Apr 3 2012 9:30am

Fresh Meat: The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith

The Inquisitor by Mark Allen SmithThe Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith is a paranormal thriller featuring an investigator who can detect a lie without any electronic help (available April 10, 2012).

Comment on this post for your chance to win an Advance Reader’s Copy!

If you read but one book this year, make it this one. I literally found myself holding my breath during many scenes and that usually doesn’t happen to me. The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith is the best first novel I have ever read, and I’ve read a lot of books.

Geiger is a mysterious man who takes his job very seriously. He’s in information retrieval—by any means necessary, and I do mean any means. He has wealthy clients who pay him a lot to find out what they need to know. His whole life is a secret . . . even to him. He has no memory of his life before he arrived on a bus at the Port Authority Terminal in New York City. However, his dreams are unlocking those secrets at the worst possible time in his life.  Geiger works with Harry, a former alcoholic bum who is a computer genius and knows how to retrieve information on the computer like no one else. Of course Harry comes with his own problems, which include a schizophrenic sister who finds solace in singing, wherever she is.

This book is a thriller is every way possible. It has puzzles wrapped in enigmas covered with riddles and surrounded by dilemmas. I’m not kidding. It’s that complicated and it unravels slowly like a sweater you snagged. But it’s a beautiful unraveling and once it begins, you don’t want to stop until you get to the end.

Geiger’s free hand grasped Matthew by the hair. A short yelp slipped from Matthew—not a response to pain but an involuntary bark of recognition of what was to come—and Geiger deftly inserted the needle between vertebrae in Matthew’s neck. Matthew didn’t flinch, and his gaze never left Geiger’s implacable face.

“The fact is, the human being is a remarkably vulnerable construct. This needle is lighter than a sparrow’s feather, Matthew. A child’s tear balanced on its end could bend it.”

Geiger wiggled the needle slightly, triggering a riff of shrill screams. Then he removed it and the yowling stopped. Tears streamed down Matthew’s cheeks, his breath racing in and out of him in short, tight huffs.

“There’s also manipulation of joints, application of intense heat and cold, forced ingestion of liquids. The fact is, Matthew, I could work on you for days without repeating a process.”

Geiger removed the headphones from Matthew’s head and put them and the microphone on the floor. “As for psychic pain, I think your sensitivity to physical stimuli makes that area unnecessary to explore. As for emotional pain— according to your file, you are single, unattached, an only child with no living parents, so I see no benefit in going there. You may not believe it, Matthew, but you’re a very lucky fellow.”

The client wanted Geiger to pound on Matthew so he’d confess and bring this to an end. Then the client could make his phone calls and go home. But he’d sensed when he’d met Geiger that it wouldn’t be like that.

“I’m not going to ask you yet, Matthew, because I can tell you’re not ready to tell the truth, and I don’t want to make you lie.”

Some of these scenes are so chilling they’ll leave you with goose bumps, but remember, Geiger is out to get information, whatever it takes. Making the client happy is all that matters. However, all that ends for Geiger when a client sends him a child, a helpless twelve-year-old boy whose only crime is being left alone by a father who has what the client wants.

Now Geiger has found his limit and his ability to care what happens to another human being. The chase is on, and the action never slows.

To enter for a chance to win one of ten copies of Mark Allen Smith’s The Inquisitor, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment below.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at https://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/04/fresh-meat-the-inquisitor-mark-allen-smith-thriller-paranormal-leigh-neely  beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) April 3, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on April 10, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at https://www.criminalelement.com/page/official-rules-the-inquisitor-comment-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

Leigh Neely is a former newspaper and magazine editor. She currently does freelance work, blogs at womenofmystery.net, and recently wrote the short story, “A Vampire in Brooklyn,” which is in the anthology,  Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices. She is currently working on paranormal novels with a partner under the pseudonym of Neely Powell.

Read all posts by Leigh Neely for Criminal Element.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. CarolK
A lie detecting detective, now that sounds interesting! Thanks for the opportunity to win this one.
Bill Creed
2. bcreed1
Another review of this book, (which also was a rave), referred to the main character as a torturer. Looking forward to reading this book, but I do admit I'm getting a little worried about the proliferation of hit men, serial killers, and now torturers as heroes.
3. LiteraryFeline
This does sound interesting! I love the image created by the phrase "unravels slowly like a sweater you snagged." Haha! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
Anne Muller
4. anne38
Sounds like a dark, suspenseful read. I like protaganists who are on the dark side, but obviously Geiger has some redeeming aspects.
Becky Hantsbarger
5. BeckyIA
Oh my, sounds VERY intriguing! I'd LOVE to win this one!
Susan Meek
6. smeek1958
I love reading (and sharing ) new authors and this one sounds really good!
anne harris
7. mysandycat
oh my oh my. i don't think i wanna read this when i am alone in the house. while it sounds intriguing, it also sounds so evocative, bringing images to life...
10. sweetjudyblue
Wow, interesting and very intriguing to say the least. Hope I get picked for this. Would love to read!!!!!!!!! Thank You for the opportunity.
Sharon Haas
11. kazul
I never ignore a reader who says
"the best first novel I have ever read".
12. Carlos Del Valle
"Best first novel ever read"?
I would love to be another judge of that.
13. lasvegasnv0
I enjoyed the review. The book sounds very suspenseful.
tonya dean
14. tonyadean
This review sounds great... Would love to win this book!
Marybeth Mank
16. Gr8chefmb
Would love to win ARC. This one sounds tailor-made for my reading pleasure. It's got interesting characters; tons of mystery and intrigue; and puzzles and riddles. It sounds similar to Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, Jean LeCarre and Shirley Rousseau Murphy. It also kind of reminds of a mystery I read years ago called 'The Eight' written by Katherine Neville.
17. nplutz
Always looking for a thrilling new read!
barbara studer
18. 56babs
ohhh, this sounds good. thanks for the draw!!
Brian Kovach
20. brikov
What I am hearing is a torturer as protagonist....

