New York Daily Herald crime reporter Kate Murray is on probation after misidentifying a drug-dealing murder victim as Harvard-bound; NYPD Detective John Finn has terrors of his own after narrowly escaping a fatal shooting (``Nothing else looked right to him. It was as if someone had moved all the furniture four inches to the left''). They're both so lonely and ready for love that they'd be a natural team to go after the killer of inoffensive nurse Margaret Severing--if they weren't always measuring their loyalty to each other against the need to protect their jobs. As Kate chases leads on the killer, Sinatra-loving doper Dominick Donatti keeps calling her, claiming to have seen the trigger-man--Gusano, the enforcer who'd broken Dominick's finger--but Kate, convinced he's ``Loon of the Week,'' keeps ducking him, turning amusingly lunkheaded Dominick into her worst nightmare. Newsday reporter Tyre's first novel shores up its turbulent romance with angry intensity on the details of big-city crime and a compelling account of the deepest obsession of police officers and crime reporters: staying employed and, if possible, alive.