Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Inquisitor - Mark Allen Smith

Summary:  Geiger has a gift: he knows a lie the instant he hears it.  And in his business -- called "information retrieval" by its practitioners -- that gift is invaluable, because truth is the hottest thing on the market.

One of Geiger's rules is that he never works with children.  So when his partner former journalist Harry Boddicker, unwittingly brings in a client who demands that he interrogate a twelve-year-old boy, Geiger responds instinctively.  He rescues the boy from his captor, removes him to the safety of his New York City loft, and promises to protect him from further harm.  But if Geiger and Harry cannot quickly discover why the client is so desperate to learn the boy's secret, they themselves will become the victims of an utterly ruthless adversary.

Mesmerizing and heart-in-your-throat compelling, The Inquisitor is a completely unique thriller that introduces both an unforgettable protagonist and a major new talent.  (Summary from book - Image from - Book given free for an honest review)

My Review:  The Inquisitor was released in January 2012 and chosen as an Indie Next List selection in March 2012.  I finished it in less that two days, and really enjoyed it, but it is one of those books that I’m hesitant to recommend to everyone.  Mostly, because it would horrify my mother and quite a few of my friends.   If you’re even remotely bothered by profanity, violence, or vulgar sexual references then you might want to skip this one.  If that kind of stuff doesn't phase you, then read on….

The Inquisitor starts off with an intense prologue that reeled me in immediately and never let go, but my favorite part of the novel was its main character.  Gieger is an expert in the field “information retrieval” and interrogation.  Basically, he can tell when someone is lying.  When I picked up this book, I was expecting a character similar to Dr. Cal Lightman character in the popular tv series, Lie to Me – quirky, insightful, and slightly psychotic.  Geiger is all of those things, but it turns out his specialty is extracting information through physical coercion and psychological manipulation.  Some people might call it torture.  They would be right. 

Geiger is a unique and fascinating protagonist – unpredictable, imposing, and a ruthless interrogator – but also slightly fragile and crippled by a past he is only beginning to remember.  I was intrigued by the different aspects of his personality, from his reclusive behavior and calculating manner to his passion for music and carpentry.  Throughout the novel, Geiger toed the line between good and bad guy; obviously his chosen profession was unorthodox (to say the least) but he still followed his own strict code of ethics.   When he betrays a dangerous client to save a young boy, Geiger is forced out of his carefully compartmentalized world into one he has always avoided, where everything begins to unravel and more than his life hangs in the balance.   

The Inquisitor is well-written, with a strong main character and plot that demand attention.  The author skillfully weaves the lives of supporting characters, their storylines, and Geiger’s past into a thrilling novel.  I plan to pass it along to my husband.  Although he’s not a big reader, if he actually listens to me and picks it up, I have no doubt he’ll finish it in a matter of days.    

My Rating: 3.75 Stars.  It would have been 4 stars if it weren’t for that pesky sensitive reader section (see below).

For the sensitive reader:  Pervasive profanity, vulgar language, and violence.

Sum it up:  Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I couldn’t put it down.

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