cover image Hawk Moon: Featuring Psychological Profile Investigator Robert Payne

Hawk Moon: Featuring Psychological Profile Investigator Robert Payne

Edward Gorman. St. Martin's Press, $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-13980-3

The second appearance of psychological profile investigator Robert Payne, introduced in Blood Moon, is a two-dimensional, convoluted tale about similar savage killings in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, separated by 90 years. Payne finds himself assisting Cindy Rhodes, a Native American cop whose estranged husband is suspected in the brutal slayings of two Indian women, both of whom are found with their noses cut off. Payne, a widower who is attracted to Cindy, starts to believe David Rhodes may in fact be the murderer, although the involvement of two of Cedar Rapids' finest citizens in the case begins to puzzle him. Interspersed throughout are flashbacks following a young policewoman's investigation of similar homicides in 1903. Gorman's depiction of the white and Indian interactions seems accurate, if somewhat heavy-handed, while the plot, which moves forward at a steady pace, occasionally turns on contrivances. And while the characters are more than stereotypes, their motivations are sometimes murky as the story advances to a conclusion in which more deaths occur and the pairs of murders from both ends of this century are connected. (May)