Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous standalone thrillers and the Nick Heller thriller series. featuring the Special Forces intelligence investigator who focuses on digging up dirt on powerful people and uncovering shocking conspiracies. His standalone novels feature ordinary people put into extraordinary situations due to something small they do.
Here are the Joseph Finder books in order of release for his thrillers and standalone novels. The book list is regularly updated.
New Joseph Finder Books
Nick Heller Series
- Vanished (Nick Heller #1), 2009
- Buried Secrets (Nick Heller #2), 2011
- Good and Valuable Consideration, 2014, with Lee Child (short novella included in the FaceOff anthology)
- Plan B (Nick Heller #2.5), 2011
- Guilty Minds (Nick Heller #3), 2016
- House on Fire (Nick Heller #4), 2020
Standalone Joseph Finder Books
- Red Carpet, 1983 (nonfiction book)
- The Moscow Club, 1991
- Extraordinary Powers, 1994
- The Zero Hour, 1996
- High Crimes, 1998
- Paranoia, 2004
- Company Man, 2005
- Killer Instinct, 2006
- Power Play, 2007
- Suspicion, 2014
- The Fixer, 2015
- The Switch, 2017
- Judgment, 2019
Nick Haller Series Synopsis
In Vanished, we first meet Nick Heller when his brother, Roger, and his sister in law, Lauren are brutally attacked, and when Lauren wakes up the next day in the hospital realizes that Roger has vanished. Nick and Roger have been estranged for many years, but now Nick has to dig deep into the family secrets to figure out what is going on. Nick has been trained in the Special Forces, and his specialty is finding secrets about people, secrets that nobody wants revealing. And what he finds while digging in Roger’s life could endanger the entire family.
In the novel Buried Secrets, Nick Heller returns home to Boston to settle down and open his own agency. When an old family friend asks for his help with the kidnapping of the guy’s daughter, Nick has to find her before it’s too late. She is buried underground with a camera trained on her, and it will be close to impossible to get her out. Nick, once again, starts digging into the life of his friend’s family and he discovers that his friend was running an Ponzi Scheme, and in the process, he amassed a whole number of enemies just eager to tear his family apart.
Nick has been working as a private spy in his shop in Boston for a while, and now he gets dragged into a case involving the chief justice of the Supreme Court, who is about to be unmasked by a gossip site whose main reporter wrote a deadly expose about the guy. Nick, who has powerful people as clients, is called to Washington to find out whether the story is true. When someone involved in the case gets murdered, Nick knows that something more sinister is going on there, and he has to find out the truth before it’s too late.
House on Fire
The novel finds Nick at the funeral of a former army friend when he is contacted by a stranger to infiltrate the Kimball family, who owns Kimball Pharmaceutical and deals with opioids, which are the very pills that killed his friend in the first place. The person wants to become a whistleblower and expose the dangers the pharmaceutical company poses, however, the Kimball dynasty is more powerful and complicated than initially thought, and Nick is instantly regarded as an enemy of the family to needs to be stopped before the family secrets come out. Then he meets Maggie, an old lover who is also an investigator, and together they join forces to get to expose the deep conspiracies this big family is hiding once and for all.
Joseph Finder Biography
Joseph Finder was born in 1958, in Chicago, Illinois. During his early years, he traveled a lot with his family, especially to Afghanistan and the Philippines. Eventually, they moved back home and settled down in Bellingham, Washington and later around Albany, New York.
As a child, he liked reading a lot of books, especially the James Bond series by Ian Flemming. Later on in college he started reading books by Robert Ludlum, and others like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Helen MacInnes, Frederick Forsyth, Ken Follett, Mario Puzo, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and William Goldman. While in college, he decided that he wanted to write thrillers as well.
He attended Yale University from where he got his degree in Russian Studies. He graduated both with Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While in college, he played a drummer in the Yale school’s a cappella group Whiffenpoofs in the 1980s. Later on, he got his master’s degree at the Harvard Russian Research where he eventually returned to teach.
