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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.
Another enjoyable read with a few twists. Although the relationship between Dave and Madeline has its flaws, I do like them and appreciate their individual passions - Dave's for... Read morePublished 18 days ago by KFG
This is a new author for me and I loved this novel. The plot starts with a beheading that is at first inexplicable. Read morePublished 1 month ago by lady lily jeep
Very good in most parts,, but sometimes detective unbelievably stupid and wife annoying. That said, kept my interest.Published 1 month ago by Caroline1
I liked the way it was written. I prefer a mystery as to the guilty one which has to be solved by the detective, rather than knowing from the beginning. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Colleen
Unlike the first of the Dave Gurney books by John Verdon, this one had very few repetitive paragraphs. The story moved quickly and relentlessly to a shocking end. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Icydog