Review

The Guilty

by Jason Pinter

THE
GUILTY is the second Jason Pinter novel to feature Henry Parker,
intrepid reporter for the New York Gazette, a newspaper
trying to maintain journalistic integrity in a market where such
nobility is often appreciated and rewarded in the breach. Pinter
has hit upon a winner with Parker, a likable if flawed protagonist
whose pursuit of a story, and the truth beneath it, often results
in him making subtle use of intuitive and deductive skills not
unknown to private investigators. His tragic flaw (every
interesting hero has one) is that he is clueless with women, or at
least with one lady --- Amanda, to whom he owes his life, and
more.

It is accordingly ironic that THE GUILTY begins with the death of a
woman --- an icon, actually --- named Athena Paradis, a pop tart
flavor of the month who is senselessly cut down by a sniper on the
eve of what was to be her jump to major stardom. Parker is on the
story but is startled when evidence on the scene suggests that the
assailant is attempting to communicate directly with him.

Another murder almost immediately follows, and the evidence --- a
bullet from one of the deadliest rifles ever manufactured ---
indicates that the solution to the deranged killer’s identity
may well lie in the past, enshrouded in myth, folklore and
legend.

Parker follows the story across the country, attempting to separate
fact from fiction and history from rumor. His pursuit of the truth
puts not only himself but those he loves --- and has loved --- in
terrible danger, leading to a dramatic face-off and a climax in
which even the winner will lose something.

Those who enjoy their noir with a dash of real-world research will
love THE GUILTY, which serves up a secondary mystery about one of
the Old West’s most legendary and notorious characters, and
how local politics can get in the way of resolving such questions
one way or the other. Pinter’s over-the-shoulder peek at some
of the museums specializing in such memorabilia will also have you
plotting out the time to take a road trip to New Mexico and other
points west so you can walk in Parker’s boot heels. The
author also drops other nuggets of information here and there. For
example, I had no idea what CATNYP was until reading this book; I
am now addicted to it.

And if you aren’t addicted to this series by the time you
finish THE GUILTY, check out the preview to Pinter’s
forthcoming Parker novel, THE STOLEN, the first few pages of which
are included here. It will give you something to look forward to
this summer.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011

The Guilty
by Jason Pinter

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 077832463X
  • ISBN-13: 9780778324638