Time is running out for cops Cohen and Pierce. Albert Jay Smalls is scum, a degenerate living in a pipe in the park. The whole force knows he's the one who killed little Cathy Lake, a child returning from a birthday party, but how to prove it? The year is 1952, so there's no such thing as DNA testing. The cops have just 12 hours to get a confession from Smalls. The plan is simple. Cohen will question while Pierce makes one last desperate search for clues.

It's a long night but not just for Cohen, Pierce, and Smalls. It's a night of reckoning, a night when personal demons must be conquered if the truth is ever to be known.

THE INTERROGATION is a noir masterwork, worthy of the great Cornell Woolrich. The atmosphere is dark, with terrible things lurking. Some readers might find the set up confusingthere are several points of view going onbut this book is well worth your time and patience. The story will hold you in its grip of despair until the last page, when the tiniest glimpse of light may be discerned. (Apr., 304 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg