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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Let the Devil Sleep by John Verdon



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.

16 comments:

  1. I enjoyed Think of a Number - I didn't realize it was the first of a series! I have some catching up to do.

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    1. Yes, the second book is SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT or something like that and then there is a fourth as well - something about Peter Pan.

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  2. I've not heard of this author, so thanks for sharing, Kay! Dave Gurney sounds like an interesting character.

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    1. He is interesting. Kind of that whole clueless to emotions but really observant about little anomalies in the crime scene. And his whole thinking process is something I enjoy. Maybe not everyone would. ;-)

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  3. I haven't read anything by John Verdon, but this sounds interesting.

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    1. I've really liked all 3 I've read. There is a 4th out as well.

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  4. me too! ,-)

    thank you for the suggestion.

    gentle hugs, Tessa~

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tessa.

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  5. I think that I have this author's books on my TBR list (not quite sure to be honest) but I will for sure now thanks to your review. I am a sucker for a good thriller so I'm adding Think of a Number to my TBR list. GReat review!

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! I hope you'll enjoy THINK OF A NUMBER.

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  6. I'm partial to Dave's wife. :-) I really like her character.

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    1. I like her too. She is good for him.

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  7. I really like this series, and Dave, as well. Thanks for reminding me that I never read the one after this!

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    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to the next one - something about Peter Pan.

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  8. I've only read the first two and I wasn't that impressed with Shut Your Eyes Tight. I have absolutely no recollection about the plot, but according to my review, I gave it a 2.5/5 rating. However, my library has this new book available on audio, so I've added it to my queue. Third time's a charm? ;)

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    1. I'll have to go back and read your review. Honestly, I only vaguely remembered much about Shut Your Eyes. There were references in this book that helped me recall. I think that Dave and his people are not for everyone.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!