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The Inquisitor

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,284 ratings  ·  240 reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published 2012)
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In The Inquisitor, our protagonist wakes up in New York City with no knowledge of who he is or where he's been, but possesses a keen survival instinct. Managing to get work on construction sites for cash, he eventually gives himself the moniker of Geiger and earns the trust of the local mob. His friends in dark places provide him with the economic means to utilize his true talents and start up his own company in "information retrieval." An unconventional business model, sure, but a man with amne ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Geiger is a torture artist, but he prefers to call his work "information retrieval." He has a special gift in that he can always tell when someone is lying. He also has a soft spot for kids, but he's not aware of how soft that spot is because he has never hung out with any kids. When twelve-year-old Ezra appears in Geiger's "studio," we begin to see a side of Geiger no one knew existed -- including Geiger himself.

The Inquisitor is one darned good debut thriller. Mark Allen Smith has some years
This blew me out of the water. Geiger is in the Information Retrieval business. Or in plain English, he's a professional torturer. But he rarely draws blood. He doesn't need to. He uses the victim's own psyche against him and draws it out until the victim tells the truth. Geiger has one rule, though. He doesn't work on kids. So when a kid is brought in, Geiger entire life plan changes. Geiger is such a fascinating character because he is partially a blank slate, even to himself, and because he k ...more
Miss Clara
It was amazing! I love the plot truly.

I have no time to put on a review,this should be a quicky. But I really want a sequel!!

And I want more of Geiger's past. Sure, he's invisible, his dad taught him to embrace pain and all those cuts but it wasn't enough!! Like how did he come up with his name? OR what's he gonna do next? Will he contact Harry? How about his mom? Why he doesn't do kids? He's got no girl? He's not married? And Lily's craziness, I want it to be further explained. >.<

I like
Emma Sea
You know what this book needs? A good dose of slash.

First half = very good.
There were even two small sections that were absolutely marvellous; kind of restoring my faith in contemporary fiction marvellous.

Second half = weak.
Smith didn't fully utilise all the plot elements he'd so carefully set up in the first half, and despite some nice imagery it fizzles away to something generically ordinary.
Jul 23, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers/suspense
Recommended to Katy by: Vine
My original review can be seen here.

Please note: I originally read in February 2012; just updating the formatting.

My Synopsis and Story Overview: Geiger has no memory prior to arriving in New York on a bus - he doesn't even know his name. He is, however, able to create beautiful creations through carpentry, and, as it turns out, he has another gift - he is able to tell if someone is lying. He is in the Information Retrieval business - he ... "convinces" people to tell the truth through various m
Have you ever started a book, movie, album, or even job with a preconceived idea of how it was going to be? This is often a dangerous thing to do. I guess that is a pretty odd statement for someone who is writing a review in order to give the next person an idea of what they are about to start reading. However, I must comment that this formulated, "idea," was the only complaint I had regarding the book, "The Inquisitor," by Mark Allen Smith.
In my mind, "The Inquisitor," was going to be the gor
"Geiger" (not his real name) is a specialist in information retrieval (i.e., torture). He is the best at what he does. He is also someone who doesn't remember anything about his life before a decade ago. As a result, he is engaged in sessions with a shrink just as two ominous events happen: the increasingly frightening dreams about his former life and involvement with employers who aren't what they claim to be. (The employers claim to be searching for the thief of a priceless work of art. They e ...more
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 whi ...more
Geiger’s mind was sent reeling away from the dark forest, defying the vision’s gravity and seeking refuge beyond it. But what came before him was a floating curtain, and then, as the curtain parted, it revealed the long shelf carrying all his session books: the black binders, the hundreds of Joneses, the thousands of pages filled with strategies and methods, reactions and conclusions. Geiger could see the faces of his subjects, he could hear every epithet and plea ever uttered, every sound a hum ...more
Geiger is a professional torturer. He has 3 rules and one of them is - he doesn't do kids. Then 12 yr old Ezra enters the picture. New twist on the thriller genre with this one. Reminded me of Beat the Reaper In that it was a fast read and you weren't sure where you were headed but couldn't wait to get there.
I found this book to be somewhat of a disapointment. I guess I was hoping for a more sophisitcated story like something a LeCarre would write than a run of the mill thriller. Even that would have been OK if it were written with the same descriptive energy that, say, Lee Child uses for his Reacher books.
Geiger is in "the information retrieval" business. He found this calling early in his life, that he was good at extracting information from people through one means or another - psychological or p
I'm very excited to have an Advance Reader's Edition, final copy due out in March.

