If you're looking for an exciting book to take to the beach, "Suspicion" by best-selling author Joseph Finder (Dutton, $27.95) will be an excellent choice.
Full of intriguing characters, squirmy, fast-paced action and a nifty, convoluted plot, Finder's latest is a real keeper.It's likely to keep you flipping pages until you reach the final, unexpected conclusion.
The main character is Danny Goodwin, who's struggling to raise Abby, his head-strong teenage daughter, after his wife died.
Goodwin, who has published a popular biography, is working on a new book about 19th century robber baron and financier Jay Gould. He's suffering from writer's block and is behind schedule, but that's not his only problem.
Abby is attending a posh private school in Boston, but Goodwin is behind in payments. The school threatens to kick her out unless he catches up and the author sees little hope.
Thomas Galvin, father of Abby's best friend at the school, makes an appreciative, generous $50,000 loan to Goodwin. This helps him solve his immediate challenges, but ironically gets him in deeper trouble.
Galvin is an incredibly wealthy money manager- but his only client is a major Mexican drug cartel. The DEA is conducting a serious investigation into money laundering; Goodwin unknowingly becomes ensnared.
Two DEA agents give him little choice, work for them or be killed by the cartel. Goodwin has to work undercover, planting a listening device to gather information from the cartel's financial whiz.
There are many complications as devious plans don't quite go as expected. The tension rises to a fever pitch in a struggle for survival as the violence escalates.
Finder's two most recent novels were conspiracy-related books starring "private spy" Nick Heller.
It's been almost three years since Finder's last novel; he made a decision to switch agents and publishers, buying out his lucrative contract.
He was tired of being branded as one of the best corporate thriller writers; he wanted a different marketing approach.
Since two of his earlier novels ("Paranoia" and "High Crimes") were made into hit movies Finder was taking a big chance.
It seems to be a great move; Finder's on the way to more success. "Suspicion" is a terrific, taut tale that's tough to put down.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.
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This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on June 1, 2014.