“When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers – by their smug belief that they could kill without leaving a trace. There was always a trace, Gurney believed.
Except what if one day there wasn’t?
Dave Gurney, a few months past the Mellery case that pulled him out of retirement and then nearly killed him, is trying once again to adjust to his country house’s bucolic rhythms when he receives a call about a case so seductively bewildering that the thought of not looking into it seems unimaginable—even if his beloved wife, Madeleine, would rather he do anything but.
The facts of what has occurred are horrible: a blushing bride, newly wed to an eminent psychiatrist and just minutes from hearing her congratulatory toast, is found decapitated, her head apparently severed by a machete. Though police investigators believe that a Mexican gardener killed the young woman in a fit of jealous fury, the victim’s mother—a chilly high-society beauty—is having none of it. Reluctantly drawn in, Dave is quickly buffeted by a series of revelations that transform the bizarrely monstrous into the monstrously bizarre.
Underneath it all may exist one of the darkest criminal schemes imaginable. And as Gurney begins deciphering its grotesque outlines, some of his most cherished assumptions about himself are challenged, causing him to stare into an abyss so deep that it threatens to swallow not just him but Madeleine, too.
Desperate to protect Madeleine and bring an end to the madness, Gurney ultimately discovers that the killer has left a trace after all. Unfortunately, the revelation may come too late to save his own life.”
I think it’s a rare case when the sequel to a book simply blows the first book in a series away but that is just what John Verdon’s newest book in the “Dave Gurney” series has done for me. While I genuinely enjoyed the first book in the series Think of a Number, this next volume is on a whole new level. There is a sophistication to the writing, a depth of detail and plot that simply seem to excel above the first book which was an international bestseller itself. Verdon seems to always keep one step ahead of his readers…keeping us guessing…on the edge of our seats…everything a thriller should do. I myself am not usually a reader of thrillers so for me to enjoy one this much is praise indeed.
I am glad Verdon chose to continue Think of a Number and it’s main protagonist into a series. Dave Gurney is a worthy character and within this second chapter in his life we really get to know more of the man including the amazing way his mind works. Just the intricate details of how he connects things is fascinating in itself for me as a reader. Also there is no doubt John Verdon will have most of his readers hooked from the very first page of this novel as he draws you into the bizarre and somewhat disturbing mind of a killer. The nature of the crime that draws in Dave Gurney is also what will draw in readers and keep them reading through the first few chapters.We simply need to know what happened….and isn’t that the gist of a great book?
Want to check out the first book in the “Dave Gurney” series? Check out my review of Think of a Number here. Also make sure to follow the TLC Book Blog Tour for Shut Your Eyes Tight here.
One lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of Shut Your Eyes Tight. Giveaway ends midnight EST August 5, 2011. US/Canada addresses only please. The winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!
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What is your favorite thriller novel or author and why?
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