« The Darkness / Jason Pinter | Main | Midnight Walk / Edited by Lisa Morton »

The Fury / Jason Pinter

Mira / October 2009
Reviewed by: Martel Sardina

The Fury is Jason Pinter’s fourth novel featuring Henry Parker, a reporter for the New York Gazette. In this installment, Stephen Gaines, a strung out junkie, approaches Parker on the street outside his office and begs for his help. Parker is put off by Gaines appearance and pretends to be too busy at that moment to consider Gaines’ request. The next day, Parker regrets that decision when he learns that not only is Gaines his half-brother, but that he has also turned up dead. Why should he care about the death of a brother he never knew? That’s just one of the questions swirling in Parker’s mind. Things get worse and Parker is forced to care when he learns that his father is a suspect in Stephen’s murder.

As the plot unfolds, Parker’s quest to find out what kind of a man Stephen was in order to clear his father’s name leads to dark places. Other young men like Stephen start turning up dead. Some executed gangland style. Was Stephen merely an addict in trouble or was he involved in something bigger? And why do these murders remind Henry Parker of a string of homicides from the 1980s that he read about in Through the Darkness, a non-fiction book written by his mentor Jack O’Donnell? Parker would like to ask Jack that question. But unfortunately, Jack is on a leave of absence from the Gazette. Parker’s going to have to muddle through this one on his own.

The Fury was this reviewer’s introduction to Pinter’s Henry Parker series. There are a couple of dangers inherent to writing a mystery series. Authors have to figure out how to cope with two different types of readers — those who read the read the books in order and those who don’t. For loyal readers, authors have to write books that build upon the foundation laid in prior installments. For the newcomer, authors have to write books that work as standalones. There is a delicate balance of how much information from previous installments to include in order to ground new readers without being repetitive for those who have been reading since the beginning of the series. As a new reader to the series, this reviewer felt Pinter spent too much time rehashing historical events that were not integral to the plot of this particular story.

For example, Pinter tells readers that Parker does not have a close relationship with his father and gives some of the reasons why. James Parker is not a likable man to begin with and becomes even less so as the plot unfolds. Pinter’s failure to make an emotional connection concerning Henry’s relationship with his father makes it harder for the reader to believe that Henry Parker would want to help his father get out of this mess in the first place.

The Fury is being released this month and will be followed up in December 2009 with The Darkness. In The Darkness, Pinter does a better job of balancing the scales. The historical data carried forward to ground new readers is integral to that story. And the foundation laid in The Fury is taken to the next level. Having now read both books, this reviewer recommends reading The Fury if you are already planning to read both books. But if you have to choose between the two, hold on for the forthcoming review of The Darkness before you decide.

Purchase The Fury by Jason Pinter.

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:07AM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend