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The Perk [Kindle Edition]

Mark Gimenez
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (409 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.97

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Book Description

A grieving widower gets caught up in the politics of his Texas hometown when he returns to make peace with his father.


Best-seller lists:

No. 6, Ireland
No. 11, Australia
No. 17, UK

Editorial Reviews:

"Remember when John Grisham exploded on to the courtroom drama market with novels of breathtaking brilliance? Lightning just struck twice." - The Daily Record (Scotland)

"Gimenez returns to the complex legal thrillers where he seems to be at his best. The Perk has mystery, humour and history along with well-drawn characters that the reader will actually care about. As is often the case in legal thrillers, there is a mix of those characters that take the moral high ground and those who seem just out for their own good. Unusually, there are also a few comic and slightly caricatured figures here as well—but they all fit well together in the plot. Together with great characters and a strong plot there is also lots of interesting historical information. The ending may not be what is expected but it is all the better for it and proves to be a good finish to an excellent book. As ever, Gimenez is highly recommended, impossible to put down and definitely not to be missed." - (UK)

"Just as well I started The Perk on the weekend, as I couldn't put down this book. . . . This one's a cracker—neatly woven subplots, a taut thriller and a wonderfully current statement on American popular culture. And yes, Gimenez may possibly be the next Grisham." - Kerre's Book Reviews (UK)

“Gimenez fills the John Grisham hole in the legal-thriller genre so well there may be no room left for Grisham.” – The Sunday Times (Perth)

"Gimenez's novels are gripping, intense thrillers. Guaranteed to keep you up well into the night, The Perk is an exceptionally well crafted novel, populated by a cast of characters that are realistically-drawn and appealing. As always, thought-provoking, intelligent, and addictive. Highly recommended." - Civilian-Reader (UK)

Top Ten of 2008—"We read lots of thrillers and they can tend to merge into one another. The Perk stood out by a mile as an excellent example of the genre and a stunning, well told tale in its own right. Gimenez' stature continues to grow." - (UK)

Editorial Reviews


An exceptionally well-crafted novel, populated by a cast of characters that are relaistically drawn and appealing Civilian


An exceptionally well-crafted novel, populated by a cast of characters that are relaistically drawn and appealing Civilian

Product Details

  • File Size: 985 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Navarchus Press (October 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UHJE6Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,529 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Year's Best August 20, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have no idea why this book is only available from the UK. This is the author's third book. Both of the previous novels were first rate legal thrillers and this one continues the tradition. The book jacket compares Giminez to John Grisham. In my opinion, he is better.

All of his novels are set in Texas, a place he knows and understands. This one takes place largely in Fredricksville as a former local football hero returns to his roots after an absense of twenty-four years. He left to go to Notre Dame and play as quaterback on their football team. Then on to law school, a large Chicago law firm where he was a star trial lawyer. He also left bitter and angry at his father following his mother's death. He returns with his two children following the death of his wife from cancer. Her death has left a large hole in his life and the lives of his children which he is trying desperately to fill.

The novel is full of interesting and well drawn characters and the reader is quickly drawn into the story which is masterfully told by a novelist who uses dialogue with the same skill that Van Cliburn handled a piano.

If you have previously discovered this author, he remains as good as you remember. If you have not, you have a wonderful treat in store. In fact, you have three.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mr. Gimenez... April 11, 2009
"If you beg for it they will mail". Well that's not the exact quote but that doesn't make it less true. Trying to find this book here in the US has been nothing short of frustrating! Why, with the success of Mark's first two books, didn't the publishers didn't pick up his next one? Who knows, I just know that the US publishers are a bunch of [...] for not publishing this book. I wrote Mark about the pain I was feeling and he actually sent me `The Perk' and `The Common Lawyer'. WOW!

I like Mark's books for a number of reasons, the least of which is his ability to bring you in and make you want to be a part of the story. I felt it with `The Common Lawyer' and I really felt it with `The Perk'. The emotions that Beck was feeling with the loss of his wife, the fear of raising his kids, the uncertainty of coming back home, and the gulf between him and his father is a very moving sub-plot to this book. For me, it did start off a bit slow, and that was a bit unusual for one of Mark's books. Thankfully slow doesn't mean boring, and once this book's engine warmed up it purred like a vintage Mustang.

