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Paranoia by Joseph Finder

There are a lot of digital books available as free downloads through Amazon for the Kindle. Sometimes an author's older work is offered for free at the time a new book is released, obviously with the hope of getting the reader to order the new book after enjoying the older book. Such is the case with the free download for Paranoia by Joseph Finder, an author I probably wouldn't have ever discovered without this free offer.

And, yes, I'll be reading more from Finder later.

The New Yorker on Paranoia, as reported on

"In another age, a genre thriller fairly required the brandishing of a weapon and blood smeared on the floor. Finder's latest is the archetype of the thriller in its contemporary form: e-mail is the means of communication and threat, industrial espionage among Nasdaq competitors the field of violence. The novel's great strength is its fetishistic attention to the idioms and buzzwords of the tech business and the up-to-the-second catalogue of perfidy's rewards: the particular Bordeaux or the particular Porsche that tickles the impulses of the New Greedy. For a while, Finder's plot seems less vivid than the status details he gives such attention to, but late in the book we discover how completely we have been fooled, and with real escapist pleasure."

At the beginning of the book, Adam Cassidy is caught for charging a very expensive, very unauthorized retirement party for a "low-level" co-worker to a corporate account. Impressed with Adam's gift for spin when trying to talk his way out of serious trouble, CEO Nick Wyatt informs Adam that he needs to infiltrate their rival to learn about a secret development program in order to avoid going to jail for a very long time.

In order to be attractive for raiding to the rival, Wyatt gives Adam false credit for very important work. Sure enough, the bait is taken, and, with a lot of pre-interview coaching, Adam gets hired by the rival corporation.

How does Adam, who is pretty much an intelligent, sarcastic slacker, cope in his new role? What happens as he finds himself drawn to the new company? And when he finds a very attractive bedmate at the new company?

Let's just say that there's much more happening in this story than Adam, or this reader, grasped.

I found this book entertaining--fascinating, even, since the world Cassidy experiences as a corporate hotshot is so far removed from the world I inhabit in my real life.

My overall personal rating of Paranoia is a B+.


Melissa said…
I just reviewed the audio version of this today, myself! :-) I also got it free from iTunes and couldn't pass up that opportunity. I'm glad you enjoyed it--I'll add a link to your review on mine :-)
That's fun, too! Always nice to find a new author that I enjoy through a free book.

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