Friday, April 15, 2011

Jenn's Review: Think of a Number

Think of a Number: A NovelSummary:  Arriving in the mail one day is a taunting letter that ends with a simple declaration "See how well I know your secrets-just think of a number." Eerily,the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly. For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD's top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial-murder investigation. Brought in as an investigative "consultant," Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that have local police in awe. Yet, with each taunting move by his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney feels his tragedy-marred past rising up to haunt him, his marriage approaching a dangerous precipice, and, finally, a dark, cold fear building that he's met an adversary who can't be stopped. ~product description

Review: I received this book through Read It Forward a while back and it has taken some time for it to make it's way to the top of the pile. I was in the mood for a good thriller and this fit the bill.

John Verdon has written a solid story with no discernible errors that debut authors in this genre often make. He juggles the personal life of his protagonist and the multi-layered plot with poise, creating a realistic and engrossing read. Gurney is struggling with retirement and it's affecting every area of his life. So when a case falls in his lap, he jumps at the chance for normality. I loved his characters, and though they were numerous, they were so well defined that they certainly weren't hard to track. They really came alive on the page.

The danger of being a thriller lover is that, after a while, it can seem like there isn't a plot you haven't read before. Such is not the case here. I was as baffled by the case as Gurney and though, for a while I thought I may have worked some of it out, the many twists and turns made me dismiss my theories. In the end I was partially right, but mostly wrong ...and completely enthralled.

Verdon's writing reminds me of a cross between Tana French and Stieg Larsson and some Tess Gerritsen suspense thrown in. The attention to detail is superb but not to the point of distraction. I was delighted to find out that this is the first book in a series.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series, Shut Your Eyes Tight due out July 12, 2011. I highly recommend that you pick this one up so you'll be all ready for book two this summer!

Final Take: 4.5/5



Kathy April 15, 2011 at 10:24 AM  

Nice review. I also read and enjoyed this book, it did seem fresh.
My review is here -

Julie April 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM  

Can't wait to read this one!

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