A spectacularly original thriller about a professional torturer who has a strict code, a mysterious past, and a dangerous conviction that he can save the life of an innocent child
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.
Geiger's clients count on him to extract the truth from even the most reluctant subjects. Unlike most of his competitors, Geiger rarely sheds blood, but he does use a variety of techniques—some physical, many psychological—to push his subjects to a point where pain takes a backseat to fear. Because only then will they finally stop lying.
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 Geiger 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 in Mark Allen Smith.
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The curious result is something like an X-rated Disney movie — extremely graphic scenes of physical violence and mental suffering embedded in a rather sweet adventure story about a damaged man who heals himself by saving a child from a similar fate.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor | See more reviews from NY Times
With unobtrusive skill, Smith transforms this unpalatable material into a swiftly paced narrative as disturbing as it is compelling.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The detailed and believable plotting of the first two thirds of the book are abandoned in Part 3 for action that reads like a script outline placed against the literal fireworks of the fourth of July.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The Inquisitor is an absolute delight to read, propulsive and smart and sometimes almost lyrical.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Not for the fainthearted, but as compelling, dramatic and moving as a Goya painting when it comes to the depiction of pain.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The plot is filled with unanticipated twists and turns, the characters are vivid, and the suspense builds to a crescendo then climaxes to and unsettling end.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
...I found it hard to believe that such smart characters would stoop to using tools that were last common in 1997. It's a small distraction in an otherwise-delightful novel. I'm looking forward to what else Smith has in store for Geiger.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Readers who enjoy character-driven thrillers full of psychological suspense — along with some brutal scenes that are definitely not for the squeamish — should try The Inquisitor.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Mark Allen Smith has hit a home run with his first novel, and readers will want more stories involving Geiger.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Smith provides a truly unique novel in The Inquisitor... Highly recommended.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith is the best first novel I have ever read, and I’ve read a lot of books.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
It’s a daring concept for a first-time author, but it succeeds due to careful plotting and characters who are immediately engaging and intriguing.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Geiger-- the main character in this excellent debut novel-- is one of the best characters I've come across in a long time.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The Inquisitor is at times an uneven experience.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The action never stops, with just a few inconsistencies at the end, but they are forgiven, lost in the richness of the climax and final surprises.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The writing is excellent, with a style somewhat reminiscent of Robert Crais — there’s an economy of words, that nonetheless paints a vivid picture.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
There are flaws then, but they are blemishes that can be wiped from the surface with a spot of polish, not deep gashes that threaten the structure of the novel.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Gripping, fast paced, exciting, edge-of-the seat.. it's all there and I loved it! Some of the violence is pretty graphic but necessary - not in any way gratuitous.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
In spite of these reservations and a forced, Friday the 13th hand-out-of-the-water climax that falls into slightly comic territory, The Inquisitor is still an exciting page turner...Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
Mark Allen Smith has crafted a debut novel that puts him in the big leagues.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
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 in Mark Allen Smith.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
The Inquisitor is at times an uneven experience. While I appreciated the lean and energized narrative, the quick character turns—the willingness to abandon a career so dramatically when ethically challenged—left me feeling winded.Read Full Review of The Inquisitor
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