COMPANY MAN by Joseph Finder


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A Michigan furniture company CEO’s desperate bid to avoid losing control of his firm takes a back seat (or does it?) to murder most foul.

Ever since he laid off 5,000 employees—half of Stratton Corporation’s workforce—in response to a mandate from Stratton’s new owner, Fairfield Equity, everyone in Fenwick has hated “the Slasher,” Nicholas Conover. But nobody hates him more than the nutcase who’s been breaking into his gated community, scrawling threatening graffiti inside his house, and most recently eviscerating the family dog. His nerves already frayed by his wife Laura’s accidental death and his defiant teenage son, Nick gets his old hockey friend Eddie Rinaldi, now Stratton’s security chief, to install a state-of-the-art burglar alarm in the house Laura picked out not long before she died. The alarm works all too well. It’s been in place only a few days when it summons Nick to a confrontation with an intruder he shoots dead. In one of the few unbelievable moments in this adroitly plotted tale, Nick’s old buddy Eddie persuades him to hide the corpse, and from that moment on, Nick watches in anguish as Det. Audrey Rhimes closes in on the truth inch by inch. Or he would watch if he weren’t frantically trying to balance the day-by-day demands of his hurting kids with the need to do something about his suspicion that Fairfield Equity is isolating him, doing an end run around his America-first policies, and getting ready to sell him down the river—presumably to the unanimous cheers of his friends and neighbors. These headaches may not sound like enough plot for 500 pages, but Finder expertly doles out the suspense and comes up with a climactic twist altogether more plausible and satisfying than the last-minute revelation in Paranoia (2004).

A highly efficient thriller combining state-of-the-art corporate malfeasance with the old-fashioned kind. You can almost hear the movie cameras grinding away.

Pub Date: April 19th, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-31916-9
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2005


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