`Parker has only one competitor - Thomas Harris' Washington Post ... At once horrifying, tense and lyrical, The Blue Hour is a beautifully written novel that probes the darkest recesses of the human psyche.He takes the women from shopping malls. They are beautiful, sophisticated, but he treats them like animals, and when he's done he leaves only his grisly signature to taunt the Orange County police - a purse full of entrails. Where are the bodies? How can these women disappear so completely? Whatever the Purse Snatcher has done to them, it surely cannot be worse than the imaginings of a shock-hardened police force...but they don't know the sick mind they're dealing with.Detective Hess has given his life to the police, but now lung cancer is looking to claim him. Merci Rayborn is at the beginning of her career and she's determined to get to the top, whatever it takes. Assigned to the case by a boss with a hidden agenda, Hess and Merci at first agree on just one thing: they want to catch the Purse Snatcher and see him fry. But as another woman disappears, and then another, they become united through their obsession with a case that will change both their lives forever.