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Beck Hardin, a high-profile Chicago trial lawyer, loses his wife to breast cancer and is left alone to raise their two young children. But he’s been a full-time lawyer and a part-time father, so their lives soon fall apart. To save his children, he returns to his small hometown in the Texas Hill Country, reunites with his estranged father (a goat rancher turned winemaker), and soon becomes the local judge. He finds himself trying to pay off an old debt by solving the cold case murder of his high school buddy’s teenage daughter—and discovers that a small-town judge’s life isn’t such a simple life.

THE PERK is available from Amazon.


Best-seller lists: No. 6, Ireland; No. 11, Australia; No. 17, UK hardback.

Editorial Reviews:

“Remember when John Grisham exploded on to the courtroom drama market with novels of breathtaking brilliance? Lightning just struck twice.” – The Daily Record (Scotland)

“Gimenez returns to the complex legal thrillers where he seems to be at his best. The Perk has mystery, humour and history along with well-drawn characters that the reader will actually care about. As is often the case in legal thrillers, there is a mix of those characters that take the moral high ground and those who seem just out for their own good. Unusually, there are also a few comic and slightly caricatured figures here as well—but they all fit well together in the plot. Together with great characters and a strong plot there is also lots of interesting historical information. The ending may not be what is expected but it is all the better for it and proves to be a good finish to an excellent book. As ever, Gimenez is highly recommended, impossible to put down and definitely not to be missed.” – (UK)

“Just as well I started The Perk on the weekend, as I couldn’t put down this book. . . . This one’s a cracker—neatly woven subplots, a taut thriller and a wonderfully current statement on American popular culture. And yes, Gimenez may possibly be the next Grisham.” – Kerre’s Book Reviews (UK)

“Gimenez fills the John Grisham hole in the legal-thriller genre so well there may be no room left for Grisham.” – The Sunday Times (Perth)

“Gimenez’s novels are gripping, intense thrillers. Guaranteed to keep you up well into the night, The Perk is an exceptionally well crafted novel, populated by a cast of characters that are realistically-drawn and appealing. As always, thought-provoking, intelligent, and addictive. Highly recommended.” – Civilian-Reader (UK)

Top Ten of 2008—”We read lots of thrillers and they can tend to merge into one another. The Perk stood out by a mile as an excellent example of the genre and a stunning, well told tale in its own right. Gimenez’ stature continues to grow.”
– (UK)


Mark Gimenez grew up in Galveston County, Texas, earned his law degree at Notre Dame, and was a partner in a major Dallas law firm. He now practices solo and writes. He lives in Texas. He is the author of seven books: The Color of Law, a finalist for the Thriller Award for Best First Novel, The Abduction, The Perk, The Common Lawyer, Accused, The Governor’s Wife, and Parts & Labor: The Adventures of Max Dugan, a children’s book.