Morrow, Aug 2003, 23.95, 288 pp.
In Central Park Police Detectives James Gurson and Didi Kane investigate the burned body of former cop Charlene Leone found in the Brambles and the apparent asphyxiation suicide of Dr. Orrin Gretz in his Mercedes buried in the snow. Charlene used to be Didi's lover and partner before being fired for drug use. Orrin's chosen weapon of death mirrors that of James' father, a cop who did his job well until the unfair charges that could have led to jail time did lead to his suicide in the family garage.
Soon Gurson, a psychology major, and Kane find themselves making inquiries amongst Manhattan's analyst world, a close mouthed group unable to answer as opposed to asking questions. As they dig deeper, ties to their personal lives surface beyond the already known obvious. However, Kane begins to wonder if her funky partner, as a means of enacting vengeance on the former ADA who played his father false, might be orchestrating one link.
AN HOUR TO KILL is a superb psychological police procedural that rips into the world of analysts especially those who use patients for sexual pleasure. The key is the believability of the cast from the dedicated but emotional hurting cops to the analysts pulling the wagons around in a siege mentality even though one who may have committed malpractice is dead and connected to a homicide. Though the very end feels more like a couch trip, readers, except psychoanalysts, will appreciate Karin Yapalater's strong debut.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner