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The Interrogation

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  409 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
In this tight, suspenseful tale of a race against the clock to get a confession out of the chief suspect in the death of young Cathy Lake, every cop has his own private burden, his own reason for wanting to crack Albert Jay Smalls wide open and confirm him as the killer. Jack Pierce has the memory of his own murdered daughter and the promise he made to Cathy's mother. Norm ...more
Published (first published September 30th 1998)
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Tristan Robin Blakeman
Genuinely engrossing tale focusing on several policemen and a suspect in a child's murder. Although there is an element of mystery regarding "whodunnit," I didn't really consider this a mystery/thriller. Rather, "The Interrogation" was a well-written and thoughtful dramatic novel. The characters were rather tragic - Shakespearean sorrow and failure writ small for the common man.

Flashbacks and time jumping in a novel can be very effective - or it can be confusing and irritating if the author does
Jul 22, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Interrogation by Thomas H. Cook

[The Interrogation] by Thomas H. Cook

From The Book:

Albert Jay Smalls sits in an interrogation room accused of an unspeakable crime. The police have no witnesses, no physical evidence, but they are certain he is hiding the truth. With less than twelve hours before he must be released, Smalls will be put through one final interrogation. It is a search that leads into the shadowed recesses of one man’s shattered mind–and to the devastating secrets buri
Qué desespero con los personajes de este libro, dios míoooo.
May 12, 2017 Motherbeaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this intense thriller. The ending was a total surprise.
My love affair with Thomas H. Cook goes back several years when I stumbled upon his novel Breakheart Hill in a secondhand bookstore. Since then I have read several of his books including Instruments of Night, The Chatham School Affair, Places in the Dark, Evidence of Blood, The Fate of Katherine Carr, Master of the Delta, Red Leaves and The Cloud of Unknowing. Geesh, that’s a lot of books by one author! In my reading life perhaps Stephen King is the only author I’ve read more of. (Yes, I am endi ...more
Arthur Okun
Feb 26, 2017 Arthur Okun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again I went back to reading former author's I loved,but I started to get involved
with terror,thriller,books------I went back to Thomas Cook. INTERROGATION was
published in 2002. Thomas Cook writes in "Hypnotic prose" and in plots that cringe
in the sadness that exists.The Detectives and Chiefs are amazing----
Cathy Lake, she was eight years old and was murdered in the park. Read Cook,He is the best!!!
May 10, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a book I liked this much. I picked it up as a filler for a heavy-duty non-fiction I'm reading and finished it right away. Although I wanted to, I didn't look ahead or skim through any parts.

Cook's writing is good enough to keep reading; he doesn't pad it by putting in details you don't need. He just keeps the action moving.

An eight-year-old girl's body has been found in the park near the lake. The woman who found the body had been frightened by a strange, wild-loo
Sep 11, 2016 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half stars for this one. It centers around the last ditch 12 hour interrogation of an alleged child killer. The story is told from nearly every viewpoint but that of the accused. The mood throughout the book is dark and foreboding. Each character has some deep seated sadness that they are carrying around like a very heavy load. I thought the narrative dragged a bit. As the end of the interrogation loomed, however, the pace quickened both within the interrogation room and elsewhere. I ...more
Sep 02, 2016 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Thomas Cook's older novels I somehow missed. It starts out in the fall of 1941 with two detectives, Jack Pierce and Norman Cohen, who were fairly new to their jobs, and thought they had the world by the tail. In the opening scene, they are both convinced the man they are questioning, did in fact commit the crime he is suspected of. In this scene, Jack Pierce's wife, had just given birth to a little girl they named Debra.

Eleven years later, in the fall of 1952, the two detectives
Kathleen Hagen
The Interrogation, by Thomas H. Cook. B-plus.
Downloaded from
I didn’t like this book as well as the others I have read by this author. What I usually like about this author is that his books are like puzzles. Pieces fit together. One seemingly harmless episode leads to the next and everything connects in the end. This book was different, but compelling in its own way.

