he heard a sound that raised the hairs on his neck...very close to his ear...harsh and sibilant.
'Let the devil sleep.'
John Verdon's books have the most interesting main character - at least I think so. His name is Dave Gurney and he's known as the most decorated homicide copy in New York Police Department history. Dave is now retired and he lives in upstate New York with his wife, Madeleine. Let the Devil Sleep is the 3rd book in this series, and I was completely caught up in listening to the story over the last few days. The audio is read by Robert Fass, who does an excellent job.
Dave is still recovering mentally and physically from the events that occurred in a previous book. And he is still trying to convince himself that he is indeed retired. The daughter of a journalist friend contacts him and asks for his help as a consultant on a documentary that she is making about a notorious serial murderer, The Good Shepherd. In actuality, the film is about a series of interviews that the young woman has done with the family members of the victims. It's been 10 years and she is interested in checking in on what she calls "the orphans of murder". Dave agrees to talk with her and almost before they meet some very bizarre things start happening.
The Good Shepherd was never caught, even though the police and FBI have analyzed and theorized the case extensively. Six people were murdered and then the killings stopped. Endless files have been generated and for 10 years, nothing. Dave Gurney digs into the case and starts wondering, what if the whole premise that the authorities worked on is flawed? The killer sent a kind of manifesto to the police and so the guesses and theories have related back to that document. But...what if?
Gurney is hard to know. He seems emotionless and he kind of forgets that others exist when he is in the midst of his thought processes. He seems to take his wife, Madeleine, for granted, but she keeps his physical world spinning and also provides a grounding factor when Dave goes off on his thought tangents. In previous books, he has been estranged from his son, Kyle. However, Kyle is brought into this book and we get to see them interact and indeed make significant progress in their relationship.
I like going through the process with Gurney. I like his tortuous mind as he sifts through the clues and tries to imagine what and who and when and, especially, why. Dave Gurney is a detective. He is really, really good at being a detective. He's not a people person and he manages to make a lot of law enforcement people upset with him, but his mission is clear. Stop The Good Shepherd, because that individual has not gone away and they should have 'let the devil sleep'.
If you'd like to read the first book in the Dave Gurney series, it is Think of a Number.