David Baldacci was born in Virginia, in 1960, where he currently resides. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Baldacci practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., as both a trial and corporate attorney. He has published seventeen novels. Read his review of Think of a Number below:
John Verdon has done something remarkable in his debut thriller, Think of a Number. He has successfully juggled every storytelling ball, character, atmosphere, prose, pace and plot, with the skill and assuredness of a veteran novelist at the top of his game. The writing is haunting and quotable, the twists expertly placed and infinitely plausible, the conjured locations vivid and memorable, the characters full of depth and promise. You can read the book as a game of cat and mouse, a ride of chilling suspense, or a literary repast, since it provides all in abundance. In the novel the set-up provides an intriguing dilemma. A man gets a letter that scares him to death by challenging him to think of a number. That catalyst soon speeds the reader and Verdon’s hero, Dave Gurney, a legendary and now retired NYPD detective, headlong into a mystery of the first order. I’m pretty adept at figuring out these types of stories and while I hit on a few twists before Verdon probably wanted me to, the major ones were stunning surprises. I read the last two-hundred pages in one sitting. I did this for two compelling reasons. First, to find out what the hell was going on. And second, just to enjoy the wonderful writing. Some novelists promise plot and pace and deliver it with lightweight characters and silly dialogue. Others get the characters spot-on but the story is mediocre and predictable. Verdon nails it all in his first novel. The villain is appealingly terrifying, smart and cunning while operating mostly in absentia, and that is incredibly difficult to accomplish. The answer behind the “think of a number” plot, most certainly a disaster in lesser hands, proves clever, winning and eminently believable. Verdon’s protagonist Dave Gurney is one for the ages, and readers everywhere will surely clamor to see this man again. Think of a Number gets full marks from me. And I think it will from you, too. Enjoy.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
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