The Mark Hardcover – Aug 1 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Debut novelist Pinter turns in a stellar performance, taking to the suspense-thriller field with great confidence and greater promise. Disappointed to find that his new job with the prestigious New York Gazette is all pap pieces and obits, 24-year-old freshman journalist Henry Parker jumps at the chance to work with the paper's top reporter on a where-are-they-now look at the scum of New York. Arriving at the apartment of ex-con Luis Guzman with some follow-up questions, Henry finds a scene right out of Goodfellas: a big guy pistol-whipping a terrified Guzman and his wife. Before Henry knows what's happening, the victims turn the table, the assailant is killed, and Henry is left holding the smoking gun. From there, the cub reporter goes on the run—his only ally an unsuspecting NYU coed—while trying figure out how he became wanted by the NYPD, the FBI and the mob. Though some of his situations can strain credibility, Pinter's a wizard at punching out page-turning action, and the voice of his headstrong protagonist is sure to win readers over; his wild ride should thrill any suspense junky. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
"...a gripping page-turner you won't be able to stop reading." James Patterson. "An excellent debut" - Lee Child. "A first-rate debut from an author who dares to take the traditional thriller in bold new directions" - Tess Gerritsen. "...a top-notch blending of crime, corruption and journalism at a breakneck pace" - Jeffrey Deaver. "Read 'The Mark' and you will be introduced to a terrific new talent, Jason Pinter, who has written a gripping page turner you won't be able to stop reading" - James Patterson. "A high-octane debut, 'The Mark' introduces Jason Pinter as a major new talent in thriller writing" - Jeff Abbott. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
His relationship with his girlfriend is suffering and his new job writing for the New York Gazette is not the thrilling dream he thought it would be.
But his luck looks as it's going to change.
Jack O'Donnell, the New York Gazette's star reporter, gives Henry Parker a chance. He needs a bit of help with a story he's working on. Nothing too strenuous or exciting but he would get credit for the work.
For Henry, the chance to work with his idol is worth anything. But for Henry, it could cost him his life.
Jack is writing a story on the criminals of New York. Henry is given the task of interviewing ex con Luis Guzman. But when he shows up at the apartment, things go incredibly, horribly wrong.
When someone dies, Henry is fingered as the killer. Having no choice but to go on the run for his life, Henry gets help from the beautiful NYU coed Amanda. Together they must find out how Henry became wanted by the NYPD, the FBI and the mob.
Or die trying.
If you think this is your average run of the mill, cookie cutter thriller, think again. The Mark is an incredible book that pulls you in from page one and doesn't let go. Pinter's first novel did two things: it reinvented the thriller genre and gave voice to one of the most intelligent protagonists of our time.
What I loved about The Mark was that everything about it was unexpected. Unlike most thrillers, Pinter gives you the time to become emotionally involved with Henry and his troubles before pulling the rug out from under you.
He allows you into Henry's life, into his mind and then turns the tables and changes all the rules.Read more ›
I saw The Guilty on the shelf at Coles when it came out and read the synopsis. It sounded intriguing. Plus, the quotes from authors I've read helped as well, so I picked it up. I hadn't realized it was the second book, so I picked up the first, The Mark. Am I ever glad I did!
And I had to agree with the reviews. The book is a gripping page-turner and I had a hard time putting it down. I felt bad for Henry, being stuck in the position he was in. While most of us would turn away and run for help, he jumped in with both feet - then had to run for his life. Henry is a good-guy through and through, with a mind that works quickly, making decisions I don't think I'd ever be able to make. He goes through a lot in seventy-two hours.
The characters involved really put the pedal to the metal, and there's no letting up. Plenty of action to keep a reader on their toes and their brains thinking. While the already know the who and how, it's the `package' that keeps a reader guessing.
An excellent debut novel. I immediately picked up The Guilty ... I'm already on chapter 7, LOL!
I was intrigued for sure but the story looses me when it starts talking about the Mafia, and so on. I read most of the Executioner series, maybe this caused me to dislike these kind of stories now.
I just could not get into it so this is the reason 1 star. I paid for it, didn't read it, then low marks.
