Title:The House on Fire
Author: Joseph Finder.
The publisher is Dutton
ISBN number 9781101985847
A simple white pill that can take you to places where you’ve never been. Realities are destroyed and images can seem real and your actions and your reactions to this pill might take your life. Nick Heller is our main character and our link to what will be one of the most daring and dangerous cases he’s ever undertaken. Oxycontin and Oxycodone are addicting and at first someone might take the required dosage but dependence is often the norm and higher dosages become necessary and a pain reliever becomes a pain dependent. The transition from pain relieve to abuse and then addiction comes fast and the end result as we enter the core of this dynamic mystery thriller where the primary focus deals with a pharmaceutical company that created this drug , did clinical trials and his the results because profit and sales are prime and lives are not.
The novel starts with a first scene allowing readers to understand and get to know how powerful and thorough Nick Heller is when taking down someone who cheats on taxes and is under investigation by the IRS. But, the next scene sends him on the warpath to uncover the secrets surrounding Kimball Pharmaceuticals and where the hidden documents are that will bring them down.
A close friend calls and the journey begins when the wife of a military friend takes an overdose of Oxydone, a nasal spray that dispenses a powerful opiate quickly and his friend Sean was hooked on and overdosed. His wife and family are distraught and the reactions of his children heartbreaking. Things take on a different turn when a member of the Kimball family approaches Nick with an unusual and challenging request at Sean’s funeral. Susan/Sukie Kimball wants Nick to somehow break into her fathers hidden safe or area where he stores his documents and files to uncover the truths behind the studies done and findings on Oxydone. People are dying, billions made, doctors prescribing it and unlimited prescriptions filled. Sukie wants to hire Nick to get the evidence that this drug is addictive and the pharmaceutical company hid these facts from the public and people like his friend Sean were victims to this deception.
Meeting the family introduced as her date at her father’s 80th birthday party we meet the entire colorful family and a face from his past that shocks Nick and changes the entire direction of his focus as this friend his commanding officer when in the military comes front and center as two private investigators hired by a family member but for different reasons.
Meeting the family each one has their own position and all especially Megan want their share of the money delineated in the their father’s will,but she wants her father out.
Flashbacks about Maggie his military friend and more help readers understand their relationship and when it ended. When she’s found dead it leads Nick into a frenzy and an alliance with the police. Not giving up he even manages with some unique technology to get into the office of the one person that might have the documents and files concerning the Oxydone study.
Things spiral out of control and when Nick begins to gather more information and realizes that Megan wants her father out , has found evidence of his excess spending even though the company is losing money, Nick turns to Sukie for information but there are some that have targeted her and other members by committing violent protests and now Nick needs to find a way to protect her and keep them both alive.
Added in we have to remember his nephew Gabe who went to the prison to see Nick’s father but what was he hiding that his grandfather wanted from him?
When the Kimball company has a sales meeting Nick insists on going as Sukie’s guest and a confrontation between her and Megan sets the stage for what both sisters have planned. Insults are hauled from both sides, the Tallin File in question as that holds the evidence and secrets that would take Conrad Kimball down. But , things take an odd turn and Nick finds out what Gabe has been up to and he’s torn in different directions.
With Fritz Heston the Director of security watching his every move and hiring security from an unusual source to follow him and encourage him to stop what he’s put in place, author Joseph Finder takes us deep inside the mind of this Pharmaceutical company, the CEO, his goals and his plans to evade the lawsuits. Rationalizing that he’s helping so many in pain, that Oxydone is there for the good of so many, the author in many ways presents both sides of the argument. Many feel opioids are the solution to pain and others become addicted they can’t function without them and the doctors that go against Kimball are given strong monetary reasons and more to comply.
A meeting held in Anguilla is quite interesting and the questions asked and hurled by both sisters at each other makes you wonder whether both are
after more than meets the eye.
Paul,Megan, Sukie Hayen and Cameron each with their own agendas. What about Conrad’s Russian fiancé? Each one with only one objective in mind money, power and which ones wanted it all? Family loyalties are frayed and Nick finds himself deep inside the conspiracy and his life is in danger as he’s being followed by people from Black Parallel who and why?
Nick is resourceful and the meeting an eye opener and Nick would learn the sinister truth behind someone he thought he could trust. Lies, betrayal and corporate espionage, fear and power plays plus greed as one family Wouk day learn the truth behind blind trust, manipulation, off shore accounts and investments, and a father who’s love was measured by complacency, following his rules, thinking his way as Conrad Kimball had a whole new vision for his company but will his family sign off on it. What happens when the Tillin Files are found and who will win the ultimate prize or will there be a twist,shockwave and reveal you won’t see coming?
Will he avenge Sean and Maggie’s deaths or will a diabolical killer go free?
An ending quite explosive, a family divided, a teen getting a lesson in deception and manipulation and one member of a family that decided to end it all with one simple act placing everyone in danger but who will survive, who will pay the price for some many deaths from Oxydone and other opioids? What will be the final fate as everyone needs to hope and escape from: the House on Fire. Real life situations and a true crisis as author Joseph Finder takes on the opioid industry and hopefully some day there will be an end to it. Research into these drugs bringing out the effects on so many addicted let’s hope the medical community will some day not use opioids as the first line and defense of pain. Remote power of a simple pill and think twice before you swallow it. Opioids are addictive!
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