THE QUESTIONER is Andrew Vachss's first work of fiction in too long.
But it turns out to be worth the wait.
A novelette written in the scalpel-sharp, no-word-wasted prose style that has become one of the author's trademarks, it introduces a nameless protagonist known only by the description of what he does. For a price, he finds out the most deeply hidden truths and secrets – and he does so not by means of torture or coercion, but rather merely by talking, asking questions, listening, and responding in ways that gradually, deftly draws out the information he is seeking. He can't be fooled or deterred. He senses the truth and, more importantly, he senses how to manipulate every precise detail of mood, environment, and his choice of words until what he is seeking is revealed ... What he then does with that information, who the Questioner passes it on to, can impact decisions and actions of global significance.
As usual in any work by Vachss, the “fiction” is only a veneer, a device to open readers' eyes about real-world abuses and injustices that may not be pleasant to face, yet NEED to be.
So read THE QUESTIONER for the prose and the power of the story. Then I'd encourage you to do a little homework about some of the things touched upon in the narrative (ethnic medical experiments, maybe a little history about the country of Estonia, as a couple of examples) as added food for thought.
As a further encouragement, I would also suggest you consider a purchase of this work via the Amazon Smile program whereby a portion of the purchase price (at no additional cost to the purchaser) goes toward a charity of the buyer's choosing. In view of Andrew's life's work in the area of child protection, a good choice for this would be an organization he co-founded and is closely associated with: The Legislative Institute for Child Protection.
You can learn more about it at this link: Legislative Institute for Child Protection
To sign up for the Amazon Smile program, use this link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/81-1811456
I strongly recommend THE QUESTIONER and all of the foregoing.