- Book: House of Fire
- Location: Boston, New England, New York City (NYC)
- Author: Joseph Finder
House of Fire is the fourth book in Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller investigator series. It is the first in the series I have read (although I have read a couple of his other detective/investigator titles). It is a really good thriller…
The background is the opiate crisis in the US. Kimball Pharma is a mega corporation that has grown rich on the proceeds. It is run by old man Kimball and his squabbling family of children – some of whom are more involved in the business than others. Most of them are not very nice. One of Nick Hellers’s friends succumbs to the drug, and he attends the funeral – where he is approached by Sukie, one of the family daughters, and is asked to investigate. She has attended many a funeral as ‘penance’ for her family’s crimes. She wants to access the hidden file of a human trial that demonstrated way back that Oxydone (the Kimball opiate) was addictive and dangerous – a file that has long since been secreted away. She says she wants to use it to blackmail her father into abandoning opiates and moving into less dangerous pastures. Nick is presented as her boyfriend and, in that capacity, attends some family meetings. His search for the file, though, proves to be hard and dangerous – involving travelling to a Caribbean island and being attacked (almost killed) by rogue former Mossad operatives. The picture is pretty murky…
The finale is another meeting in the Kimball family home at which the future of the company is discussed – and several of the participants behave not as you would expect. Unrevealed ambitions come to the fore. The meeting is ongoing when smoke begins to seep through the floor. Hence the House of Fire of the title. All escape, but to a new reality.
House of Fire is fast moving and tense, with many a twist.
Much recommended for those who love a page turner, and aren’t too focussed on character development and believable plots.