Sunday, October 03, 2010


Author: John Verdon
Genre: Thriller, Dave Gurney Series #1
Published: 2010
Personal Rating: 4.5/5 (excellent)
Yearly Count:  88

From the back of the ARC:
Arriving in the mail one day is a taunting letter that ends with a simple declaration: "See how well I know your secrets - just think of a number." Eerily, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly. For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD's top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial-murder investigation. Brought in as an investigative "consultant," Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that have local police in awe. Yet, with each taunting move by his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney feels his tragedy-marred past rising up to haunt him, his marriage approaching a dangerous precipice, and, finally, a dark, cold fear building that he's met an adversary who can't be stopped.

I loved this book. After a few false starts, due to books coming in from the library holding system and eBooks that swept me away, I finally was able to sit back and read this book in its entirety.   Verdon has some serious skills; this did not read like somebody new to the game.  Woo!

Gurney's character was examined through his role as a retired homicide detective, husband, father and son. He had many layers, and I liked him - a lot.  He's smart.  :)   Gurney's wife played an interesting role in the story line, and I liked her, too. They definitely were more of a serious couple - not much humor happening there. However, it worked.  And, it worked well.

The story line was intriguingly creative. I loved the puzzling components and being alongside Gurney in the process of solving them. I was able to figure out a couple pieces to the puzzle, but that wasn't disappointing, because there was so much to decode that my pieces were light weight.

Turning the pages rapidly was a natural response for this thriller, but oddly enough, I wanted to slow down and savor it.  I think Gurney's introspective, calm nature made me want to patiently take it all in and figure it all out.  That takes some great writing to pull that off.  Ohhh, I hope this is the first in a series.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope.

My thanks go to Shelf Awareness and Read It Forward for sending me an ARC.


  1. Anonymous5:38 PM

    I'm with you, Joy. I hope this is the beginning of a series.

  2. Now I think I must read this one. A friend recently read it and hated it!! Oh decisions, decisions!!

  3. I must read this sounds sooo good! The summary instantly drew me in and I'm off to check if my library has this one now. Great review!

  4. Wow, it sounds like you've found a great new author! I can't wait to read this book.

  5. Kay ~ Ohhhh!!! I jumped for joy when I saw it was YOU! Thank you so much for commenting.

    Usually I go for the sarcastic or humorous lead character and he is so not that, but I really like that man.

    Staci ~ It usually is the other way around! Most people love something and I don't. This feels kind of fun being on the other side. :) If you read it, I hope you love it.

    Samantha.1020 ~ It is soooo good! Can't wait to read your thoughts.

    Bermudaonion ~ Oh yes! I definitely want more.

  6. I have this in my tbr pile and am so looking forward to it. Glad to see you give it a 4.5!!!!

  7. Nicola ~ I hope you thoroughly enjoy this book. It's a keeper for me!

  8. You've piqued my interest, Joy! Just added it to my TBR list/notebook. Thanks, my dear!

  9. Les ~ I can't imagine you not liking it. How much you like it is another matter. :)

  10. Ooo! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I hope to get to it soon. It sure does sound good.

  11. Literary Feline ~ I think you'll like it, too. I'll be watching for your review.

  12. So glad to see you liked this one so much. It's already on my nook, so it's just a matter of when I'll get around to reading it.

  13. Suzi ~ My "best reads" list is a little on the wimpy side this year, so I am so happy that this one came along. I hope you find it a winner, too.

  14. Anonymous11:06 PM

    I think we felt very similar about this one. I loved the relationship between Gurney and his wife. It leaves plenty for another book!

  15. Stacybuckeye ~ I'll have to come by and read your review. I think I'll do some basic research to see if he is working on his next book.

  16. WOO HOO HOO!

    I just read in two interviews that Verdon is contracted to write two more books with Gurney and his wife as the main characters. He is currently writing the second in this trilogy (at the very least)!


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