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On the Couch Paperback – Bargain Price, June 15, 2004
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Rich-kid psychotherapist and tough New York cop flirt it up, each playing a role for the unwitting other. Less concerned with embarrassing pratfalls for her neurotic heroines than many of her chick-lit sisters, Kwitney (Till the Fat Lady Sings, 1992, etc.) still wants them to find love, and not a little bit of sex. The single girl here is Marlowe, a Manhattan psychologist with divorced parents providing her with distant affection and a trust fund. Joe is the NYPD detective with more crime smarts than tact. He calls Marlowe by accident during his investigation of a murder (first of several) in which the victim was snuffed out apparently after calling an escort service; thinking that Marlowe is actually an escort, he tries to get information out of her. Bored with her life and thinking she'll sex up Joe's as-yet-unpublished dissertation on role-playing by providing him with some good firsthand experience, Marlowe plays along, quickly warming up to the role of the hooker who's about to retire but wouldn't mind one last assignment. Fortunately, one of her therapy clients is exactly that kind of escort, providing her with plenty of real know-how. Joe comes off as a pretty typical Manhattan male, attractive enough to get most any woman he wants. He knows how to get Marlowe into bed and keep her happily there, but he has a sharp temper and an emotional core buried deeper than even a psychologist would want to dig. The relationship is fitful, playful and exciting, then cold and hostile, swinging wildly about as each tries to figure out what game the other is playing, all the while trying to find the killer to boot. Kwitney deserves credit for not throwing out illogical roadblocks, and there's a refreshing absence of stock best-friend characters. Still, the crime subplot is hardly thrilling: sexy romance with a few welcome twists. (Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
Alisa Kwitney is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Does She or Doesn't She?, The Dominant Blonde, and Till the Fat Lady Sings. Alisa has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and countless comic books from her years as an editor for Vertigo/DC Comics. She lives with her husband and two children in New York City.
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"On the Couch" is cleverly told from two points of view - each chapter is either told from Marlowe's or Joe's perspective. Joe is a recently divorced detective assigned to identify the killer of a prominent businessman who died in an auto-erotic manner. A mis-dialed telephone number brings him to Marlowe, a psychologist who he mistakes for a hooker. Marlowe is also reticent about romance.
She plays along with it for a thesis project on the behavioral effects of disguising one's identity. She meets with him and is taken with how attracted she is to him, Soon she is doing more than research when she actually beds down her "patient/john" and they embark on a full blown affair.
There are so many humorous situations, misunderstandings and so much witty banter between the two of them that the story flows so quickly - you can read it in one sitting (provided you have flight attendants bringing you plenty of soda). It is one of the funniest stories I have read and cannot wait to read the others by this author!
Author Alisa Kwitney tells the story in the first person but shifts the point-of-view between Marlowe and Joe, a literary trick that I sometimes find a bit disconcerting but which works fairly well here. Marlowe and Joe's romance becomes quite steamy at times; Kwitney also handles this well, making the sex scenes a bit explicit yet not raunchy. Overall, I found this book to be a fun, fast read, and a bit different from the usual take on the "chick lit" genre. Although I was slightly disappointed that a few things were left unresolved at the end, this did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel, and I would give it a final rating of 4 1/2 stars.
Marlowe, a psychologist, struggling to start her own private practice, for the past year has been engrossed in work unable to form any emotion bonds with men, and spending most of her free time with her Burmese cat Burt, when suddenly she meets Joe.
Joe a recently divorced NYPD officer is assigned a case that leads him to Marlowe. Under the assumption she is a high class call girl Joe tries to unravel his case. Marlowe decides to let him believe she is a high class prostitute and begin a new research project. Mystery and romance ensue in this sweet and endearing comedy.
Marlowe Riddle is a psychologist. A wrong phone number printed in an ad leads to romance and danger. Marlowe has given up on finding a mate, friend or date of the opposite sex.
Joe Kain is a detective with the NYPD who is investigating a suicide/homicide. He dials the number in a magazine at the site of the death and gets Marlowe. He thinks she is a hooker and she thinks her life is so dry why not play the part over the phone.
Needless to say both are surprised when they meet. Marlowe tries to tell him she is not a prostitute but he is busily following clues, hating the man who kicked him off the Task Force, and recovering from a divorce 6 months ago.
The story is humerous, as well as sensitive, and I thought it was a great way to spend a few hours. I intend to find her other books on Amazon as soon as possible.