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Monday 25 October 2021

‘The Perk’ by Mark Gimenez

Published by Sphere
13th March 2008.
ISBN: 978-1-84744071-6

Beck Hardin, high flying lawyer in Chicago is struggling with the recent death of his wife Annie. He tries to be all things, but his work suffers, and he isn’t making it for his two children Meggie and Luke. So eventually he decides to go home to Texas.

He’s welcomed with open arms by his father JB, and very quickly his children are absorbed into the life on a ranch. There are many surprises in store for Beck – surprises form the past and from the grave. From the past he discovers that the daughter of his friend Aubrey was found dead four years previously  - dumped outside the town, and she was just sixteen.  The five-year statute of limitations is set to expire on New Year Eve and Aubrey asks Beck to investigate – he has five months and twenty six days to find and bring the killer to justice.

Although, we know how Heidi Fay died, her killer remains a mystery, and whilst the investigation by Beck is absorbing in itself, the strength of the book, lies in the story of a man recovering from the death of his beloved wife, his rediscovery of his family, and his re-entry into the town he turned his back on when he left for Chicago more than twenty years earlier.  In essence by doing what he thinks is right for his children, for his friend, and for the town, he finds his way through his grief.
Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Mark Gimenez  grew up in Galveston County, Texas. He attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and earned a B.A. in Political Science with honours. He then attended Notre Dame Law School in Indiana and earned a J.D. degree magna cum laude. He practiced law with a large Dallas law firm and became a partner. After ten years, he left to practice solo and to write. Mark lives in Texas.

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