Mark Allen Smith- The Inquisitor

Geiger’s business is extracting information. A meticulous torturer, his methods range from the brutal to the psychologically complex, and he will stop at nothing to get the job done. His clients are referred to him from international corporations, government agencies and organised crime; his skills are in worldwide demand. He calls his company Information Retrieval.
Geiger only has one rule: that he will never work on a child. So when a client presents Geiger with a twelve-year-old boy, his instinct is to walk away. But the alternative – the unknown horror that might await the boy elsewhere – is too awful for him to contemplate. Geiger’s history is a blank page – even to him. In accepting this assignment in an attempt to save the boy, he will discover that history, no matter how torturous that proves to be…

Time to enter the world of the mysterious Geiger- just Geiger- no other name- a character with layers of secrecy about him that are instrumental to his employment as an Information Retrieval specialist. As the story opens we witness Geiger’s more unorthodox techniques to elicit information from imprisoned individuals- quite simply Geiger is a man that can extract the truth but who only works on his terms and at his own behest. He is a damaged individual mentally and physically, the causes of which manifest themselves throughout the course of the book, as he becomes involved in a shady interrogation. This puts him and those around him in harms way, becoming embroiled in a desperate race to uncover some damaging information and resulting in a tense and well-plotted thriller. The character of Geiger is extremely well-drawn and probably the most compelling aspect of this tale because as a reader you are genuinely intrigued by him and the complexity of the emotions he undergoes both as an individual and in his somewhat dubious but quite fascinating employment. Unfortunately, most of the characters are very reminiscent of a fairly bog-standard movie script- the partner, Harry, with the screwed up past and a mentally challenged sister who puts him in peril, Ezra, the cutesy kid complete with violin who gets kidnapped- then rescued- then kidnapped again and add to this the waitress in the local diner with the heart of gold, the earnest psychiatrist who seeks to plumb the depth of Geiger’s mind but unsurprisingly finds himself caught up in action, and the disabled Vietnam veteran plying his trade on the streets as a memory man and waxing lyrical on the human condition whilst foiling the bad guys in their pursuit of Geiger and Harry. However, these fairly stereotypical characters all add to the mix quite effectively and did not impinge on my overall enjoyment of the book as I felt that the main plot itself was unlike many thrillers I have read and seemed fresh and new. A perfectly readable thriller whose excellent plot is slightly undermined by some lazy characterisation but still worth a read…

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