Family Secrets Abound in Joseph Finder’s ‘House on Fire’ [REVIEW]

Drug overdose
When a man dies due to an overdose, is big pharma to blame? (Photo courtesy Canva)

Every family has its secrets, and in Joseph Finder’s House on Fire, a prestigious and powerful clan has more than its fair share. With their wealth on the line, they will do whatever it takes to keep the bodies buried, particularly when a private investigator starts snooping into their affairs after one of his best friends becomes a casualty of their unspeakable business practices. Will the PI sniff out the guilty party, or will his be the next body that turns up dead?

Joseph Finder's HOUSE ON FIRE

When Nick Heller was in the army, he would have died if his buddy Sean hadn’t intervened and saved his life. But that was eons ago, and in the years since, Nick became a private investigator while Sean returned wounded and addicted to opioids.

At Sean’s funeral, the daughter of a pharmaceutical kingpin approaches Nick and offers him a job and a way to find out who killed his friend. She knows that her dad is corrupt and wants to blow the whistle on him and his company before they care bury the evidence which proves they knew their biggest money-maker is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, including Sean’s.

Now Nick has to employ every trick in the book if he’s going to prove that the family and their company knew just how dangerously addictive the drug is. Yet getting to the bottom of this case is no easy feat, because every member of the family seems to have their own secret agenda and they never hesitate to twist the truth to protect their own.

While some authors tend to get a bit too comfortable writing the same types of stories each time, that has never been the case with Joseph Finder. Ever since I first read his novel High Crimes, it has been evident that he consistently raises the bar for himself, because each new book is better than the last. House on Fire is no different. From page one, it is gripping and compulsively readable, and robbed me of more than one night’s sleep. I was simply too eager to see how Nick cracks the case.

If you enjoyed the movie Knives Out, you’re going to devour this book. Like that film, there are so many characters here who have means and motive, it is difficult for readers to know who to point the finger at. Yet, Nick is nobody’s fool and has a real talent for getting at the truth, which makes him a wonderfully engaging character to follow in this riveting tale of mystery and deception.

While this is the fourth book in the Nick Heller series, readers do not have to be familiar with the first three books to enjoy this one. However, it never hurts to start at the beginning with Vanished, followed by Buried Secrets and Guilty Minds. The more books we read in the series, the better we come to understand just how special a character Heller is. In my mind, he ranks up there with Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot or Preston and Child’s Agent Pendergast. Nick is savvy, shrewd, and dedicated. If I were you, I’d always try to stay on his good side!

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Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of 15 previous suspense novels, including JudgmentThe SwitchThe Fixer, and SuspicionHe introduced “private spy” Nick Heller in Vanished, an instant bestseller, and the continuing series includes Buried SecretsGuilty Minds and House on Fire.

Joe’s novels High Crimes and Paranoia have been adapted as major motion pictures. Guilty Minds and Company Man won the Barry Award for Best Thriller. An international bestseller, Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writers’ Thriller Award for Best Novel. Buried Secrets won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel.

A founding member of the International Thriller Writers, Joe is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center, and lives in Boston.

To find out more about Joe and his books, visit, like him on Facebook, watch his videos on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Joseph Finder
Joseph Finder
(Photo courtesy Dutton)

By Joseph Finder
496 pp. Dutton. $9.99

Purchase House on Fire direct from Jathan & Heather Books or at one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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