Nothing's better than discovering an author who takes an old genre and turns it on its ear. Since Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet perfected the hard-boiled detective genre, their imitators have multiplied over the years to the point of caricature. So I was thrilled to discover Jason Pinter's debut novel The Mark, especially once I met his main character Henry Parker. Rather than a middle-aged, chain-smoking, world-weary detective eking out a living from an office above a liquor store, Jason has created a champion for the new millennium. Henry Parker is only 24-years old. He's a rookie newspaper reporter, someone just starting out in his career. At such a young age, Parker is a character unique to the genre, a Generation-Z version of Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe...Show More »
And I believe much of Henry Parker has its roots in the author himself. Jason Pinter is under 30 and new to his career, too. In fact, he's one of the founding members of Killer Year, a group of new thriller writers who have banded together to support each other. Such a refreshing and unique viewpoint colors his prose and sets Pinter's novel apart from the typical hard-boiled noir fiction.
Yet, that all said, Pinter has not forsaken what makes crime fiction so popular. In The Mark, he's crafted a darkly convoluted story, full of conflicted characters, shifting loyalties, and sudden death. From the opening hook to the last line, the novel is all noir at heart, but with a modern shine to it. I, for one, look forward to following Henry Parker for many years to come.