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The End of Marking Time [Kindle Edition]

CJ West
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"1984 Meets Prison Break"

News flash: U.S. Supreme Court abolishes prison terms. Criminals can no longer be detained more than 48 hours.

Two million felons set free. Looters ransack major cities.

Police and local governments devise a system to reeducate felons. Critics call the new laws cruel and unfair, but citizens demand safety at any cost.

The End of Marking Time Puts You in the Jury Box! 

Gifted housebreaker Michael O'Connor awakens inside this new criminal justice system and can't understand how he can be controlled in a jail without walls. An army of counselors encourage him to follow rules he doesn't understand and a black box tries to teach him everything he failed to learn in school.

Michael is surrounded by actors who tempt him toward trouble and voyeurs who monitor his every move. He believes he's being tested by the black box, but realizes too late that everything he does is evaluated to determine whether he lives or dies.

Has Michael failed the ultimate test? He believes you are on his jury. Listen to his story and decide what should happen to him. Then solve the mystery. Who is really in the jury box? And what fate will they choose for Michael?

Editorial Reviews


C.J. West is a powerful and original writer, and I look forward to reading him for a long time.
--Timothy Hallinan, author of the Edgar nominated novel, The Queen of Patpong

C.J. West is one of my favorite indie authors writing today and every time I read one of his novels I learn a little bit more about the craft.
--Vincent Zandri, author of The Innocent

From the Author

The moment you pick this book up, you should sense there is something different about it. When you turn over the paperback version, you'll see the text is landscape. Michael addresses you directly as if you already know him and there are two prominent buttons on the cover. Michael begs you to press the green one. The odd back cover design is meant to signal you that this is an experimental book that will challenge your thoughts about crime and criminals.

THE END OF MARKING TIME is the culmination of years of thought about families, crime, and how our society deals with its disruptive citizens. There are no easy answers in this book and none are attempted directly. Michael O'Connor has been placed in a reeducation system that addresses his issues in an outlandish way, but it highlights the need for our criminal justice system to protect us from those who would do us harm and at the same time help those offenders who can be helped. I have had many great discussions with readers about these issues and I hope you will be moved to discuss them as well.

For fun, hand this book to a man you know. Ask him to turn it over and watch where his fingers land. Many men (about 70%) end up pressing the green button when handling the book. Surprisingly, women press the green button only about 10% of the time. When asked after reading the book which button they would press, the numbers are reversed (more women than men would intentionally press the green button).

I hope you enjoy The End of Marking Time,


Product Details

  • File Size: 486 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: 22 West Books (May 22, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003P9XAXW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,117 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read June 1, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just now finished reading this book, and cannot recommend it strongly enough. The drama, the main character, Michael O'Connor, and the premise of the plot is outstanding. I was gripped from opening paragraph, till the very last sentence. CJ West has depicted a society far from what we live in today, but so real as to leave the reader believing, it could very easily change in that direction, if technology and criminology continue to merge, and evolve. It truly opens up a whole dialog on crime and punishment, unlike any I have ever considered. When is it OK to break the law? Is it EVER OK to break the law? Do circumstances lessen the severity of the offence? When does it become too expensive to house offenders, and how could the money be better spent? Can there be rehabilitation?
An exceptional read, with intrigue and extremely, thought provoking.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!! June 25, 2010
It is very rare for me to be torn while reading a book - torn between savoring it - reading it slowly because its so good that I just don't want it to end and tearing through it because I can't wait to find out what happens next... THIS is one of those rare books!!! Beware - there will be sleepless nights because you can't put it down!!! CJ West has written such a compelling book - and main character that you will be gripped from the moment you open the book until the VERY LAST LINE... and then it will haunt you afterwards... This book is a DO NOT MISS IT!!!!!!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful...until the very end March 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The End of Marking Time was a wonderful, gripping thriller that brought up many social and moral questions. The premise was a bit shaky, but I was willing to go along with it for the sake of the story. Even though the main character was a criminal, you could see the evolution of his moral and intellectual self throughout the book. That said, the ending was abrupt and implausible. Too many coincidences were wound up into it and there was little resolution. One of the few times I was depressed after the ending of such a good book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read gone bad... January 5, 2011
An interesting take on a futuristic penal system, however the ending left me feeling as though I'd been played.

While well written and a really ingenius idea, I struggled with how to rate this one. As I said, the ending of the book left me quite irritated. I liked it up until that point - and I will not spoil it for those that want to pick up a well written, decent paced novel - but the ending soured the journey for me.

In light of my mixed feelings, I have to give this book 3 stars, just short of liking it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gray and boring June 3, 2011
By mary
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's not fun to post a bad review and I don't take it lightly. Everyone has different tastes in books and movies and if your taste is like mine you will not like this book. I spent the entire reading time waiting for something to happen . . . and nothing ever did . . . If I could buy back my time spent reading this book I would. I can see a glimmer of a plot but it stayed at the one line idea stage and was never developed and I didn't meet a single character I had any interest in. The story hinges on the entire penal code changing into an unrecognizable system in the three years the main character is in a coma. Prisoners are released and their debt to society is paid via re-education experiences. Sounds slightly Ayn Rand-ish and frankly that was what I was expecting but I was majorly disappointed. When I think of prison I think gray and boring and that is exactly what this story was to me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking read November 12, 2010
Ever imagine what would happen if all the people in prison were released at the same time? Author C.J. West has, and his latest novel, The End of Marking Time, is a look at just such a scenario.