UPDATE: The hardcover is due out on April 10, 2012 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. I highly recommend this book if you want a unique reading experience. Because I don't have the final print, I am not allowed to quote from the text.

Main character Geiger is a man with a past unknown to himself and a present known to a very few. He is an expert in getting the truth out of his clients's targets, who have information
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith is a unique, interesting, and thought-provoking novel. The story is centered around a fascinating, complex, damaged character called Geiger, who is in the business of "information retrieval" (finding out the truth using torture, primarily psychological). Part of the intrigue of the story is reaching an understanding of how a person could end up being good at torturing others, and Geiger himself struggles with the same issue. He has no memories of his childhood, ...more
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)
A new kind of anti-hero, and otherwise a very competent thriller. Geiger can't remember his past. He woke up as a teen on a bus, and immediately began to take care of himself, drawn to certain things like carpentry work. While working in a construction site, and also bedding down there at night, he overhears some trespassers planting bugs in the walls mention names. He goes to the criminal mentioned and asks to be his 'information retrievalist' - torturer - in order to help him find out who betr ...more
Mark Allen Smith's debut thriller, The Truth Hurts... (aka, The Inquisitor, from Henry Holt and Company 2012) introduces Geiger, one of the most unique characters in fiction since the arrival of Robert Crais' Joe Pike and T. Jefferson Parker's Joe Trona. Geiger, like Pike and Trona, is a non-verbal protagonist whose to-the-point actions speak loudly about what's going on inside his head. He has no last name and no childhood, and arrives in New York with no memories, no emotions and almost no abi ...more
Jason Speck
"The Inquisitor" is designed to be the beginning of a new series, and it's a very promising start. Featuring professional torturer, or 'information retrieval specialist' Geiger, one has a hard time imagining author Mark Haskell Smith being able to make him a sympathetic character, and yet he largely succeeds, in part due to an intriguing back story. Geiger seems to have no memory of his past, and his crippling migraines point to a losing struggle to hold back old traumas desperately locked away. ...more
Ah, I don't even know where to start..

Firstly, I was mesmerized by the type of work Geiger does. Until I read this book, it never even occurred to me that "information retrieval" and the torture it includes is actually a form of art. So many different types and ways to inflict pain - physical, psychological, emotional; its array of creativity knows no bounds.

This book succeeds in questioning the reader's moral to the concept of torture. On the one hand, it is obviously inhumane and wrong, but th
Cathy Cole
First Line: The client sat in an eight-foot-square room staring at a large one-way mirror that offered a view into flat, smooth darkness.

I can see many readers learning that this book is about a professional torturer and immediately deciding not to read The Inquisitor. They just might be making a big mistake because Geiger-- the main character in this excellent debut novel-- is one of the best characters I've come across in a long time.

Geiger is the best in the field of "information retrieval" (
Wow! What a ride. Never did I think that I would be simpatico with a person whose profession is torture - or in this book - information retrieval. This book grabbed me and never let go until the end. I simply could not put it down. It was non stop action - and not of the tedious car chase variety. The characters were well drawn; flawed and sympathetic. The plot was full of twists and turns. This is the best "guilty pleasure" book that I have read in a long, long time. I didn't give it 5 stars si ...more
Mark Treadway
Excellent read...Could easily be a five star debut novel and you would get no argument here. Strengths lie in the very unique characters--especially Geiger, as well as in the original exploration of Geiger's profession. One of the measures of a great book is when you hate to finish it for fear of missing the characters and that is the feeling you will get with this one..THUMBS UP!
Favorite Line #1: "You know that sensation when you feel like you've hit rock bottom, and you realize you're right wh
Darcia Helle
This thriller examines torture, the people who implement it, and how it's used to get information quickly. The characters are fascinating, if not always likable. The plot is fast-paced and kept me in suspense right up until the wild ending.

