Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Inquisitor-Mark Allen Smith

The Inquisitor

Mark Allen Smith

Holt, Mar 13 2012, $27.00

ISBN: 9780805094268

Manhattan-based Geiger “the Inquisitor” is an expert in breaking down people to obtain the truth as he has an innate lie detector that warns him when a person is not telling the truth. He mostly uses mental attacks to insure fear supersedes all other emotions; while he rarely deploys direct physical assaults as Geiger understands the target will lie to end the pain. Nobody is a better "information retrieval" guru than Geiger is.

Client Richard Hall hires Geiger and his partner Harry Boddicker to obtain information from Matheson who stole a valuable Willem de Kooning masterpiece from a private collector. Hall fails to arrive with the thief, but instead has Matheson’s twelve year old son Ezra for the Inquisitor to learn whether the lad’s father hides. Irate as he does not deal with children, he beats up Hall and accompanied by Boddicker takes the tweener to a safe-house. Hall and his gang pursue them as Geiger wonders why the kid is important.

With a nod to Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter, Geiger is perhaps the most refreshing character of the year as his matter of fact treatise on torture will stun, horrify and fascinate readers. The storyline is action-paced from the first torture to the last as the amoral antihero shows he has a conscience when it comes to protecting kids; yet he also makes the euphemistic titled "enhanced interrogation" techniques of the Bush crowd look like amateurs. With a strong shocking climatic spin, fans will enjoy the exhilarating "information retrieval" thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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