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Wednesday, April 21, 2010


by John Verdon - to be released in July 2010

First time author, John Verdon, brings us a solid mystery. Retired NYPD homicide detective, Dave Gurney has moved to a small town in upstate New York with his wife. He spends his time retouching photos of serial killers to bring out their dark side which he sells through an art gallery.

From out of the blue, Gurney hears from an old college friend, Mark Mellery, who has been receiving odd and threatening mail. Never one to pass up the chance to solve a puzzle, Gurney begins to unravel the threats and winds up working with the local police to track down a serial killer.

THINK OF A NUMBER is a good story. The one jarring note in the novel is Gurney's wife, Madeleine. The more you begin to like Gurney's character, the less you like Madeleine. Madeleine is so cryptic and unhappy that she becomes annoying very quickly. She's always going off on her own to enjoy nature and there doesn't seem to be any real connection between the two of them except for past history.

Perhaps this is purposely set up to show the difficulties of having a career spouse retire into a life that is foreign to both of them. By the time the book progressed, I was almost hoping that Mrs. Gurney would become the next victim.

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