In this book we have two homicide detectives who are on the trail of a serial murderer and pedophile of little girls.
Renato Mite
Aug 25, 2014 Renato Mite rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indagini
La storia è semplice. La polizia ha fermato un senzatetto nel parco in cui è stato ritrovato il cadavere di una bambina. Tutti i sospetti ricadono su di lui e per formalizzare l'arresto è necessaria una confessione. Comincia così l'ultimo interrogatorio prima che il senzatetto debba essere rilasciato. Nell'arco di una notte, i due investigatori a cui è affidato l'incarico ripercorrono con le loro domande tutta l'indagine e riescono ad aprire uno spiraglio nella vita del presunto colpevole, l'ind ...more
Jun 19, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Craving some mystery/suspense, I picked this one up fairly randomly, and chose it based on the reviewers blurbs on the back cover:

"The psychic pain of these characters is piercing." — The New York Times Book Review

"A taut and tense procedural that takes readers on an unexpectedly exciting ride as it races toward its climax...This one gets better and better the deeper it goes." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Thomas Cook, along with Michael Connelly and James Ellroy and a few others, is imaginatively r
Jul 23, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1952, 7:00 p.m., Anytown, USA -
Police detectives Jack Pierce and Norman Cohen have only 11-hours for a final interrogation of Albert Jay Smalls. Smalls - a young vagrant who lives in a drainpipe, trying to live by selling things he finds - is the prime suspect in the murder of 8-year-old Catherine Lake. But, the police don't have enough evidence to hold him. A true race against time for detectives Pierce and Cohen. They have 11-hours to get more evidence, a confession, something . . . or the sus
Feb 28, 2013 Hugo rated it really liked it
The '50s setting is wonderfully evoked, as are the characters - both the detectives and the incidental cast - and the story slowly comes together over the course of one night, before a couple of sharp twists and an ending that you think is going to dissipate pull together in a satisfyingly unexpected final page. If The Interrogation had been written in the years in which it is set, Hitchcock would have made this into one of his best films; it has the sharp and suspenseful clockwork of Hitchcock' ...more
Dec 07, 2009 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid read. As much a suspense story as it is a police procedural. Essentially a procedural with a ticking clock that maintains a fun pace, the events of the story all happening in one night (although plenty of flashbacks fill in narrative gaps).

My only problem was that the story was a little too pat. The dozen characters that populate the story are so intertwined that it feels like they are the only denizens of the fictional city where the story is set. The story integration is impressive fro
Nov 30, 2016 Zachary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Interrogation

What a book! This story was about an interrogation of a man who they thought was a child killer.(I'm not going to get into too much for fear of spoilers.) However, in the one day that the two officers have to interrogate this suspect, so many other things are going on. Two words-Dirty Cops! Don't get me wrong I have the utmost respect for our men in Blue, but in this book it mainly deals with that There are some other subplots, especially at the end which make it really nice. Wo
Linda Myers
Jun 24, 2011 Linda Myers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite authors but not one of my favorite books. Cook is always intriguing but I found this one a little forced with coincidence. Nothing is ever as it seems in his books, and that is true here as well. I liked the way the story 'braids' together in short snippets from various POVs. It might seem jerky to some, but by receiving a little info at a time, you can definitely feel like a part of the whodunit in the same way the cop characters must seek out clues.
Vicki G
Oct 20, 2010 Vicki G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keiran Broadhurst
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John Addiego
Feb 08, 2016 John Addiego rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, literary
This is a great story! The setting allows for many aspects of the suspicion and treatment of the suspect to work in ways they wouldn't today. A complex look at the two detectives and the times; a plausible and surprising twist that the reader gets but the detectives don't; another twist at the end.
Jan 20, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best crime novels I have ever read with a surprise ending which shocked me. Has stayed with me even though I read it some years ago. It made me want to read more of this writer's work. Brilliant.
As many crime/murder mystery novels this one starts very exiting (5 stars). After that the novel becomes muddled by too many uninteresting characters (most of them police officers) (4-2 stars).
However the last 5 pages are super exiting and well written (5 stars).
Diana Sandberg
May 25, 2012 Diana Sandberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intense – a police investigation in 1952 has 24 hours before they have to release a guy they strongly suspect killed a child. They have no solid evidence, and the guy is very difficult to pin down. Many undercurrents, much frustration, and a very surprising twist at the very end.
Oct 21, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I just couldn't get into it, even though I did manage to finish it. Next.
Aug 06, 2009 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the events occur in 1952, while a suspect is being interrogated.We know the murderer identity at the very last page.
Jan 21, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hannah Etherton
Feb 04, 2015 Hannah Etherton rated it really liked it
Haunting tale of how things can be but not always as they seem. So many little bits where clues could have been all put together but no one had all of them
Good story overall. Some final details didn't make sense but still intriguing.
Jan 21, 2008 Gordon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do_not_read, military
Absolutely terrible...not worth picking it up out of a free bin!
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Thomas H. Cook has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. He is the author of more than 30 critically-acclaimed fiction books, including works of true crime. Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Fra
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