This book cannot be compared to other authors I read, such as James Paterson, John Saul or Robin Cook.
Sorry Mr. Pinter!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I read this book in 3 days, felt it was somewhat plausible, but most of all felt it was time well spent. The main characters are fairly well drawn out, but this is really a plot driven story more than anything. If you want a fairly quick read and something perfect for the plane or the beach that can simply take you away from every day life and not make you think too hard...this is it.
I liked the fast pace of the book as well as the dialogue and plot, but I have to admit I had a hard time believing that the main character could handle himself so well under such unbelievable circumstances. Everyone wants to kill him, but he somehow outsmarts/outwits or just plain gets lucky too many times in the book. Still, it's a good read (not great) and I think the author may be one to watch for years to come.
I don't get it.
And 12 or so Amazon reviewers seem to have been positive, as well.
I understand that authors often can reach out to friends and relatives, to request positive reviews of their work, but I don't know if that can totally account for what's going on here.
So, enough generalities....
I've never seen a book with so many sentences that were just bad grammar before, and not caught in the editing.
A typical example: P 70 "I thought you should hear it from me before I do. Joe" Nonsense, right? And there are many other examples in the book.
Beyond this the characters are flat and unbelievable; the story line is choppy and absurd. It truly seems like the early work of a high school student - very poorly written and poorly developed....
The only mystery of this book is not its story line, but rather its positive reviews....
Uncritical readers, though, simply looking for a fast-paced thriller to while away an airline flight or something like that may find it acceptable.
The main character, Henry Parker, is implausible from the outset. Hired at the prestigious New York Gazette, he is plunked down at a desk and told to write. A grizzled old veteran gives him a chance to do something other than obituaries. (Frankly it's kind of doubtful that even obituaries are handled in the way Pinter describes.) Anyway, Henry goes off on his errand and becomes not only involved in a murder, but is accused of murdering a cop. The whole story is entirely implausible - and things only get worse.
Pinter builds his story in what I call Lego block fashion. He is not interested in building character or developing plot. His only interest is in careening from one action scene to another, regardless of how little sense they make or credibility they hold. In short, Pinter winds up using devices seen before in similar stories and quickly runs out of steam.
Running out of steam only makes things worse. Pinter has to get Parker off Manhattan Island. Anyone familiar with Manhattan knows that getting off the Island is pretty simple. But Pinter paints a picture of a police, FBI and Mafia manhunt that makes the Gestapo manhunts of old movies look like Boy Scout exercises. Oh yes, the FBI for reasons that are entirely unclear wants Parker. Little details like jurisdiction don't bother Pinter because he simply ignores them, save the tenuous plot device that the murderered NYPD cop's brother-in-law is in the FBI. And the Mafia wants Parker too because they think he has something important to them. Of course, the NYPD wants Parker for killing one of theirs. People take it on the lam from Manhattan practically every day with nothing more than bus or cab fare in their pockets, but Pinter has to create a device.
It quickly becomes clear that Pinter is actually writing the outline for a screen play, for a fast moving empty headed thriller that will star whoever the leading hearthrobs of the moment are. So he quicly creates an utterly implausible device to introduce Amanda Davies, wisecracking lawyer to be who becomes involved with this accused cop killer.
Anyone who has watched detective and crime movies from the 30s and 40s will recognize this device. But they did it better back then.
Pinter insults the intelligence of his readers on page after page in order to keep the action flowing. No need to obtain search warrants or wiretap authorizations for the bulldog FBI agent. And the Mafia's information is letter perfect. Utterly and completely implausible.
Henry Parker is a wimp. But that doesn't stop him from taking on and prevailing over the bad guys within the first half of the novel. I was reminded of old Westerns where the good guys would get 25 or more shots from their six-shooters.
As I said, I made it half-way through this poor potboiler before setting it aside. The characters are unbelievable. The plot is unbelivable. "The Mark" can be safely skipped without a feeling of loss. If it's the only thing left on the bookstore rack when your flight is delayed, it won't hurt you to read it . . . but there are far better things to do with your time.