House on Fire

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2020

Member Reviews

Our hero, Nick Heller, learns one of his former military buddies has succumbed to his opioid addiction and races to comfort his family.  At the funeral, he is approached by the estranged daughter of a wealthy family that is in the pharmaceutical business.  She has an axe to grind and wants Nick to assist her.  Twists and turns galore in a story that parallels, somewhat, the current issues facing the Sackler family.  Another enjoyable romp from Joseph Finder. I received my copy from the publisher through Netgalley.
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PI Nick Heller, while attending the funeral of Sean his friend and fellow veteran, is approached by a woman who wants to hire him for a job. Sean died of an overdose to a pain killer he was addicted to. The woman, Susan Kimball, is the daughter of Conrad Kimball, the founder and head of Kimball Pharmaceuticals, creator and distributor of the drug. Susan claims she wants to take down her family’s business empire due to the harm it is causing mankind. She asks Nick to locate a scientific study which claimed the drug is highly addictive. This, she believes, will be enough proof to put them out of business. As Nick tries to locate the study, he gets embroiled into the family dynamics, which proves to be quite deadly.
	HOUSE ON FIRE is one of Joe Finder’s best books in years. There are enough plot twists to keep the reader on their toes throughout. The well crafted characters are a complex but untrustworthy bunch.  The plot is compelling and the pacing rarely flags. This is an excellent thriller and perfect for the plane or the pool. 

Larry Gandle
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine
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Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for this ARC of House on Fire, by Joseph Finder.
In this book, we discover that people you should trust, like pharmaceutical companies and your family, are not always trustworthy. Nick Heller is attending the funeral of his best friend, who died of opioid addiction, and he is approached by a Kimball family member to help her stop this drug crisis. The drug crisis, she believes, starts with her family and their business, and needs to be stopped before too many people die. As Nick searches for a document that will put an end to lethal drug sales, he discovers that no one is to be trusted, even the family you call your own. This book is timely and informative, as well as exciting and entertaining. I never miss reading a Joseph Finder book and enjoyed this one tremendously.
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This is a terrific book.  The latest installment of Finder’s Nick Haller series, it is a mixture of a thriller and a private detective story.  Haller is a former Special Ops soldier who now has his own agency in Boston.  He is everything a private detective should be; strong, resolute, smart, accomplished, well, you get the drift.  He is an honest man in a dishonest world.

If you have not read any of the other Haller books never fear, this reads as a complete standalone.  “House on Fire” starts with Nick attending the funeral of his army buddy, Sean, who saved his life while they were in the service.  Sean died of an opiate, having become addicted, leaving behind his widow and three young children to whom Haller is Uncle Nick.  He is approached by a woman who turns out to be the daughter of Conrad Kimball, whose company made the drug which killed Sean.  Sukie Kimball is an independent filmmaker who has become angry and ashamed at her family’s role in the opioid epidemic, and she hires Nick to help her find proof that the company knew its products were addictive and killing people.  I don’t like spoilers, so I am not going to say anything more about the plot.

I really enjoyed this book.  It flowed beautifully, was full of tension, and has a crackerjack ending.  Finder has the reputation of an excellent thriller writer, and he deserves it.  I am looking forward to the next outing of Nick Haller, and I urge you to read this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.  The opinions are my own.
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Nick Heller is investigating a case involving a rich family that owns the opiate sector pretty much and there is a murder too that kicks off the mystery. It felt more like a classic detective mystery plot with necessary twists at the end. I definitely empathize with the vets who suffer due to addiction to opiate meds but I felt that part was described as sub-plot but I wish the author had ended it up nicely regarding that part of the plot. There is decent amount of action, and cyber hacking stuff involved.

But bringing light to and more awareness on opiate crisis is really needed at this time. Overall it was a fast paced mystery and was enjoyable too! I liked Nick Heller a lot. I would prefer this one as a movie more I guess.

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for granting my wish!
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The Opioid Crisis Exposes Intrigues in a Dysfunctional Family

Nick Heller, ex-Special Forces now a detective, is devastated to learn that his friend Sean, a man who saved his life, has died from an overdose of an opioid, Oxydone. He is particularly upset to discover that the drug was prescribed by the VA when Sean was a patient. 

At the funeral, Nick is approached by Sukie Kimball, daughter of Conrad Kimball who heads Kimball’s pharmaceutical company, responsible for developing and marketing Oxydone. She wants to hire Nick to expose the fact that Kimball Pharma had research evidence that Oxydone was extremely addictive. The information was withheld so the public had no idea about the dangers of the drug. 

Nick agrees to take the case which involves finding a hard copy of the report about the drug. It is one way to avenge Sean’s death. Getting into the Kimball mansion won’t be easy, but Sukie has a way. She invites Nick to Conrad’s birthday party as her date. The party becomes the scene of a murder investigation and Nick finds himself teaming with Maggie, an ex-lover now a detective. 

With fast action and a well structured plot, this novel provides a good read if you enjoy detective stories. Nick Heller is a character you have to like. He’s a well trained PI who’s not afraid of danger, but he is also loyal to his friends and wants to protect their reputations. The other characters, Sukie and her family, and particularly Maggie are well drawn, but Nick is the center of the action. 

