An audiobook can only be successful if the listener gets wrapped up in that narrators rendition. For me, this was not the case. Shut Your Eyes Tight was narrated by Scott Brick and I would say that book was better than this one for the sole purpose of the narration. It was hard to tell when one voice or conversation ended and another began so I did get thrown off at probably some key points. There are times where he tries to shake it up a little bit and add a different voice or tone here and there, but he doesn't keep it consistant so I found myself saying..Who is this now? I was getting aggitated by his voice and had to shut it off and take some deep breaths. It's bad when the review isnt about a book at all, but about narration. I don't need a Hollywood production, but I do have to find the reading pleasant and at least interesting. He is boring. Thru and thru. Be careful with this one. You might be better buying the paper novel and listen to the audio with the other 2 in this series.
This is an excellent murder mystery/thriller with clever plot twists. It is well written and well constructed with great character development.
The story takes off when Mark Mallory receives a letter along with a telephone call, from a man he doesn't know, asking him to think of a number, any number, between 1 and 1000.... Mark chooses a number at random without any meaning to him.... In the letter, the sender had enclosed a smaller envelope with a slip of paper in it that had that specific number written on it. Mark is shocked! Is the caller/sender of the letter preparing to blackmail Mark? Mark has secrets that he doesn't want to come to light.
Mark is scared and doesn't understand how the sender of the letter knows so much about him that he knew Mark would choose that specific number. Mark goes to his old school friend, Dave Gurney, a retired police detective, and begs for his help.
Gurney can't help but take up the challenge after Mark is found murdered. Is it blackmail? or something more sinister. The killer continues to use the mail, number tricks and poems to strike fear in the victims before they are murdered....Gurney and the police are always several steps behind trying to make sense of the clues until Gurney's deductive skills and plain perseverance catches a break.
I won't say any more because it would definitely be a plot spoiler. The killer is very clever but he's no match for Gurney. George Newbern is a great narrator but he had trouble differentiating voices. However, the story is well written so his narration is good enough.
From almost the beginning, this book hooked me.
When you need a book to keep you involved, like on a long car trip for instance, this could be it. I was not able to stop listening--had to know how the "tricks" were done. A recently retired detective is trying to help out a friend who has received threatening letters which contain poems for clues. The first "mind reading" clue is one I thought about for hours--never solving it, of course. I had to wait until it was revealed, and even then I wondered if it could be done--can't say more so as not to give any spoilers.
Bottom line on this one is--not great literature--but fun for what it is supposed to be.
Recommended for mystery fans, or anyone who likes a good puzzle.
No, I love mysteries!
I guess I don't know if the performance was the problem, I just got tired of it.
Kneel Before Zod!!
The story and great narration.
Dave Gurney, he was very interesting.
A more than one, hard to say without giving away points of the story.
This novelists spends very much more time with murky, unbelievable "psychology" than with the plot as such. It is very hard to see where the story is going, while we are asked to agonize over the inner feelings and uncertainties of just about every character in the story. OK for compulsive worriers, but not much use for ordinary readers (listeners).
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
I really, really wanted to like this book. I tried. I finished it despite know, halfway through, that it would not get better for me. That's unfortunate as it's not terrible, the narrator is passable, the characters aren't unlikable. But there is no spark to it. And if nothing else, a story about an inventive killer should be mystical, it should envelop the reader in a shroud of wonder and excitement. None of that is here. If any book I've ever read felt like it was written by a committee, this was it.
To begin, the main character receives a call from an old college friend. This man has received a message that seems to have read his mind. Later (and I mean much later, the opening of this book dragged on forever) there is a brutal murder committed in a way that makes no sense (snowy footprints disappear in the middle of a field) and the killer seems to be playing a long game against the cops. It all sounds very clever. There are two issues.
The first is that there is very little action. Most of the book is people sitting down and examining and discussing and discussing again. It takes hours for something new to happen. The main character doesn't even seem to be very engaged in the murders or the investigation. He has troubles at home and by the end of the book there hasn't even been any resolution to those troubles.
Then there's the issue with the mystery. It's not very mysterious. I figured out how the killer did everything about hour six. The book is 13 and a half hours long. So that was over 7 hours of waiting for the characters to catch up to me. It was an aggravating way to read a book. Without action, this book of constant examination on matters I'd already deduced seemed just stupid.
I wanted to like it, as I love detective stories. And I don't need a mystery to be unendingly clever. It can be very simple (like the wonderful Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo). But this book rests entirely on the brilliance of a killer who - actually - isn't that brilliant. It's not bad. But you can do better.
I liked the character, the story and the reader. Thoroughly enjoyed the book. So much so that I already downloaded John Verdon's second novel. Yes, some of the clues come together in rather unbelievable ways -- but most actually seem feasible. What's best is that you are given the puzzle pieces at the same time as the detectives, so you can figure out the puzzle right along with them. The reader is not a character himself (like, for example, I am guessing Scott Brick will be in the second novel) -- he never detracts or distracts. Good job.
This book deserves all the praise it's been getting. The story grabbed me right from the beginning. It is intelligent, very well written, strong character development, and a plot that is entirely unpredictable (at least so far: I haven't finished yet). The narration is terrific. I have already recommended this book to about ten people. Verdon is a master.
I stopped after listening to a little more than 2 hours of this book. It did not hold my interest as the reader did not put inflection in his voice or feeling in his characters. I listen to the samples each time I buy a book but it seems that whoever selects the samples finds a good part and uses that. I would like a sample that starts with the first page of the book. If the reader and/or book does not grab me after a few pages I will continue to look. If you buy something at a store and it isn't what you think it is, you can return it. This book isn't what I thought it was. How do you get your credit back? And does anyone from customer service actually read the comments?