Smith holds little back and The Inquisitor is not for the squeamish. Some of the scenes are graphic, but they fit in the context of the story. A few loose ends were left regarding Geiger, the main character, and I wish the details had been given in the end. Al
I would say that I really liked this book (surprise, right, could have looked at the 4 stars for that!) for a couple different reasons, particularly the anti-heroes of both Geiger and Harry. I wasn't really a huge fan of the "twist" or the ending, but the characters themselves were very well fleshed out and relatable, as well as human and significantly flawed.

The "Blurb": Geiger, the protagonist, is an interrogator, essentially, and he doesn't mind venturing very, very far into the torture categ
Thomas Bruso
In the beginning, we are introduced to a shadowy, unknown figure known as the Inquisitor, a man who tortures the truth out of people. But the way Geiger gets his vics to open up to him is sometimes gruesome to read. But it is who Geiger is--or is it?

Geiger is an unusual character in fiction today. No question. With sharp prose and searing imagery, author Mark Allen Smith has created a believable protagonist, keeping you immersed in the goings-on of this peculiar character and his secluded life.
Erin Clemence
In Smith's "The Inquisitor", we meet the protagonist Geiger. A strange man with an even stranger profession. Geiger works in "information retrieval". This means he is hired (usually by the mob) to kidnap strangers and torture them until they reveal the information he has been hired to receive. This changes when Geiger is given a twelve year old boy named Ezra to "interrogate".
Geiger's character develops with the plot line. Initially, he is a man with a haunting and private past (kept secret eve
Jennifer (President, Chronic Complainers Not-so-Anonymous)
Some books are an emotional roller-coaster. Not this one. Imagine yourself toppling off a cliff. You don't know where rock bottom is. You don't CARE where it is. You're entirely focused on falling...falling...falling...

The writing is SUPERB. Some of the best I've ever read.
HOLY SCHMOKES!! I LOVED this book! I am so very glad that Becky, No More Grumpy Bookseller, sent it to me.
The reader is introduced to Geiger, a dark protagonist. He is a master of information retrieval, getting the truth for his clients via stressing psychological means. He tortures people for a living, but rarely is blood shed. I shouldn't empathize or even remotely like Geiger, but I did. He isn't evil, though I thought he would be. His clients on the other hand....
Geiger has a blank backgrou
The inquisitor is the first novel recommended to me by Goodreads, and boy was I excited when I finally got my hands on a copy.

The premise of the novel was very promising and I had also read a small excerpt which I really enjoyed and was the reason I purchased TI. Before I had read this, I imagined Geiger to be mysterious, aloof and very dangerous figure. I thought I would love him but the more I read of him the less I cared.
Harry, Geigers' partner was the one and only character that interested
Het verhaal gaat over Geiger. Een aparte naam voor een hoofdpersoon. Ik vraag me af of de schrijver een bedoeling met de keuze van deze naam heeft gehad. Op de achterflap staat Geiger omschreven als een man met een gave, hij laat mensen de waarheid spreken. In de praktijk blijkt dat minder een gave dan een manier van behandelen. Hij martelt de mensen, fysiek en psychisch, met als gevolg dat ze de waarheid spreken. Het verkrijgen van informatie is zijn “vak”. Zijn partner Harry Boddicker haalt de ...more
Gina Williams
The Inquisitor – Mark Allan Smith (ARC from publisher)

[Technically I'd rate it 4.5 stars]

Geiger is a man who deals in a specialized commodity, truth. And as his name implies, he has the ability to determine if an individual is telling the truth. By using unorthodox methods, usually a psychological form of torture, he retrieves information for his clients.

Mark Allen Smith introduces a protagonist that is very structured, disciplined, ruthless, and not without faults. The prologue begins with a sc
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Goodreads Feedback: Combine issue? 17 33 May 15, 2012 01:41PM  
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“Truth, meanwhile, was a weapon
that even a damaged fist could still grasp and wield. It was a remarkably versatile commodity; it could be traded, or help serve an end, or produce a
“The world knows nothing of you. That is my gift to you. You are no one.” 3 likes
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