Pinter, Jason 1979–
Pinter, Jason 1979–
Born 1979, in New York, NY; married; wife's name Susan. Education: Wesleyan University, B.A., 2003.
Editor and author. Editor, Three Rivers Press, 2003-06, Crown Publishers, 2006-07, and St. Martin's Press, 2007—; has also worked as a literary agency intern, and for various film production companies; blogmaster, "Man in Black" blog.
International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America.
Best First Mystery Award nomination, Romantic Times, 2007, and best first novel nomination, Strand Critics Circle, both for The Mark.
The Mark (novel), Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.
The Guilty (novel; sequel to The Mark), Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2008.
Contributor to anthology Killer Year. Also author of the Jason Pinter Blog.
"In the publishing world," wrote Kathleen Bolton in the Writer Unboxed, "Jason Pinter has sat on both sides of the desk. As an editor, first with Warner and Crown's Three Rivers Press, then at St. Martin's, Pinter saw his share of the good, the bad, and the ugly as far as submissions were concerned." "Pinter, however, wanted to write fiction—gritty, fast-paced urban novels," Bolton continued. "He sold the first of his thrillers in a three-book deal with MIRA, an imprint for Harlequin/Mills & Boon, a publisher best known for their success in the romance genre and looking to increase the male quotient of their author list." The result, The Mark, and its sequel, The Guilty, explore the world of publishing through the eyes of reporter Henry Parker.
The Mark, stated Andy Plonka in the Mystery Reader, "is memorable for its quirky story line and its attention grabbing descriptions of the seamy side of the New York Police department. Mr. Pinter demands the reader's attention from the first page when it appears the main protagonist is going to be killed." Henry Parker is only twenty-four, but he has already tired of writing obituaries for the New York Gazette. When the opportunity arises for him to work with ace veteran reporter Jack O'Donnell, Henry jumps at the chance. A trip to interview an ex-con named Luis Guzman, however, ends in disaster. When Henry tries to intervene to keep an unknown assailant from pistol-whipping Guzman and his wife, the gun goes off and the intruder is killed. Unfortunately, the man later turns out to be a member of the New York police department, and soon Henry is being sought as a cop-killer not only by the police but by the FBI and by Luis's former mob bosses. "The title is significant in that it has several meanings," Plonka declared. "In a journalistic setting, a mark is a new reporter who has as yet not proven his worth. Yet in the criminal world the mark can refer to an individual singled out for destruction."
Critics celebrated Pinter's accomplishment in The Mark. "From the opening sentence to the exhilarating conclusion," Jeff Ayers wrote in Library Journal, "Pinter's debut thriller gets the reader's heart racing." "Pinter's a wizard at punching out page-turning action," stated a Publishers Weekly contributor, "and the voice of his headstrong protagonist is sure to win readers over." "With his first effort," Plonka concluded, "Mr. Pinter has produced a likeable protagonist and a terrifying though not improbable situation for a seemingly ordinary young man."
Parker returns in The Guilty, which follows the young reporter's investigation of a serial killer who murders his victims with a vintage Winchester 1873 rifle. The story is launched with the murder of a celebrity, Athena Paradis, outside a nightclub; her skull is suddenly smashed by a bullet. Henry is sucked into the story once again: the killer, who seems to think of himself as a kind of Billy the Kid, leaves behind a portion of one of Henry's stories at the scene. "Tension mounts, bullets fly," a Publishers Weekly reviewer reported, "and Pinter's cool fusion of a new outlaw with blood ties to an old one hits the mark." Harriet Klausner, writing for Genre Go Round Reviews, called the novel "a fabulous thriller as the key players come across as real in this murderous game of cat and mouse." The Guilty, declared Jeff Ayers in his Library Journal review of the book, is "a suspenseful and shocking tale that will leave readers clamoring for the next Henry Parker novel."
Since he is a professional editor as well as a writer, Pinter has a unique perspective on the process of writing. "During his junior year in college," declared a contributor to eHarlequin.com, "Jason decided he wanted to make the leap and become a writer." He later moved into editing, the contributor continued, as a way to "learn about the business from the inside." "I wrote The Mark in about nine months," he told Bolton, "and a large part of that was simply figuring out the right pacing for a thriller. Once I understood that, and actually sat my butt down to write every day, hitting the deadline wasn't as hard as I expected." "My favorite time to write is late at night, usually around 10 or 11pm," Pinter wrote on his Web page. "By that time I've washed the day off me, taken care of any personal and family matters, and can dissolve into my characters' worlds. I don't have a defined word count or time period to write in, I just write until I feel that the day's work is done." "Plus," Pinter continued in his interview with Bolton, "there's so much I want to do with these characters, just sitting down and seeing where that day's writing will take them is too exciting to pass up. I think you have to write as a reader: if you're not compelled enough by your material to sit down and write, the reader won't be compelled enough to turn the pages."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, April 15, 2007, Jeff Ayers, review of The Mark, p. 76; February 1, 2008, Jeff Ayers, review of The Guilty, p. 64.
Publishers Weekly, March 6, 2006, "Crown Gets Pinter," p. 25; March 19, 2007, "Pinter to St. Martin's," p. 11; May 14, 2007, review of The Mark, p. 37; July 23, 2007, "More Pinter," p. 8; December 24, 2007, review of The Guilty, p. 34.
eHarlequin.com,http://www.eharlequin.com/ (April 24, 2008), author profile.
Genre Go Round Reviews,http://genregoroundreviews.blogspot.com/ (April 24, 2008), Harried Klausner, review of The Guilty.
Jason Pinter MySpace page,http://www.myspace.com/jasonpinter (April 24, 2008).
Jason Pinter Web site,http://www.jasonpinter.com (April 24, 2008).
Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (April 24, 2008), Andy Plonka, review of The Mark.
Writer Unboxed,http://writerunboxed.com/ (April 24, 2008), Kathleen Bolton, "Author Interview: Jason Pinter."