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Paranoia Hardcover – January 14, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (January 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312319142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312319144
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (352 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Is it too early to declare Finder's fifth novel (after High Crimes) the most entertaining thriller of 2004? Probably, but it will be a surprise if another suspenser proves as much sheer fun as Finder's robust tale of corporate espionage. Narrator Adam Cassidy's trip to hell begins when he charges to the company an unauthorized, very expensive party for a retiring blue-collar laborer at their place of work, Wyatt Telecom. Caught, low-level staffer Adam is given an offer he can't refuse by monstrously slick and wealthy CEO Nick Wyatt: penetrate rival high-tech giant Trion Systems and get the goods on Trion's killer new products, or face a battery of felony charges. Adam accepts the deal, and days later he's at Trion, along with false credentials that persuade Trion that he was a key player at Wyatt Telecom, rather than a cube-squatting shlub. Finder presents Adam's thrust into Trion as the scary, grand adventure of a stranger in a strange land, as Adam must contend with a new corporate culture and a host of envious enemies, particularly once he's tapped to be Trion founder Jock Goddard's personal assistant. As Adam comes to admire, even to love, Jock, the demands by Wyatt for ever better intel grate all the more. But if Adam refuses, prison awaits, and anyway he loves his big new salary and perks, not to mention his new, lovely Trion bedmate. Adam's love/hate relationship with his bitter, dying dad and his fragmenting friendship with a pal he's left behind add texture to the relentless suspense, punctuated by tense cloak-and-dagger scenes as Adam steals secrets from his new bosses. A first-rate surprise ending packs a wallop. This novel is the real deal: a thriller that actually will keep readers up way past their bedtimes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker

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.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

More About the Author

Joseph Finder's plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer, and winner of the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for BURIED SECRETS (2011), winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for KILLER INSTINCT (2006) and winner of the Barry and Gumshoe Awards for Best Thriller for COMPANY MAN (2005).

Born in Chicago, Joe spent his early childhood living around the world, including Afghanistan and the Philippines. In fact, Joe's first language -- even before English -- was Farsi, which he spoke as a child in Kabul. After a stint in Bellingham, WA, his family finally settled outside of Albany, NY.

After taking a high school seminar on the literature and history of Russia, Joe was hooked. He went on to major in Russian studies at Yale, where he also sang with the school's legendary a cappella group, the Whiffenpoofs (and likes to boast that he sang next to Ella Fitzgerald, an honorary Whiffenpoof). Joe graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, then completed a master's degree at the Harvard Russian Research Center, and later taught on the Harvard faculty. He was recruited to the Central Intelligence Agency but eventually decided he preferred writing fiction.

His first book, published in 1983 when Joe was only 24, was RED CARPET: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE KREMLIN AND AMERICA'S MOST POWERFUL BUSINESSMEN, the first book to reveal that the controversial multi-millionaire Dr. Armand Hammer, the CEO of Occidental Petroleum, had worked for Soviet intelligence in the 1920s and 1930s. (This book is no longer in print.)

But RED CARPET was only part of the story that Joe wanted to tell. So he wrote his first novel - the only way he could legally tell the whole Armand Hammer saga. Published in 1991, THE MOSCOW CLUB described events whose factual truth would only be revealed many years later. THE MOSCOW CLUB was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the ten best spy thrillers of all time and was published in thirty foreign countries.

What followed were three more critically-acclaimed thrillers - EXTRAORDINARY POWERS, THE ZERO HOUR (sold to Twentieth-Century Fox for a record sum) and HIGH CRIMES, which became a 2002 Fox film starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Joe was invited on the movie set and even cast for a nonspeaking role as a JAG prosecutor.

Published in 2004, PARANOIA represented a major turning point in Joe's career, landing on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. It was his first book to use the ruthless drive, corruption and conspiracy of the corporate world as riveting plotline. PARANOIA was called "fun...movie-ready...[with] twists aplenty..." by Entertainment Weekly. A major motion picture based on PARANOIA is in production now and scheduled for release on August 16, 2013.

Joe's next three novels - COMPANY MAN, KILLER INSTINCT and POWER PLAY - were all bestsellers in which things were decidedly not business as usual. He was quickly hailed as "the CEO of suspense."

In VANISHED, published August 2009 by St. Martin's Press and an immediate bestseller, Joe introduced his new continuing character, "private spy" Nick Heller. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator - exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He's a guy you don't want to mess with. He's also the man you call when you need a problem fixed. The second novel in the series, BURIED SECRETS, was published June 2011.