And what does it say about me that I still want to read this?

Gr8chefmb: "It also kind of reminds of a mystery I read years ago called 'The Eight' written by Katherine Neville." Great taste. I can't recommend The Eight enough. Now that you've reminded me of it, I think I'll dig it up and read it again.
Marjorie Manharth
22. mmanharth
Sounds like one to keep you up all night!! I'd love to read it!!
Mary Ann Blanton
23. maryannblanton
I've heard "good things" that's all I'm sayin....
laura mccaffery
24. lmccaffery
I would be delighted to read this and put it on my blog. I am fascinated bt intrigue that is layered as a puzzle in a conundrum.
25. maryc
Great review - look forward to reading it.
27. stitchkat
Sounds like a terrific read. Would love to win a copy!
Jaime Hypes
28. twistingthelens
This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance!
Kenneth Konczal
29. kek620
This description makes you really want tot read this book.
Diane Pollock
30. blacksnake
You've sold me, I'm going to have to give it a read!
Rita Spratlen
31. rj77777
This looks like one great wonderful book to read and own. Thanks for the chance to win!!!
32. mkw83
Nothing but positive buzz on this so far! Can't wait to check it out!
Ronald Marsh
34. rmarsh
It appears to be a very interesting book
Hannah Beck
35. herblady
Every time I arrive at the Port Authority in NY, my mind goes blank too. Maybe he's a long-lost relative of mine. ;) I want to read more.
Ginny Horton
36. oregongin
This book sounds like a thrilling ride on a trip I'd love to take. I checked it out on goodreads.com and it scored a spectacular 4.3 out of 5 with wonderful comments from readers. I'd love to win this book.
DeeAnn S
38. sweepster49
A book I won't be able to put down, which means more sleepless nights. I LOVE IT! Thanks.
Merikay Noah
39. PopcornReads
I've been wanting to get an ARC of this novel because it sound intriguing - although it would be a mixed blessing to be able to tell when people are lying.

Thanks for the opportunity!
John Maline
40. jpmaline
Would enjoy winning this book and enjoy more the reading of it!
Charles Fraker
43. CharlieF
Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the contest.
Laura McLendon
44. LMcLendon
"If you read but one book this year, make it this one." Will do, seriously it looks like a great read and just my cup of tea!! :)
theresa norris
46. theresan
I've read a lot of good reviews of this book.
Andrew Beck
47. queerbec
And this book is a first novel too! But what an interesting idea for a protagonist. Yes, I can see why he'd be so difficult to like, and his own background is mysterious as well, even for him. I'm anxious to find out how he knows he has a sister (and a schizophrenic one at that!) Please enter me into your drawing!
48. Mel K.
I've read so many good things about this book! I can't wait to read it. I collect ARCs and Inquisitor would be a nice addition to my collection. It appeals to me greatly. Thanks.
Allison Moyer
49. The Loopy Librarian
With a review like that how could I NOT want to read it!
William Hamilton
50. billham68
Strong reviews make this a must read. Hope I get an ARC!
51. Mary Allen
What a GREAT recommendation! BEST first novel??? And an intriguing topic. I would Love to read it.

Jean Delaney
Sounds like a great read. Neat sweepstakes.

Cecilia Huddleston
53. cjbh
Ick...the needle in the neck brought back some memories for me! I've had a few needles in my neck for a medical procedure...but certainly not like what I read here...gives me the shivers....!

This sounds like a super thrilling story and I'd love to give it a try.

Thanks for a chance to read "The Inquisitor"! --Cecilia
55. Harlow Coban
This book sounds like an incredible read. I can't wait!!!
Larisa LaBrant
56. MsGodiva1
Definitely want to read this one, even if not lucky enough to win a copy. Ready for a new, hair raising thriller that I can't figure out until the author/hero allow the reveal. Thanks for the chance to win one!
59. kelazeer
Definately sounds interesting!
Cindi Hoppes
60. CindiHoppes
An intriguing detetctive and a plots with twists
and turns...This is definitely my kind of book!
Many thanks, Cindi
Lisa Garrett
61. lag123
This sounds like a real page turner, would love to read it.

lag110 at mchsi dot com
62. Becky
Looks like a good one. I love all thrillers and just finished reading
"The Rx Factor" by J. Thomas Shaw- a great suspenseful medical/political thriller. Have been looking for a new thriller to check out. Will definitely check this one out.
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