Paranoia – Joseph Finder – 8/10


I did not see that ending coming at all. Hence 8 points.

Adam is hanging onto his job by his fingernails after throwing a wild retirement party for a loading dock worker and expensing it all neatly through the company IT. His punishment is to be placed as a mole in a rival company, feeding misinformation from his true employer to the victim, and feeding insider information back the other way. Meanwhile, he tries to gather enough documentation on his mole-ish activities such that the FBI will pluck him from his dilemma if he can hand over his account.

I’ve made the plot sound extraordinarily convoluted, but it’s not really. It is very clear that Adam is in a sticky situation of his own making, but that his desire not to go to prison for fraud has landed him in something much deeper. I’m a little dubious about how little sleep he can survive with, but apart from that the character and his actions are well constructed – the difficulties with his father give sharp and necessary relief to the “daily grind” of corporate greed and subterfuge.

I have to say, I rather enjoyed the churlish, unpleasant chief financial officer – he was exactly what gives us accountants a bad name, and yet entirely credible and not abhorrent. Other well-developed characters include Jock Goddard, the boss at the new company and the “mole activities” consultant Judith. Antwoine, the enormous black male nurse hired by Adam to care for his aged father, provides a bit of comic relief too.

Additional info:
Personal copy – part of a large box purchase.
Publisher: Orion, hardback, 424pages.
Order this from Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards giveaways.
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3 thoughts on “Paranoia – Joseph Finder – 8/10

  1. Seth 13 August 2011 at 6:22 pm Reply

    I read this one a number of years ago, and it could’ve taken place at my office, complete with badge attachments with the Corporate Values on them. It was downright eerie.

    I highly recommend Finder’s newer stuff, including the Nick Heller books, Vanished and Buried Secrets. You can check my blog for reviews of them if you like.

  2. readingwithtea 13 August 2011 at 9:13 pm Reply

    Thanks for stopping by! I will look out for Finder’s newer work.

  3. […] I’d win a gold medal in: Paranoia […]

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