she'd been in rehab, attending the Marston-Lee Academy, the tough-love "therapeutic boarding school" in Colorado where the senator had sent her to get cleaned up.
    Good luck with that.
    Every time Taylor came back to Boston on break, she was rocking some different Girls Gone Wild look. Last year she'd dyed her hair jet black and had bangs. Tonight it was the skintight black liquid leggings, the oversized gray sheer tee over the black lace bra, the studded booties. Whereas Alexa, less adventurous, was wearing her ink skinny jeans and her tan Tory Burch leather jacket over a tank top. Okay, not as fashion-forward as Taylor, but no way was it suburban.
    "Oh God," Alexa murmured as the line drew closer to the bouncer.
    "Just relax, okay, Lucia?" Taylor said.
    "Lucia—?" Alexa began, and then she remembered that "Lucia" was the name on her fake ID. Actually, it was a real ID, just not hers—she was seventeen, and Taylor had just turned eighteen, and the drinking age was twenty-one, which was way stupid. Taylor had bought Alexa's fake ID off an older girl.
    "Just look the bouncer in the eye and be casual," Taylor said. "You're totally fine."


  • TAYLOR WAS right, of course.
    The bouncer didn't even ask to see their IDs. When they entered the hotel lobby, Alexa followed Taylor to the old-fashioned elevator, the kind that had an arrow that pointed to the floor it was on. The elevator door opened, and an iron accordion gate slid aside. Taylor got in along with a bunch of others. Alexa hesitated, slipped in, shuddered—God, she hated elevators!—and just as the accordion gate was knifing closed, she blurted out, "I'll...
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 as 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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 11, 2011
    Bestseller Finder's compulsively readable sequel to Vanished opens fast and never slows down. When 17-year-old Alexa Marcus, the spoiled daughter of Marshall Marcus, a wildly successful money manager, is kidnapped from a Boston club and buried alive in a coffin equipped with an air hose and a video camera (for Internet streaming, of course!), Marshall asks his old intelligence expert friend, Nick Heller, to find her. The search leads into an expanding world of "buried secrets," from Marshall's gold-digging trophy wife, Belinda, and his crumbling investment empire to allegations of government funding for covert operations and the Russian mafia. A number of characters from Vanished, like Dorothy Duval, Heller's "forensic data tech," and Diana Madigan, his FBI agent ex-girlfriend, lend support. Self-effacing, wry, and ridiculously competent, Heller makes a reasonably engaging protagonist, but this thriller's real star is the suspenseful, expertly paced plot.

  • Booklist on Vanished
"Cliffhangers galore...Highly recommended as a great summer read."
 --Library Journal (starred review) on Vanished
 
"Written in staccato chapters that are emotionally supercharged and action packed, this thriller will more than satsify adrenaline junkies and have them guessing until the very end."
--Publishers Weekly on Vanished
 
"Breakneck pace and labyrinthine schemes . . . ingenious."
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    St. Martin's Press
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Buried Secrets
Buried Secrets
Nick Heller Series, Book 2
Joseph Finder
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