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The Mark + The Guilty - Jason Pinter

I read both of Jason Pinter's books back to back. The Mark was released last June. The Guilty just a few weeks ago, and believe or not his third is due for August. Three books in 13/14 months. Woah!

I read The Mark to notch another 2007 book in my belt before I moved on to Michael Simon's Body Scissors. This obviously did not happen. This was a great first book and a terrific read. The Mark hits you right away and never really lets go of you until the final words. Compelling characters and a very nice Wrong Man plot are deftly handled here. I am also a sucker for journalism stories, and if I had a minor complaint I would have liked to have seen more of that aspect of the story. However, given that our lead, Henry Parker, is only on the job for a hot month before things head south and therefore spends the majority of his time on the run I can forgive the book. Both the Mob and Johnny Law want our dear Henry dead before he can wrangle out of killing a dirty cop. Pinter does himself a huge favor by playing Henry more than just a little scared thus endearing him to at least this reader. Macho bravado wears quickly and I usually don't find it realistic for a second. I am totally excited for his next book!

So........

The Guilty is Jason Pinter's second book. My intention was certainly to give some time in between the two books, but The Mark really was the most fun I had reading in a long time. The Guilty is another breathlessly paced thriller. People are getting killed in NYC and the answer lies 150 years in the past. Our able young journalist, Henry Parker, is not quite so central to the overall plot this time and quite frankly two Wrong Man stories would have been a bit unbelievable. Pinter's writing style is again enthralling as he and Henry lead us from NYC to the American Southwest. I will say that the larger motivation that is driving our villain is going to be a large pill for some readers to swallow. Certainly I felt that the story structure was happening at Pinter's insistence rather than organically, but it is all so well written that it only provided me with a minor after thought of contrivance. Read both these books, now!

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