Michael O'Connor ended up alone on the streets at age 15 and turned to a life of burglary in order to keep himself fed. He became quite skilled at his chosen profession, and was careful to never commit a violent crime. After unknowingly stealing from the home of the District Attorney, however, Michael's luck runs out. He's arrested, tried and convicted, and sentenced to prison. During the course of a breakout by a fellow prisoner during their transportation to prison Michael is shot in the head. When he comes out of the resulting coma four years later the world is a very different place.

Shortly after Michael entered his coma the Supreme Court declared long term incarceration to be cruel and unusual punishment. As a result, two million felons were released. Not just left to run wild the relearners, as they are called, are monitored 24/7 via a chip implanted in their heads and an electronic ankle bracelet. Additionally, they must complete an individually tailored education program before they will be deemed reeducated and released from monitoring. Sounds straightforward and relatively benign, right? Not so fast.

As Michael quickly learns, there is more going on in the reeducation programs than the public has been led to believe. The relearners' programs are administered via a black box connected to their TVs, one that has the capability of administering electric shocks. Further, some of the programs' instructors aren't above extorting favors from the relearners in exchange for assurance of good performance results.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
surprise ending
Published 3 months ago by Rebecca Evans
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish I hadn't wasted my time.
This is poorly written drivel. The prose is repetitive, the voice is weak, the plot is contrived. The 'twist' ending is completely nonsensical and unnecessary. Don't bother.
Published 4 months ago by Jaime Questell
3.0 out of 5 stars The ending needs work
The premise of the book, a convicted felon awakening from a coma to realize the justice system has been completely rewritten, is a good one. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Susanna Belanger
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting concept
The story had a interesting concept on how to handle the problem of law breaking. It really had me considering a lot of my personal view points.
Published 11 months ago by teebone
1.0 out of 5 stars Really not worth reading
The booked started out with a possibly unique concept. Then became repetitive and boring. Then ended abruptly. To me, not worth the time it took to read it.
Published 12 months ago by Carole Haverland
3.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 to 3 Stars for me
Well, the premise was interesting, albeit a stretch. Well, unless Sylvester Stallone was in, or directed, the movie. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Liquid Frost™
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Marking Time
Wow. This book is a well written novel that grabs you attention and never lets it go. Set in a future where the prison system has been abolished, the book kept me engrossed right... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Debbie Leone
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Disturbing!
This is an eerie look at the possible future of the prison system. Shades of Big Brother and much worse!
Published 14 months ago by Dellani Oakes
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, fast moving and fascinating.
The criminal justice system of the future uses technology to make it more efficient, and criminals have no hope of getting away. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Eddie de Jong
5.0 out of 5 stars Selling your novel in the digital age of social medial
Highly recommend this book. The author describes a step-by-step[ method for marketing your novel using social media. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Pam Wetterman
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More About the Author

Amazon Bestselling Author C.J. West's first novel, Sin And Vengeance, was adapted for film by award-winning screenwriter Marla Cukor, and optioned into development by Beantown Productions, LLC.

Edgar nominated author, Tim Hallinan says, "C.J. West is a powerful and original writer, and I look forward to reading him for a long time."

Vincent Zandri, author of The Innocent, says, "C.J. West is one of my favorite indie authors writing today."

Avid fans insist that any mystery or suspense lover who reads Sin And Vengeance and The End of Marking Time will become a C.J. West fan.

C.J.'s Randy Black series features Sin And Vengeance, A Demon Awaits, and Gretchen Greene. The series is unusual because Randy Black undergoes a major transformation in the second book. Many readers are amazed at how strongly they root for a character they despised.

The End of Marking Time provides a touch of sci-fi as Michael O'Connor navigates a criminal justice system that substitutes counselors and monitoring technology for prisons and guards. This intense psychological novel challenges readers to consider all they know about crime and justice.

For traditional mystery readers, C.J. offers the Lorado Martin Mystery Series about a junk man who splits his time between the worlds of antiques and collectibles and his work providing housing and jobs for recovering addicts. The first book in the series, Dinner At Deadman's was released in 2012.

Find C.J. at or on facebook at

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Topic From this Discussion
Question #1
In the beginning I thought- he is an arrogant, yet interesting character... feelings? I was leaning toward dislike-

Then, I dunno, after he woke up in the hospital something in me clicked- I began to feel sorry for him, He was lost and there wasn't anyone that could take the time to really lay... Read More
Jan 16, 2011 by Mary |  See all 81 posts
Indie Author Book Club Discussion #1 - Introduce Yourself
Thanks! My Name is Amber Moore
Jan 4, 2011 by Amber L. Moore |  See all 135 posts
Thoughts on Michael giving up parental rights. Wanting to have...
I think that Michael did what he thought was in the best interest of his child. As a father, he wanted to keep the relationship going with his son because I think in Michael's eyes he finally did something right in life by creating this wonderful boy. However, as a parent, I think Michael knew... Read More
Jan 25, 2011 by Janice Mclaughlin |  See all 6 posts
Wendell as Michael's father
I would agree that it was when the DNA test was run.
I did suspect that he might be Michael's father. Either that or Wendell was a criminal himself and his "test" was to make an honest citizen of Michael.
I figured his intensity in wanting Michael to do well wasn't just because his... Read More
Jan 17, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 35 posts
Question #4
There's debate going on right now about the Giffords shooter. This is a different issue, of course, mental illness. But one article I read said that his teachers knew he was ill and violent, but since the new mental health laws, there was nothing they could do to remove him from society. It's... Read More
Jan 20, 2011 by Kaye George |  See all 15 posts
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