cover image Guilty Minds

Guilty Minds

Joseph Finder. Dutton, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-95462-0

In Thriller Award–winner Finder’s lively third Nick Heller novel (after 2011’s Buried Secrets), the website Slander Sheet is about to run a story claiming that a highly placed U.S. government official has had a regular relationship with a prostitute. Lawyers for a top international law firm want Boston-based private intelligence operative Heller to check on the story’s authenticity. Heller says he isn’t interested, but he accepts the assignment after learning that the official in question is Chief Justice Jeremiah Claflin of the Supreme Court. Holes quickly appear in the allegations against Claflin, and Heller blows it out of the water. But it’s been too easy, and Heller’s instincts tell him there’s far more to this case than just a smear attempt on a judge. Who owns Slander Sheet, and what was this case really about? Conventions of the contemporary political thriller abound, but a tight plot, sharp dialogue, and a cast of intriguing characters keep the story a cut above the genre pack. Author tour. Agent: Daniel Conaway, Writers House. (July)