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White River Burning

Dave Gurney
Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Series: Dave Guerney, Book 6
Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (98 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"It’s always a pleasure to watch a keen mind absorbed in a difficult puzzle, which is how Dave Gurney distinguishes himself in John Verdon’s tricky whodunits." (The New York Times)

"Verdon’s novels, now read in twenty languages, feature serpentine plots, heightening suspense, skillfully developed characters, and a rich sense of place." (Booklist, starred review) 

Tensions have been running high in White River as it approaches the anniversary of a fatal shooting of a black motorist by a local police officer. The economically depressed, racially polarized city is on edge, confronted with angry demonstrations, arson, and looting. In the midst of the turmoil, a White River police officer is shot dead by an unknown sniper. As the town spirals out of control, local authorities approach Dave Gurney to conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.

The situation in White River becomes truly explosive as more killings occur in what appears to be an escalating sequence of retaliations. But when Gurney questions the true nature of all this bloodshed, and zeroes in on peculiar aspects of the individual murders, his involvement is suddenly terminated. Obsessed with evidence that doesn't support the official version of events, Gurney cannot let go of the case. Despite intense opposition from the police, as well as from dangerous fanatics lurking in the shadows, he begins to uncover an astonishing structure of deception - learning that nothing in White River it what it seems to be.

White River Burning is the most provocative and timely book yet by the author hailed by The New York Times as "masterly."

©2018 John Verdon (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Layers upon layers...

The bodies pile up in this one! For anyone who hasn't read any of John
Verdon's previous books, his protagonist (Dave Gurney) is a retired NYC detective. He's moved to upstate NY to get away from his previous life and lifestyle because he was an obsessive detective who could not let a case go without solving it. His wife (Madeline) wanted a husband she could grow old with and not fear for his life daily. It doesn't work out quite the way she had hoped.
Verdon's books are all stand alone but if you've never listened to anything written by him I would suggest listening to THINK OF A NUMBER first, only because I think that is the best book he has ever written!
Gurney is what every victim wants in a detective, he doesn't give up.
This book starts out going in one direction but all is not what it appears. When the police and the DA decide they have the person responsible for a racially motivated crime Gurney doesn't agree and is fired. He is the only one who sees that they have tunnel vision and can't see beyond what what a killer wants them to see. Eventually he's proven right and back on.
Christopher Lane does an excellent job narrating.
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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Excellent.

Timely and gripping. Rivals Think of a Number. My second favorite John Verdon book. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Confusing

This book was confusing with too many characters and subplots to keep up with. Not nearly as good or interesting as Wolf Lake. I love Dave Gurney but this may be the last I listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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McGuffins, Blind Alleys, & Misdirection Galore

Like all of John Verdon's novels, this one was so extraordinarily good, I kept being torn between never wanting it to end, and wanting it to end immediately just to end the exquisite tension that Verdon so masterfully creates.

I'm looking forward to the screen adaptation of Think of a Number. It will be interesting to see who the studio picks to play Dave Gurney. My vote would go to Liam Neeson.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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another great John Verdon book

This book is excellent. The author addresses the political and social issues that have divided this country since the most recent presidential election. A great read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Mystery

Great Mystery that I listened to endlessly. Kept me guessing right to the end. Astonishing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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ripped from the headlines

It doesn't matter whether or not this book is a cynical ploy or well-meaning effort to tap into current events and old anxieties: the results are the same. The book is almost unbearably tedious, despite having inherently interesting events taking place. The tedium comes from the ham-handed effort to echo the rhetoric generally heard on combating talk show networks, planting the familiar inflammatory verbiage in the empty vessels of representative characters. The ostensible protagonist pretends to a neutral stance, simply questioning the zeitgeist, but is obviously a well-meaning empathetic soul amidst a town with an amazing number of right-wing nutjobs.

So this isn't drama, but dogma, not prose but pedantry. There are some good lines scattered throughout the book, but none of them is original; it's more like eavesdropping on a cocktail party full of relatively well-read people mouthing their favorite pieties.. . . and is just as predictable and boring. While it is possible to write topical fiction about current events, I recommend checking out TC Boyle and letting this guy stew in his own juices for a while.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David F.
  • 07-22-18

I wish choosing my next book was as easy as this every time

I’m not one for writing a review, I listen easier than I offer an opinion, and I have listened to many many books. Having read (by ear) so many books I’m starting to struggle to find my next read (I started and failed to finish my last two). THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE. As soon as I pressed play i found it difficult to stop. It’s not your normal cop/murderer read where you can guess the likely finale. Having listened to the previous titles (which you must do chronologically) I can really see in my mind every regular character, particularly Jack....no spoilers. This is an author that is as addictive as nicotine.... only not as harmful!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith
  • 09-10-18

Excellently written thriller

I have enjoyed the previous books in this series and would recommend them. This one I found a bit more challenging. Not because of the plot or the writing but because of the smooth voiced narrator. He is so smooth I found it hard not to drift off and lose concentration!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Annie
  • 08-16-18

Yet another excellent Dave Gurney story

I have listened to several Dave Gurney books and have enjoyed them all, but I think this is one of the best. Apart from the details of (sometimes) gruesome murders that need solving, I also enjoy the domestic details of Dave and Madeleine's lives and the rapport between them is well described, as is the scenery around their home. Usually, the books are read by the excellent Jeff Harding, but Christopher Lane did as good a job. Can't wait for the next one !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LH
  • 04-30-19

<br />

Great story as usual, look forward to then next book.
Good narration adding to the enjoyment

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-19

Enjoyed it once again

Once again have enjoyed another Dave Gurney crime mystery. Wishing there where more. Well done.