I particularly enjoyed the background focusing on the social issue of addiction to pain killers. It’s a significant issue and the author treats it with appropriate seriousness. It makes you think about the issues of profit vs human life and how for some people an opiate is the only solution to dreadful pain. 

I received this book from Dutton for this review.
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Nick heller continues to get to the bottom of issues. Good read, love Joe Finder as a local author. The characters are believable and work well to tell the story.
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Fast-paced thriller! 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Nick Heller, a private detective, is hired by an heir to the Kimbell fortune to try to find evidence against Kimbell Pharma, the reviled maker of a highly addictive opiate.  As Nick gets closer to the family, the jobs gets more personal for him and his life soon becomes in danger.  Can Nick get to the bottom of this and escape alive?!?

A quick read  focused on the very timely opiate  crisis.  I enjoyed the short chapters and the non-stop action against a solid plot line.

Thank you Joseph Finder, Dutton, and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

#NetGalley #HouseOnFire
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What a page turner! And the topic is so timely and relevant. Love the main character, Nick Heller. Will look forward to more of his adventures.
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When Nick Heller is hired by Sukie Kimball, it's to find a critical memo about her family firm's opioid product.  Nick's friend has just died of an overdose of the drug- Oxydone- so he takes it on, going to the family compound to search.  It's Conrad Kimball's birthday so there are a number of guests, including, much to Nick's surprise, Maggie, once a romantic interest but now a rival.  Unfortunately for everyone, the Kimball family is a rats nest of nastiness and, of course, someone ends up dead.  This merges a topical issue with a twisty little mystery.  Nick's a good character, the plot pops along, and it has a social conscience.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is fine as a standalone and perfect for travel.
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House on Fire, the first Joseph Finder book I've read, has a bit more action-adventure vibe than the typical private-investigator novel, and is better written. The main character, Nick Heller, was a Special Forces operative, which gave him the skills to do a higher level of surveillance and intrusion than your average gumshoe.

Those skills were called upon in this story, with Heller investigating a family-owned Big Pharma firm which aggressively and deceptively marketed its opioid products. (Ring any current-event bells)?

I appreciated the smart dialogue and tight plotting. Finder never insulted the reader's intelligence. There were a few minor continuity glitches and typos, but this was after all a digital galley I was reading, so I trust those will be fixed before publication.

All in all, enough for me to plan on seeking out more of this author's books. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance readers copy.
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Investigator Nick Heller’s friend Sean saved his life in Afghanistan and when Sean became addicted to pain medication for his own wounds, Nick stepped up to get him help.  Believing that Sean had conquered the habit, he was stunned to receive a call from Sean’s wife Patty to notify him of his friend’s death from an overdose.  At Sean’s funeral, he is approached by Susan Kimball.  It is her father’s company that manufactured the drug that killed his friend.  

Susan wants to hire Nick to find the results of a drug trial that was done in Eastern Europe that proves that Oxydone is highly addictive.  Her idea is to use the report that was suppressed by her father to force him to open addiction treatment centers across the country.  Posing as her latest boyfriend, he attends a family gathering at the Kimball estate, where Conrad Kimball supposedly has the only copy of the trial.  There he runs into Maggie, a woman from his past, posing as the date of Susan’s brother.  She is there to discover the terms of Conrad’s will since he plans to re-marry.  Working together, they find Conrad’s hidden files, but a murder disrupts the weekend.  Fearing that the assignment is too dangerous to continue, Susan fires Nick.

Joseph Finder introduces episodes from Heller’s past throughout the story that explain his relationships with Sean and Maggie.  After he is fired, he still feels a responsibility to them and devotes himself to find the murderer as well as the trial.  With stories of the addiction to opiates prevalent in the news, this is a story that is relevant today.  It is also a story of greed and family dynamics that builds to a surprising ending.  If you are not currently familiar with Joseph Finder, House on Fire will convert you to an instant fan.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Group/Dutton for providing this book for my review.
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A timely thriller dealing primarily with the opioid crisis and the role of powerful pharmaceutical companies involved.

Nick Heller is a private investigator. Despite the steady income his business provides, he refuses to handle petty divorce cases. Thus, his business isn’t exactly a booming success. But make no mistake… Nick is someone you’d always want on your side. Personally, I’d hire him in a minute! His ship may have just come in when the opportunity arises to locate a very troubling hidden memo from a very powerful drug company. One that may have prevented a highly addictive opioid from being released to the masses. Nick is all over this one! This case hits very close to home for Nick!

Nick Heller is a likable strong lead character about to take on the biggest of drug companies single handed! Go get ‘em Nick!
A quick and easy read with short chapters, I flew through this one in no time at all!

Even though this is the 4th installment in this series, it certainly can read well as a stand-alone. I’ve enjoyed Joseph Finder’s books in the past but in my opinion this is his best to date! Looking forward to his next release!