In addition to his fiction, Joe does occasional work for Hollywood, is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and Council on Foreign Relations, and has written on espionage and international affairs for a number of publications, including TheDailyBeast.com, Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic. He roots for the Boston Red Sox and lives in Boston with his wife, daughter, and a needy golden retriever, Mia, a dropout from seeing-eye-dog school.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Rieback on March 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Author Joseph Finder has written about espionage and international affairs for the New York Times and other newspapers, and is also a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. So it would stand to reason that he had seen it all in the realm of espionage. Yet, in the acknowledgements at the end of the book, he states that his research on his other novels "has taken me around the world and into places like KGB headquarters in Moscow, but nothing prepared me for how strange and fascinating I'd find the world of the American high-tech corporation." In Paranoia, he combines high-tech business with corporate security and espionage to create an exciting thriller that the reader will not soon forget.
Adam Cassidy is the quintessential slacker who is tired of his job at Wyatt Telecom. He diverts corporate funds to throw a large retirement party for a loading dock employee, and he fully expects to be fired for it. But instead he is threatened with criminal charges if he does not agree to steal highly confidential product plans from Trion, a rival of Wyatt. With the help of the Wyatt's CEO, security chief, and executive coach, he is groomed for an executive job at Trion. He is taught to breach the tightest corporate security and turn over his findings. Thus begins his life as a corporate spy, where the game he is playing becomes more and more treacherous, his loyalties to his friends and employers are stretched to the limit, and he is caught in a web of deceit from which there seems to be no exit.
The characters are well drawn and believable. Finder expertly depicts Adam's struggle with his conscience, his problems with his ailing father and best friend, his worries about being unmasked as a spy, and his fondness for his Trion CEO.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Queenie on February 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Be careful what reviews you read on this page, as at least one will ruin the ending for you. It's one of the longer reviews.
This is not only an exciting thriller, but a touching account of a father-son relationship very well expressed. It was a nice contrast to the main page-turning storyline.
I loved this book from the "grabs you" beginning to its thought provoking ending, and have my husband, brother and friends buying their own copies so we can discuss it.
No slow parts, engaging characters, thrilling story. You won't be able to put it down.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Martin on January 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I first came upon this author when the movie High Crimes, starring Ashley Judd, was being premiered. As soon as I heard it was an adaptation of a book, I knew I wanted to read the book first before seeing the movie. I ended up loving both the book and the movie and was eager to read something else by this author.
Then, along came Paranoia....Finder's newest release. I was a bit anxious when I started it because I wanted it to be as good as High Crimes. I needn't have worried. Paranoia was terrific but the best discovery of all was the realization that this author was the "real deal." We all have our preferred authors --the ones whose books we buy as soon as they come out. I'm happy to now add Finder to my list.
My favorite kind of book has always been the one where events spiral so out of control that you can't imagine the main character being able to get back on track in one piece. You know the kind of book I'm talking about -- a virtual roller coaster ride. Typical examples would be The Big Picture by Douglas Kennedy, Derailed by James Siegel and A Simple Plan by Scott Smith just to name a few. Paranoia now tops my list as my new favorite heart-stopping thriller. Finder has managed to put the reader right smack in the middle of a power struggle between two invincible high-tech companies with Adam Cassidy as the referee/spy.
Prior to the day when Adam Cassidy's life changed forever, he was a lackadaisical employee of Wyatt Telecom. The CEO of that company soon discovers Adam's involvement in some illegal disbursement of company monies to pay for an employee's retirement party. To compound matters, this party ended up costing the company $78,000.00.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Eldred VINE VOICE on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book opens with a self-confirmed slacker named Adam Cassidy arranging for a loading dock employee to have an amazing retirement party, caviar, beer, top shelf liquor, first rate food, ice sculptures, and more. He was able to swing the party by knowing the expense codes, the catering company for the executives, and making the decision that the line workers could use as good a send off as the executives. For Adam, it was fairly easy to pull off. The next day, well, that is another story. But, he impresses the CEO of Wyatt , Nick Wyatt, with his line of BS, that Nick has a 'special' project for him. Adam is taught industrial espionage and lands a new job with Wyatt's main competitor, Trion Systems. Adam is told, in no uncertain terms, that he is to get a working prototype of Trion's AURORA project, "or else."

Adam moves ahead at Trion, impressing the CEO, Jock Goddard, so much that he becomes Jock's personal assistant. An amazing rise for a 'slacker.' While he is being fed some really good information, good enough to impress the people at Trion with his views of the market, products, and people, Adam surprises us with his own conclusions. Particularly when one of Trion's products has manufacturing issues, Adam has a novel approach to rescuing it.

Another fast paced book by Joseph Finder. I found myself hating my commute, as it was taking away reading time. It is that good. Adam is a guy that has been thrown into a situation that has him wondering who he is, exactly. He has two bosses, leads two lives, while trying to keep his head on straight to deal with his sick father. I was sweating along with Adam. I especially enjoyed the ending, it was exactly right for the character. Another highly recommended read from Finder.
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