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The Interrogation Paperback – 15 Aug 2002

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Paperback, 15 Aug 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Thus edition (15 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075285643X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752856438
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,107,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description



Book Description

The new novel by the Edgar Award-winning author of THE CHATHAM SCHOOL AFFAIR

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anna Klein on 6 Mar 2003
Format: Hardcover
September 12, 1952. Albert Jay Smalls, an unassuming homeless man, has been arrested for strangling 8-year-old Cathy Lake to death in a park near the tunnel where he lives. But the police don't have enough evidence to hold him. If he won't confess in the next eleven hours, they'll have to let him go. All through the night detectives Norm Cohen and Jack Pierce interrogate him, seeking to crack his denials or at least come up with enough evidence to keep him locked up where he can't do any more harm. While they are at this -- and returning to his home town in search of clues and digging up the park for the girl's missing necklace -- people are busy elsewhere around the city. Eddie Lambrusco is collecting the night's garbage, worrying over his sick daughter and wishing his old pal Charlie was still with him. Police Chief Thomas Burke is by his son's hospital bed, waiting for him to die. A small-time thief is having his own personal money crisis. As the night wears on and the pressure increases, all of these threads are woven together into a resolution as horrific as it is unavoidable.
THE INTERROGATION is truly hard to put down. At the beginning of each chapter is an old fashioned clock face reminding the reader of how many hours are left in the interrogation and stepping up the pressure as the characters (and reader) are driven ever closer to desperation. Cook has done a tremendous job of portraying his characters' motivations and playing on their strengths and weaknesses. I especially grew to identify with Jack Pierce, whose own young daughter was murdered and who thus has an even greater reason for promising Cathy's heartbroken mother he will bring her killer to justice. In this expertly plotted novel, which remains fast paced while laced with flashbacks, both the perpetrator and the ending are unguessable but expertly foreshadowed.
If you enjoy high tension, well developed mysteries that read almost like a movie, THE INTERROGATION is an excellent choice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Moody, intense and suspenseful. Film Noir in book form. 23 Aug 2002
By T. J. Mathews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
`The Interrogation' is all about atmosphere.
If it were a movie it would be a classic black and white film noir starring George Raft.
If it were a painting it would be "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper.
If it were a sound it would be the echo of unseen footsteps in the dark streets of an empty city.
Thomas Cook has masterfully created a bleak and silent city filled with solitary characters that are almost without exception imprisoned by their own loneliness, loss and guilt. At the center of it all is the marathon interrogation session going on in interrogation room 3. Oddly, this sparring between the detective and the child murder suspect is by far the most personal and intimate exchange in the book. We hang on every question and response, whether verbal or by body language. Is he guilty? Will he crack? What will they do to him if he doesn't? What will the new day bring? Keep reading and find out.
Seldom have I read a genre book so skillfully written. This is the first of Cook's books that I have read and it most definitely will not be the last.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Superb historical police drama 31 Mar 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fourth grader Cathy Lake was supposed to meet her mother in the lobby of her friend's apartment building but failed to show up. Shortly after she was reported missing her twisted bloody body was found in the park near the duck pond. The police questioned several of the homeless that live in the park before arresting twenty-six years old Albert Jay Smalls, a vagrant who resides in a drainpipe.

After holding him for almost two weeks, the police have no evidence or witnesses that can place Smalls in direct contact with Cathy. The police have only twelve more hours to charge the homeless man with the crime or release him, something they are loath to do since the lead detectives, the chief of detectives and the chief of police are convinced he's guilty. They intend to use their remaining twelve hours to try and break him so they can get at the truth.

THE INTERROGATION takes place in 1952 before Miranda and Gideon at a time when the police had more latitude in dealing with a suspect involved in a heinous crime. This crime thriller is a fantastic historical police procedural due to the dynamic interactions of the characters and their personal perspectives on the crime. Thomas H. Cook is a mesmerizing storyteller, who knows how to create and sustain suspense throughout the story.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Noir Novelist 2 Sep 2004
By K. L. Cotugno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
No other mystery writer today captures the essence of noir as well as Thomas Cook. The review amazon has pegged as their "Spotlight" review misses the point if this is the first of his books that they have read. His stories are more character driven than plot driven; they are more instrospective, moody, atmospheric, and for me, they never fall short. If the "Spotlight" reviewer didn't get the ending, it's because Mr. Cook's hallmark is that his clever intracies don't become evident until the end. He's almost impossible to outguess.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Stylistic Gem 2 Sep 2003
By JCLARKB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Interrogation is a departure from Thomas H. Cook's terrific, but more leisurely recent thrillers. A hard-boiled, police procedural would seem an unlikely showcase for his elegant prose. Nonetheless, he has pulled it off. There are passages in this book as moving and gorgeously rendered as any you will read in any book in any genre. The plot is a twisting, turning labyrinth that holds our interest, but the memorable turns of phrase and the masterful use of language floating effortlessly above the sordid subject matter are what make us regret our arrival at the final moving sentence.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fast Paced Ride 29 Oct 2003
By D. Kaplan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Interrogation" primarily takes place over a 12-hour period in the early 1950's with flashbacks to another time. As the name suggests, during this period Albert Smalls, a drifter and loner who has been accused of murdering a young girl, is being interrogated by two police officers. At the end of this period, they must either get a confession from Albert or release him due to a lack of evidence. The pressure to prove Albert guilty or extract a confession in this short period of time is the driving force of the book.
There is hardly a character in the book who is not carrying a heavy personal burden. ..the Jewish police officer who cannot forget the concentration camps he came across while at war; the police officer whose own young daughter was murdered; the police captain whose son is dying from drug abuse and general neglect. At times it is difficult to differentiate between their spiritual bankruptcy and that of Smalls. Added to these three, there are an assortment of other characters, each dysfunctional in his own way. Although the book focuses on the questioning of Small, the story is primarily told through seemingly disparate story lines that occur outside of the interrogation room. Throughout the book, you never really know if Small is the guilty party which only adds to the suspense.
There are very few parts of the book that drag. These sections are soon overlooked and forgotten when you reach the ending which goes on until the very last line on the last page. Folks, it ain't over until it's over. All in all, I would consider this book a page turner. Just be prepared for a very dark ride.
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