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The Inquisitor Paperback – March 31, 2012

107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Transfixing… nerve-racking… [Smith] successfully transforms Geiger into a sympathetic hero."—The New York Times Book Review

"Remarkably assured . . . A swiftly paced narrative as disturbing as it is compelling."—The Washington Post

"This is one of the best and most engrossing debut novels I've read in years, and also one of the most original. Mark Allen Smith has created an unusual hero named Geiger whose occupation is torturing the truth out of people. Geiger is good at what he does, and so is Mr. Smith. The Inquisitor will keep you locked in a room for days."—Nelson DeMille

"Information retrieval takes on a sinister cast in Smith’s mesmerizing thriller debut… [Geiger is] a fascinating piece of work… This may be the most unusual and talked about thriller of the season."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[Geiger is] one of the most utterly distinctive protagonists in a recent thriller, and one of the most unexpectedly sympathetic… Smith invests his first novel with psychological dimensions you might expect in a third or fourth book… A breezy, involving thriller that handily overcomes any resistance to its grisly premise and leaves you hoping for the return of its oddly winning hero."—Kirkus (starred review)

"An adrenaline-fueled cat-and-mouse game… [Geiger] is a fascinating protagonist with a revealing backstory. A compelling debut thriller that blurs the lines between the good and bad guys."—Library Journal (starred review)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Allen Smith is a successful television and documentary film producer and screenwriter. The Inquisitor, featuring the controversial hero known only as  Geiger, is his first novel. Mark's experience investigating features for the acclaimed ABC-TV news magazine program, "20/20," planted the seed for his debut thriller when he was involved with a story dating from the 1970s about the remarkably brutal torture and murder of a 17-year-old in Paraguay, the last true dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere.  He was further inspired to action by the shocking death of Lisa Steinberg at the abusive hands of her adoptive father; this event uncorked ongoing interest in the corrosive effect of physical and psychological pressure on children and other innocents.  His journey of research convinced him that the novel was his best way to bring his story to the largest possible audience.

A long-time resident of Westchester County, Mark Allen Smith now lives in New York City’s Harlem with his wife, Cathy, and a blended family of six children. He is presently working on the sequel to The Inquisitor, also featuring Geiger.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (March 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085720775X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857207753
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,982,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By J. Murray VINE VOICE on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Mark Allen Smith's debut thriller, The Truth Hurts... (aka, The Inquisitor, from Henry Holt and Company 2012) introduces Geiger, one of the most unique characters in fiction since the arrival of Robert Crais' Joe Pike and T. Jefferson Parker's Joe Trona. Geiger, like Pike and Trona, is a non-verbal protagonist whose to-the-point actions speak loudly about what's going on inside his head. He has no last name and no childhood, and arrives in New York with no memories, no emotions and almost no ability to feel pain. He falls into a job working for a mob boss and finds he has a knack for convincing people to tell their secrets, using his own method of carefully administered psychological and physical torture. His life bumps along nicely until he is asked to work on a twelve-year-old boy--and everything falls apart, including the subconscious walls that have protected Geiger from the truth of his past. As he his fleeing for his life, insistent upon protecting this child he barely knows, pieces of his past filter forward until the whole truth crashes down on him like a dump truck full of wet cement.

It quickly becomes apparent to the reader that the plot has less to do with Geiger's torture techniques (what he calls 'information retrieval') and more to do with the man's search for his own truth--his past. As a result, I found myself liking this muscle-bound, amoral guy as I might like a over-sized bumbling puppy who doesn't know the rules of the household yet, but wants to learn. Smith provides just enough childhood details at all the right moments that I feel sorry for the youthful Geiger and as a result don't hate the adult nearly as much as I should considering his profession.

It doesn't hurt that Smith is a true artist with words.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By rck12 on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read the unusual high number of (glowing) detailed reviews (24), for a book that hadn't been released yet by Amazon, I though this was going to be a top-notch high octane thriller...especially with Nelson DeMille's respected praise, on the front and rear jacket.

Unfortunately, I came away with the feeling of reading a mediocre novel. The premise is new and rather interesting as the story line unfolds in part one, the first 90 pages..., however the story bogs down in the next 200 pages of part 2, and is at times a somewhat boring cat and mouse game. Part 3 picks up strong with an interesting twist, however the ending drags on, and the finish is rather bland, other than Geiger and Harry will be back.

There are alot of things going on in the story (mostly about the enigmatic Geiger...who is he, where did he come from, what's his problem, why does he do this, etc., etc.), and there are some interesting characters (my favorites were Mr. Memz, and the likable sidekick Harry), however I never had that 'can't put the book down' feeling.

I will read the next book, hoping it is one that I can get emersed in and sort of wrap my arms around...now that we know who/what Geiger is. There is potential here for sure...Geiger always gets the truth.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By K. Sozaeva VINE VOICE on February 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Disclosure: I received a free ARC of this book from the Amazon.com Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

Geiger has no memory prior to arriving in New York on a bus - he doesn't even know his name. He is, however, able to create beautiful creations through carpentry, and, as it turns out, he has another gift - he is able to tell if someone is lying. He is in the Information Retrieval business - he ... "convinces" people to tell the truth through various methods and application of different forms of pain. He has few rules, but one of the main ones is that he never, ever works on children. When a client shows up with a last-minute change in plans that includes a young boy, Geiger takes the boy and goes on the run. Will he be able to protect the boy and keep himself and his partner alive? Will he be able to discover the truth behind what the client wants?

This is a unique story with a unique protagonist. Geiger is not a terribly sympathetic person - he is cold, distant, detached - almost schizophrenic in affect. However, underneath the surface, something is boiling and the reader finds herself strangely interested in what is happening to this mysterious man. The other characters are as memorable, as quirky, and as multi-faceted as Geiger. The story was highly engaging and, while occasionally fairly violent, should be one that most fans of suspense and thrillers should enjoy. I'm going to give one spoiler, for those who, like me, worry about such things. The cat comes through just fine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By maximum verbosity TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After reading this book, I'm considering answering "professional torturer" when someone on the PTA or local Neighborhood Watch group asks my profession. Only because it would prove if they were actually listening. And, if nothing else, it would be a great conversation starter. Or maybe it would encourage people to stop letting their dog poop on my front lawn.

I found "The Inquisitor" to be a highly unique, interesting, and thought-provoking book. The story is focuses on a alluring, complex man named Geiger, who chooses to list his profession as the innocuous sounding of "information retrieval professional" which is just another way of saying that he gets the truth out of someone via torture, mostly psychological. Part of the appeal of the story is realizing the motivation behind someone who not only tortures people for a living, but is really good at it. Geiger also struggles with this complex realization. He remembers nothing of his childhood and is currently in therapy to try to figure out why he continues to have disturbing dreams about things of which he has no recollection. While he is very good at his job (organized, tough and seemingly without emotions or empathy), it all falls apart when he is hired to interrogate a child to find the boy's missing father.

Geiger is a strong character with an equally strong cast of supporting characters. The book is fast paced, fascinating with many layers but without being confusing or muddled. A great first novel, I'll definitely be watching for more books by this author.
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