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Voice is the hallmark of a great writer, and I loved John Verdon’s riveting Shut Your Eyes Tight from page one, because I fell in love with his voice.
Yes, the plot is a humdinger, too, with a bride turning up dead on her wedding day, whereupon former NYPD police detective Dave (“Don’t call me Davey”) Gurney is called out of an uneasy retirement to investigate the crime and find the killer. Gurney’s been settling into a country life in the Catskills, trying to force himself to think about mulch and bulldozers, but it ain’t working out so great. His superbly-drawn (if realistically tart-tongued) wife is hoping they can spend more time together, but Gurney is a “natural-born onion peeler” and he can’t sit on his hands when murder strikes in nearby, ritzy Tambury.
Gurney starts digging, asking thoughtful questions, and interviewing the society types who knew the bride, and soon his dining room table is covered with notes and gruesome crime-scene photos that his wife wishes weren’t around when dinner guests arrive. Yet Gurney persists, seeking the truth in his quiet, self-assured way.
The plot comes to life on the first page, but as I say, what keeps the pages turning is the pitch-perfect, intriguing voice of this “hero,” a term I know that Dave Gurney would hate. He’s super-smart, but the last one to brag. He loves his wife, but he doesn’t get all mawkish about her. He’s haunted by the death of his young child, but he doesn’t even say that aloud. Even his diversions are fascinating; you’ll never forget his theory of “The Eureka Fallacy,” a lesson in police analysis that applies to your everyday life. And he goes about serving justice, despite all the personal costs at home, with a care and concern that you realize, by the end, is characteristic.
I know that you’ll want to hear more from Dave Gurney and this amazingly talented author, John Verdon. I can’t wait for his next book.
So glad I read a review on another book that was so bad and he mentioned this author, so I took a chance and read his first, second and fixing to buy the next book.Published 6 days ago by P. Batten
An excellent follow up to "Think of a Number", John Verdon's debut novel. The plot is convoluted and imaginative, the characters well fleshed out, and the pacing quite... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Stevan C. Adelman
I was expecting to give this book 5 stars based on my experience with two of Verdon's other books: "Think of a
Number" (almost perfect) and "Let the Devil... Read more
This serpentine sequel to Verdon's debut novel featuring Dave Gurney is a humdinger of a story that is going to cause mystery and thriller buffs many sleepless hours of the night... Read morePublished 15 days ago by N. Bilmes
David Gurney is becoming one of my favorite lead characters. Vernon does a great job with him and these books are like potato chips - I'm always ready for another!Published 15 days ago by matttto
Of the three Dave Gurney books I've read - this one is the best. The character is more fleshed out more real. Read morePublished 16 days ago by TerrBear
Well written, but.... a very dark tale, so not exactly my cup of tea. Spoiler alert... I guessed the perp way too early... why is it always the..........?????Published 21 days ago by gardenburd
John Verdon's 2nd book in the Dave Gurney series is a wonderful addition to this catalogue. I have read all 4 of the Gurney novels and they got better and better each and every... Read morePublished 22 days ago by PerryMartinBookReviews