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for granting my wish!
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Joseph Finder might be the best author of the Suspense Genre. In his latest novel, House on Fire the main character Nick Heller tries to avenge the death of his close friend Sean who died of an Oxydone overdose. Nick gets deeply involved in the complexities and lies of the Kimball family ( the owners of the  pharmaceutical company that makes the Oxydone drug). There are tech gadgets and gizmos along with old fashioned detective work that help Nick to get valuable intel along his quest. What Finder does so well is two fold. He makes the reader care about Nick Heller, and, he weaves the plot along in an intelligent, perfectly paced way. House on Fire can be a stand alone novel, but it is the forth book with main character Nick Heller. If House on Fire is your first Joseph Finder book, you will not only love it, but you will be ordering/reserving many other Finder books after completion.
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House on  Fire byJoseph Finder has an intriguing plot and interesting major chracters. I started reading the book on Saturaday morning and finished it early Sunday.
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I was really excited about this book. Sadly I just could not get into it at all. I couldn’t relate to a single character. I was bored. I finished the book, but barely. 

Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy!
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Nick Heller is back in an action packed roller coaster ride to the end! Thank you Joseph Finder for another fantastic Heller adventure.
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First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Joseph Finder and Penguin Group Dutton for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

As Joseph Finder returns with a fourth Nick Heller novel, the reader is pulled into the centre of a wonderful story with action that does not dissipate. When Nick Heller learns that an Army buddy of his has died from an overdose, he is stunned and rushes to help however he can. Learning that Oxydone, a nasal inhaler, is likely to blame, Heller heads to the funeral slightly upset that it was a VA prescription that ended his friend’s life so early. After the service, Heller is flagged down by a mysterious woman, Susan ‘Sukie’ Kimball, daughter of billionaire Conrad Kimball. It would seem that Kimball’s pharmaceutical company, which manufactures Oxydone, might have buried studies that showed the addictive nature of the drug, releasing it to an unsuspecting public. When Susan brings Heller to her father’s birthday party, he hopes to find a hard copy of the report and blow Kimball Pharma out of the water. It would seem others are looking for dirt on Kimball, but everything remains smoke and mirrors. Another birthday guest turns up dead and Heller can only wonder if there is a killer trying to silence any information leaks. Determined to find the report, Heller embarks on a mission behind high-security, unsure what else he will uncover. Inching ever close, Heller will have to put himself in harm’s way to get to the truth, but can never be sure it will yield the ultimate prize. Prepared to bring down the House of Kimball, Heller must ensure he is not a casualty in the larger scheme. A nail-biting thriller that will keep the reader enthralled until the final reveal. Recommended to those who love a good thriller, as well as the reader who enjoys plots pulled from the headlines.

I have long enjoyed the work of Joseph Finder, as it pushes the boundaries of the genre in new and exciting ways. Finder has been able to keep his readers intrigued as he touches on social issues in a relatable way with an exciting narrative. Nick Heller remains a great protagonist with this piece, his substantial backstory finding new ways to make it into the narrative. Heller is passionate about protecting the reputation of those close to him, even if he finds himself helpless to their foibles. A trained PI, Heller has numerous ways to get to the bottom of a situation, sometimes sacrificing his own well-being to get the needed information. Gritty and never afraid to rock the boat, Heller finds himself in many situations that push him to the brink. There are others who find themselves influencing the narrative in a variety of ways, helping to push the story along which enriching the overall reading experience. In a piece whose primary focus is drug addiction and overdose, Finder turns to Big Pharma and points the finger there, as many have found themselves hopelessly addicted. Another poignant social issue receives its due here as the reader is pulled to the centre and forced to decide for themselves. Finder has a knack of delivering just what is needed at the perfect moment. 

Kudos, Mr. Finder, for another winner. I hope others find this one to be just as exciting.
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The newest entry in Nick Heller series can be read as a stand-alone if like me, you are behind on the series. 
This begins with a phone call in which Nick learns that his friend and a man who saved his life has lost his battle with opiod addiction. While he is at the funeral, he is approached by a young woman who wants to hire him. The twist ? Her family owns the Kimball Pharmeceuticals which makes the Oxydone that was the cause of the overdose. She wants Nick to help her prove that her father knew that the drug was highly addictive and hid the truth. 
This was an okay read and I appreciated that the author acknowledged that there are people who have legitimate need for pain medication which often is left out of discussions. I think some of this stretches credulity- Nick is extremely smart but he missed clues that are obvious. We also know from previous books that he is very protective of his nephew Gabe and has every reason to distrust his father, but he blithely passes on the message from his dad to Gabe? 
This book is very topical and a good entry to the series. 
Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for the free e-copy in return for my honest opinion.
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Nick Heller is enjoying his success, and the way his life is going, when he gets the devastating news thathis old army buddy Sean has died of an overdose.  

At Sean's funeral, he is approached with an offer to get revenge on the company that supplied Sean's drugs, by proving that the family-owned business knew very well the dangers of the drug that made them wealthy. All he has to do is find the documents that prove that claim, but the family will do anything to protect their reputation and their wealth.

Joe Finder is at his best with this consuming tale of corporate greed and family dysfunction.  Everyone has a secret to hide and and interest to protect, and Nick Heller has landed in the middle of this nest of snakes.
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