Joseph Finder biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author

Joseph Finder

Joseph Finder

Joseph Finder Biography

Joseph Finder's plan was to become a spy. Or maybe a professor of Russian history. Instead he became a bestselling thriller writer.

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 learning English — was Farsi, which he spoke as a child in Kabul. Finally, 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). After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, he 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 after discovering that a career in the bureaucracy of the Agency was less exciting than it seemed to be in the novels of Robert Ludlum — in fact, less exciting than selling insurance — Joe decided to write instead.

His first book, published in 1983 when he was only 24, was a non-fiction exposé that resulted in threats of a libel suit. Red Carpet: The Connection Between The Kremlin and America's Most Powerful Businessmen was 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. Hammer's attorneys threatened a massive lawsuit, but all of the book's assertions were later confirmed when Soviet archives were briefly opened after the fall of the Soviet Union. (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. Ironically, Joe found confidential sources were more willing to reveal classified information to him as a novelist than when he was working as a journalist and academic. 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. Called "[with] twists aplenty..." by Entertainment Weekly, Paranoia has been acquired by Gaumont, one of the world's largest film production and distribution companies. The movie deal was announced in April 2009, with Barry Levy ("Vantage Point") set to script the adaptation.

Hailed as "the CEO of suspense," Joe's next three novels – Company Man, Killer Instinct and Power Play  – were all bestsellers where things were not business as usual.

Joe's 2009 novel, Vanished, launched a four-book series featuring corporate security specialist 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.

In addition to his fiction, Joe does occasional work for Hollywood and has written on espionage and international affairs for a number of publications, including 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.

Reproduced from the author's website,

Joseph Finder's website

This bio was last updated on 12/28/2017. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Buried Secrets jacket Vanished jacket Power Play jacket Killer Instinct jacket
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