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The Inquisitor Hardcover – 12 Apr 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849836558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849836555
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,309,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'This is a stunning debut from an American screen-writer that is original, horrifying and yet utterly compelling… Multi-layered, with a delicate plot that asks readers to question their own morals when it comes to torture… it paints a subtle, horrifying portrait of how easy it is to justify torture. Not for the faint-hearted, but as compelling, dramatic and moving as a Goya painting when it comes to the depiction of pain' --Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail

'The danger with a strong protagonist is that he overpowers the plot. Smith understands this, giving him enough human qualities to offset his blank ruthlessness and give us occasional insights into Geiger's damaged brain via the flashbacks that accompany his migraines. The result is one of the most original debut thrillers since SJ Watson's Before I Go To Sleep' --Guardian

About the Author

Before writing his first novel, Mark Allen Smith spent ten years as a television investigative news producer and documentary producer-director, and over twenty years as a screenwriter. He lives in New York City with his partner and three children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Geiger's an information retriever (read: torturer) who's strict moral code means he'll never torture a child. His business partner is Harry Boddicker, an ex-journalist and recovering alcoholic who deals with the clients, which include government entities, criminals and high-worth individuals.

When their client Matheson asks Geiger to work on twelve-year-old Ezra to discover what's happened to secrets stolen by Ezra's father, Geiger instead rescues the boy. But doing so puts Geiger and Harry in terrible danger because Matheson's at the heart of a conspiracy that will do anything to protect itself. Now Geiger and Harry must discover the client's secrets for themselves, even though doing so means risking their lives ...

Mark Allen Smith's debut novel is a conspiracy thriller that revolves around an anti-hero torturer. If you can get past the fact that you're being asked to root for someone who hurts and terrifies people, then this is a perfectly competent story that rockets along at a fast pace. Unfortunately, I found the glorification of torture to be distasteful and it stopped me from really engaging with the story.

The big weakness is actually Geiger, a taciturn loner with a limp whose mysterious past is so absurd as to be laughable. Geiger's focus on psychological rather than physical torture didn't endear him to me (especially as he's not above using physical pain as a last resort). His superhuman resilience defied credibility and it's not until he experiences torture from the sharp end that he rethinks his life choices.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes, the premise is great and a little bit different, intriguing even. An expert in getting people to talk (a psychological torturer)won't break a child for the shady character offering to pay for information on the boy's father. Instead he kidnaps the boy and so begins the chase. However, the reality is a run of the mill thriller that does not exploit the potential for new and original writing but is formulaic and unexciting. There is no complex relationship between the 'Inquisitor' and the child he is supposed to get information from. No sense of danger in the hunt and a lot of padding. Not for anyone looking for something a bit more challenging.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started this novel "inquisitively", as one might say, and found it reasonably intriguing, if not exactly inspired - until around three-quarters of the way through, when I suddenly lost interest and found I didn't know what was going on. It became, literally, a page-turner. As others have mentioned, there is no substance to the relationship between the anti-hero, Geiger and the boy he protects, Ezra. Instead, we have a lot of explanation, in the form of flashbacks, as to why Geiger's own psychological problems are as they are (relationship with father, etc etc) By the way, there are one or two nasty graphic accounts of torture, so if you don't relish such things, the book is better avoided altogether. For a first novel, one really cannot complain; but I think I shall spend future valuable reading-time in better ways. I've just ordered 'The House on the Strand' from Amazon. I've never read it, so what am I doing reading Mark Allen Smith??
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't you just hate it when you have finished an excellent book, only to remember that it was a first novel, only recently published - no back catalogue to gobble up. How long does it take to write a new book????

I read a review of The Inquisitor in a national newspaper at the weekend and purchased it for my kindle on Monday. Finished it on Wednesday. I was a little concerned at the beginning because the main character is a torturer. I love thrillers but, as a woman, was not sure how I would cope with any graphic chapters. In the event I had to put the book down just once for a few minutes and when I started to read again the passage was soon over so the book doesn't try to shock at all although it is extremely dark at times.

The main character, Geiger, is in the IR business - Information Retrieval. He is a damaged contract torturer who has few rules. One of them being that he never works with children. Inevitably one of his "Jones" turns out to be a child and the plot develops from there. It races along and takes you with it all the way. I really didn't want it to end but couldn't wait to read the end.

The book left me with so many questions. Not about the plot, which tied up all the loose ends but about the characters and about me:-
Did the events change the main characters or were they too far down the line to change?
Did Geiger and Harry meet again?
How ever did Ezra cope with all this?
How can I possible care so much about a fictional contract torturer?
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Format: Kindle Edition
Got this book from a colleague, found this torture thing not really appealing (got torture victims/political prisoners among my friends), actually disgusting. Anyway, I gave it a go. Although the main character is the torture guy, the story is more a chase story, fast pacing, as someone wrote already: a page turner, I read it in one day. Will make a good film, I suppose. Only four stars because it really has got no depth in the characters, they are like empty figures and although Harry is such a super researcher he didn't find out about the thiefs real intentions. Well, if he would, the pivotal point of the whole story just disappeared in a wink ...
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