Monday, March 24, 2008

Mystery Book Review: The Guilty by Jason Pinter

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of The Guilty by Jason Pinter. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Guilty by Jason PinterBuy from Amazon.com

The Guilty by
A Henry Parker Mystery

Mira Books (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-7783-2463-X (077832463X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-2463-8 (9780778324638)
Publication Date: March 2008
List Price: $7.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): Justice is as fast as a bullet…

As I lie in bed with Amanda, ignoring another late-night call from my ex, a shot rings out in the New York night and a beautiful starlet dies outside the city's most popular nightclub. This is the kind of story I was born to chase—but I never dreamed this story began over a hundred years ago. …

Suddenly another life is taken, the bullet fired from one of the deadliest guns ever made. Both victims are highly controversial, their murders more like public executions. My search leads me into the twisted world of The Boy—a world defined by a demented code of honor and shocking, long-buried secrets of the world's most infamous outlaw.

When this assassin realizes I'm getting too close to the truth, uncovering the past could jeopardize everything I care about. Because in his world there's a fine line between good and evil, and the difference between innocence and guilt depends on who's holding the gun. …

Review: Investigative journalist Henry Parker probes the murders of four prominent people, all within days of each other, in The Guilty, the second thriller in this series by Jason Pinter.

"Some reporters are always a step behind. Some reporters always keep pace. Some reporters are always a step ahead. What kind of a reporter are you?" So asks a plaque placed outside the news division of The Gazette, a hard-hitting newspaper in New York City. Henry Parker has vowed to be a step ahead, no matter what. The murders have the city on edge and Henry tries to not only find the reasons behind their deaths but possibly even the person responsible. The only clue: the victims were killed with an antique Winchester rifle. His investigation takes him from the ghettos of the city to the open plains of New Mexico. And he makes a truly amazing connection between a modern killer and an outlaw from the wild west.

The book's title, The Guilty, is intentionally ambiguous. Who are the guilty? Certainly Henry himself, who is presented as a flawed individual, especially in his personal life, and in particular in his relationships with women. In the killer's mind, however, the victims are "guilty of the degeneration of society by their ethical and moral failures." But why kill them with a famous (or possibly infamous) weapon from the late 1800s? This connection between crimes of the past and the present murders makes for a compelling thriller and the best passages in the story follow Henry's research, watching him link together the pieces of this puzzle. There is a bit of hero worship, or maybe romanticizing, for the outlaws of the past (Billy the Kid, Jesse James, and others) that seems at odds with Henry's investigation of the killings, but that's a minor criticism.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of The Guilty and to Precedent Media for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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