Rocklin, CA, United States | Member Since 2004
I came across John Verdon's second book first, "Shut Your Eyes". Half way through, it was so good I headed to the computer to find a copy of the first one, "Think of a Number". Both were so far beyond excellent I even found myself writing a gushing email of appreciation to Verdon himself -- who, like most kindly authors, wrote a very nice reply. Huh!
Those two books were absolutely outstanding -- completely innovative plots, an appealing protagonist with a nasty shrew of a wife (sorry, but she was) so there was someone to hate, as well as a question to ponder: Why would a guy like that put up with this nasty lady? Anyway, I',m delighted to see that now, all three books are available from Audible.
"Let the Devil Sleep" isn't quite as good as the first two -- but that's probably only because the first two were so outstanding. I was disappointed in the ending -- in fact, when I sensed that matters were drawing to a head, I had two hours left. I deliberately saved a block of time so I could listen, uninterrupted, wanting the full impact of the resolution. I wouldn't have needed to do that. It ended with more of a whimper than a bang.
Still, it's a darn good book. The moment Dave Gurney gets involved with that lissome journalism student, you know there's trouble ahead -- I was wrong about what kind of trouble, but not about its intensity. We get more of Wife Madeline, who this time has her shrewish nature tamed a bit, if not her wardrobe. This time, she comes across much more sympathetically -- still moody, ethereal and remote, but her nasty side was kept undercover for the most part. And we get Kim, the nudnik journalism student, who has a way of getting what she wants, no matter what, which is what sets up the story in the first place. Middle aged, retired detectives, really should be more careful about giving in to the pleas of female college students. But then, of course, there wouldn't have been a book and that would be a tragedy.
I recommend this book very highly, and while you don't have to read or listen to the first two first, it would help, if nothing else to see how the characters keep evolving.
Finally, Verdon might consider publishing a book of Madeline's recipes. The dinners she was serving in this one all sounded so good I was drooling over every one -- reminded me a little of Spenser and his Susan. The lady can cook, if nothing else.
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