The most decorated homicide detective in NYPD history, Dave Gurney is still trying to adjust to his life of quasi-retirement in upstate New York when a young woman who is producing a documentary on a notorious murder spree seeks his counsel. Soon after, Gurney begins feeling threatened: a razor-sharp hunting arrow lands in his yard, and he narrowly escapes serious injury in a booby-trapped basement. As things grow more bizarre, he finds himself reexamining the case of The Good Shepherd.
Mocked even by some who'd been his supporters, Dave realizes the killer is too clever to ever be found. The only gambit that may make sense is also the most dangerous - to make himself a target and get the killer to come to him.
©2012 John Verdon (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Verdon...shows there's much more that can be done with the serial killer plot in his breakneck, knockout third Dave Gurney whodunit.... The tension is palpable on virtually every page of a story that perfectly balances the protagonist's complex inner life with an elaborately constructed puzzle." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
This is one of those cases where I wish there were "half" stars. The story was engrossing, but the resolution a tad disappointing -- when compared with John Verdon's previous two books (which is why I did not give it the full four stars). Still, I will recommend the novel. The main character continues to be believable and extremely likeable in his cold, analytical approach to life. The mystery is a good one -- if a tad more "normal" and expected than Verdon's previous books. The announcer is an improvement over Scott Brick who over-dramatized the second (and best, in my opinion) novel by this author. I will still look forward to his next book with anticipation. This one suffered only in comparison to his previous two.
To get a better idea of my background. I am a working class white male in my forties. I love good fiction, and I love smart books. I have drifted towards a lot of European writers like Reginald Hill, Val McDermid.,Etc....
A little disappointed in the previous reviews that praised this book. If I was to have read it - Maybe I would have finished. Maybe...... The voices used with these characters were so grating on my nerves - It hurt to listen. 20+ year old girl sounded like a Twelve year old. Every female voice was annoying. The characters all sounded like they were exaggerated beyond normal. It was very hard to relate with or empathize with anyone in this book. I can't believe I would prefer Scott Brick x 3 over the narrator in this book. The book was slow. The time line for a couple of plots seemed off.
I don't like writing bad reviews - But I hate bad books even more
The plot was creative and very detailed. The least interesting part of this story was the dragging out the story. It seemed it would never end, when it was obvious it should have ended long before it did.
OMG! The narrators are terrible! Made this book completely unbearable to listen to. I was down to about the last 10 minutes and I wanted to quit! It just didn't make sense to do so after suffering through the majority of it.
Gurney and Kim!
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Yes, I can find one flaw in this, the third book I've read so far in the Dave Guerney series by John Verdon. Right after I finish this review I would have downloaded the next… and that is the flaw. Apparently it's only available in Swedish! Damn!!! Well, in fact, that book really is a translation of the second in this series, "Shut Your Eyes Tight". Yep, it's flawed-up that this is the last currently available in the Guerney saga.
Yesssss…. I guessed correctly at an important part of the killer's methodology, but I wasn't sure until the hot ending that packaged it all tight. Verdon weaves relationships into his plot with the precision of Persian rug maker. While it's not necessary to succeed in the mystery genre to create multi-dimensional characters, Verdon shows how it can be done (at least with the key people)… and maybe should be done, more often. Guerney's personal flaws are believable, sympathetic, and important to each of the stories.
This is a dark series, all built around procedural puzzles. Must you suspend disbelief? Well of course. Must you accept the improbable? Only if the author's talented enough to make you. Verdon's got that kind of talent.
Oh, and Robert Fass is a magical actor. His voice CREATES each distinct character in this book. Forget nit picking, he neither brings a nit to the table nor leaves any to pick at.
There's a "however"… Start this series from the top with "Think Of A Numb3r". let The Devil Sleep" isn't as much a novel as it is the third part of a rewarding epic.
Come-on John… Gimme the fourth in this series… FAAAAST!
I haven't, but he is one of the best if not the best narrator I have ever listened to.
Just an outstanding book read by an amazing narrator.
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