Bestselling author Joseph Finder gave us all another great summer read with Guilty Minds. Private investigator Nick Heller – known to many Finder fans since 2010, when he made his debut in Vanished – is very good at what he does. That’s why he’s only a little suspicious when he is contacted by Washington legend Gideon Parnell with an assignment so delicate, and so righteous, that he can’t resist. He has just 48 hours to ferret out the truth, or the chief justice of the Supreme Court will be falsely revealed to have spent tens of thousands of dollars of dirty money on “dates” with a call girl. Justice Jeremiah Clafin is as true blue as a boy scout, and the Gawker-esque website will be thrilled to drag him down.
Of course Heller takes the job, and he makes short work of debunking much of the story… poking holes in the evidence and rounding up the call girl in question. But the bigger question is, why? The website bit on a juicy story, the reporter with great instincts is mad as hell she was fooled, and a shadowy security firm of ex-cops seems to be somehow involved. The plot is foiled in record time. But what could Clafin have done to earn this animus?
And that’s where the wheels within wheels begin to turn, as Heller and reporter Mandy Seeger team up. When a key witness is murdered, the stakes are raised. Only when viewed through a new perspective does the question cui bono – who benefits? – reveal the culprit. As always in a Finder novel, the plot is well-paced, the bad guys and the good guys well-drawn, and the danger feels real but not too dark. Seeds are sown for a future Heller book, as not all the bad guys are called to justice. All in all, Guilty Minds is an excellent choice for a lazy afternoon on the back porch swing.