Beck is a football celebrity in this small Texas town (Fredericksburg) but it's a town that he could not wait to get out of after high school. He vowed never to come back... ever... but life has a way of laughing at our arrogance in thinking that we can actually control it. He comes back to town and sees the effects of time and progress. While this community has kept its "small town mentality" it has also tried to accept the modern growth that comes with time. The dynamics are pretty funny if you think about it. An American town, controlled by old-school Germans, dealing with illegal Mexicans, all while trying to keep the Texas honored cult that is high school football.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Perk November 26, 2012
Being an avid mystery reader and after seeing all the rave reviews for this book, I was hoping to find another "go to" author in Mark Gimenez. I'm afraid that I did not. Briefly, the primary reason for this is that just about everything and everyone in this book is some form of a stereotype...the plot dynamics and, particularly, the characters (the grieving husband, the number one high-school football recruit in the country, the evil/devious local businessman, the heartless/pompous Hollywood star and the heightened animosity between the local whites, mostly German Americans, no less, and the "shadow" Mexican/Latino population). It all became too much for me. It's too bad as I liked the way Gimenez writes, including some interesting plot twists and pretty well thought out legal gymnastics. Nevertheless, the constant character hyperbole diminished the book as a whole. Tone it down a little, Mark. Tone it down.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great third novel from a truly gifted author September 15, 2008
By wtcdean
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I read Mark's first book I knew I wanted more. His ability to incorporate realism and tension combined with his gift for plot development made The Color of Law a real page-turner. His second novel, The Abduction, was just as gripping as the first. In his third novel, Gimenez hits a home run. His descriptions of the location are (pardon the pun) dead on! The legal twists combined with the in-depth sports involvement make for a great read that will leave you wanting more. This Texas author is number one in my book!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little too much background for my taste August 17, 2014
By MikeH
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book opens with a Prologue about a glamorous high school cheerleader/groupie dying in the back of a movie star's limo of a cocaine overdose in Austin, Texas. Then the story jumps forward 4-and-a-half years to a high school football hero, Beck Hardin, returning to his hometown of Fredricksburg, Texas after a 24-year absence in which he went to Notre Dame, got a law degree, and practiced in Chicago. It turns out that the dead cheerleader was the daughter of his best friend and teammate in high school, so Beck promises to solve the cold case and catch the killer. Meanwhile, he is talked into running for judge, gets involved in small-town politics, and spends most of the book straightening out the current Fredricksburg high school QB, who is the best in the country.

This is my second book by Mark Gimenez, and frankly, I was a little disappointed. It is very slow-moving in the beginning. The author spends a lot of time setting up the characters and how the Germans founded Fredricksburg, and for most of the first 2/3 of the book, I wondered whether the Prologue was just a side story. Apparently, Texas has a five-year statute-of-limitations on statutory rape, and Beck only had 6 months to beat the deadline and solve the cold case. Steroid use by the HS football team seemed to consume most of the book while time was running out on solving the murder. Also a lot of time is devoted to the plight of illegal Mexican immigrants. One problem I had with the book was that the name of the killer was revealed in the Prologue, but he seems to have changed names by the end of the book without any explanation. I expect surprises in a good mystery, but I don't appreciate trickery, and I'm afraid that a fast one was pulled here.

I'm not giving up on Mr. Gimenez, but I thought "Accused" was a lot better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and thoughtful
The book is well-written with intelligent characters and great dialog. Good morality issue, but without over-emphasis. Interesting sex aspect without over-emphasis and clever. Read more
Published 8 hours ago by D. R. Mack
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in a year and I read two books a week
Start to finish, grabs you, injects humor and human nature combined with great historical impressions. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Kevin Jay Thiel
5.0 out of 5 stars A slice of real life in present dayTexas, high school football, good...
Excellent story. Gimenez has the knack of capturing the inside story of life in Texas, especially as it pertains to middle German Texas. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Ernesto F. Goeldner
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Just an outstanding story on so many levels. The people, the places, the plot. As a Texas lawyer, I could relate. As a parent I could relate. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sad Duck
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book! Write keeps your attention from page one to the end!
Published 7 days ago by allison breeden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love all his books .
Published 8 days ago by Trena Roth
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a strong story
I first read the Governors Wife which was fun, a great story and funny. This book was sad, great, brought me to tears, made me feel outrage, and great joy. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Robert Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great contemporary author....
Mark Gimenez has rapidly become one of my favorite writers. Love his commentary on today's society.
Published 10 days ago by Jeanne Reilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The whole book was entertaining
Published 11 days ago by Lee Coleman
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much liberal agenda
To be fair, I really enjoyed the legal storyline of this book since my background was in the court system. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Somersales
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