Before writing books, Joseph Finder also worked in International Intelligence, however, eventually he gave that career to focus on writing novels. Those times in the spy business helped him, however, with a lot of background knowledge about corporate espionage, which he then translated into some of the most famous stories, like Paranoia.
He was in his early twenties when he wrote his first book, Red Carpet, which was published when he was 25. The book is nonfiction and it looks at the ties the rich American businessmen have with Russian. As old as the book is, it is far from dated, as it easily depicts the current political situation as well. In fact, it was after writing this book that he decided that writing fiction is easier simply because he can avoid cases of people involved (dangerous people) going after him.
He fully quit his job of teaching writing at Harvard after he sold his first novel, which was sold to over 30 countries. This allowed him to pay the bills and literally live from what he made from his book.
Joseph Finder is one of the few authors who has the knack of writing books that eventually turn out to be true. He is truly a thriller prophet. For example, Moscow Club, the first standalone Joseph Finder novel, which deals with a coup against the Russian president was released just months before the actual coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, at the time Russian president happened. Also, Extraordinary Powers, which has as main theme the hunt for a mole embedded in the CIA was released just days before a real mole was discovered in the middle of the CIA.
In his novels, New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder likes to put ordinary people doing small, almost inconsequential things which cause major disruptions in their lives. In an interview, he mentioned that he took this technique from Alfred Hitchcock who used to do the same. In The Fixer, the main character, Rick, began by opening the wall behind a closet and finding hidden money.
While writing Buried Secrets, the second Nick Heller novel, a book that deals with a girl being buried underground with a camera trained on her, the author went to a funeral home and got in a coffin and had the lid closed, so he could learn about the feeling of being buried alive in that a tight space.
The Switch also starts with something relatively benign. Michael Tanner, the main character, returns home from a business trip and during the security check, he picks up the wrong laptop. This ends up changing his entire life and not necessarily for the better.
In The Fixer, the author Joseph Finder deals with the theme of not knowing one’s parents truly. The book is special to Joe Finder as his father, at the age of 90+ died while the book was being written. The author started thinking that he didn’t really know his father all that much. This thought went into the book as well, with the hidden money left behind for him to find.
Several of the Joseph Finder books have won awards, including the Barry Award for Best Thriller for Company Man in 2006, ITWA (International Thriller Writers Award) for Best Novel for Killer Instinct in 2007, and the author was also nominated for two Barry Awards for Suspicion in 2015 and Guilty Minds in 2017, and the Gumshow Award for Power Play in 2007.
Praise for Joseph Finder
Joseph Finder takes a familiar story and gives it a unique spin in his latest page-turner, The Fixer. (Associated Press)
A novel that is as timely and cognizant of contemporary society as it is a startling seat of the pants thrill ride. (Michael Connelly on Suspicion)
An Action-packed, full-throttle…read-it-tonight thriller that you definitely shouldn’t miss. (Lee Child on Vanished)
“Finder really knows his way around a thriller, and his sensibilities about Washington, scandal, and the immediacy—and threat—of digital publishing and electronic surveillance seem chillingly plausible. This is an exciting, insightful thriller with finely sketched characters—in other words, a sure bet in public libraries. (Booklist on Guilty Minds)
If you’re in the mood for tense, witty angst about closed-down career opportunities and dirty money cleansed by family redemption, The Fixer is the way to go. (The New York Times)
Once again, Finder has produced a page-turning corporate thriller with enough twists and turns for any reader. (Denver Post on Company Man)
Riveting…perhaps the finest of the contemporary thriller novelists, you may think you’ve read one mystery too many. Find Finder and you’ll think again. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Paranoia)
- Joseph Finder author website
- The Whiffenpoof Alumni
- Author Joseph Finder learns how it feels to be in a coffin
Joseph Finder Recommends