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Buried Secrets: A Nick Heller Novel    by Joseph Finder order for
Buried Secrets
by Joseph Finder
Order:  USA  Can
Macmillan Audio, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I only listen to audiobooks in the car and I recently found myself looking forward to regular car trips, anticipating taking in more of narrator Holter Graham's excellent rendition of Joseph Finder's gripping Buried Secrets (8 CDs, 10 hours), a sequel to Vanished. The latter introduced Nick Heller, a skilled operative with a talent for reading people and an extensive intelligence background and contacts.

As Buried Secrets opens, Heller works as a very private PI (a private spy) in Boston, ably assisted in the office by forensic data researcher Dorothy Duval. The story centers on the kidnapping of Alexa Morgan, vulnerable teen daughter of billionaire hedge-fund manager Marshall Marcus, a family friend of Heller's who helped his mother when she was desperate to find work. Alexa's cruel kidnapper buries her alive in a coffin, a videocam recording her every reaction, and displaying her terror to maintain pressure on her horrified father.

Heller drops everything else to work on Alexa's case and finds help from his ex-lover, gorgeous FBI Special Agent Diana Madigan, who had suddenly disappeared from his life. Now she's back and gives him some assistance, despite the hostility of her boss, who is himself investigating Marcus. Heller is shocked to discover that Marcus had lost all his money and was involved with very dangerous and shady investors. And he wonders about Alexa's disliked stepmother Belinda, whose concern is all on the surface. Of course there's much more to Finder's intricate, twisting plot, including an unusual tattoo, Russian gangs, and the kidnapper's own back story, which fuels his methods and ultimate goal.

This chiller culminates in a violent showdown in rural New Hampshire, and in shocking revelations of what was behind it all. And, though I'm sure I'd have enjoyed flipping pages fast to read Buried Secrets, Holter Graham's outstanding narration enhanced the characterizations and added depth to the author's work, while making each speaker (both male and female distinct and immediately identifiable). I highly recommend listening to this one!

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