Monday, July 18, 2011

Where's My Bookmark: Think of a Number by John Verdon

Morning all. Happy Monday! You know I can't stand Mondays, so here's hoping that this one turns out to be atypical and as non-Monday-ish as possible. Maybe it'll be like a Tuesday.

I'm preposting at the moment, so by now my bookmark has hopefully found a new home. The past few weeks have definitely been slow reading weeks, though, so who knows!

As I write this, I am quickly working my way through John Verdon's debut Dave Gurney thriller, Think of a Number. When it was released last July, Think of a Number brought with it blurbs and recommendations from some of the best in the thriller business. I'm not kidding. Authors the likes of Tess Gerritsen, David Baldacci, and Nelson DeMille (to name a few) all lent their names to promoting Verdon's first book. I'm midway through the book right now and it's easy to see why so many have rallied behind Verdon.

Dave Gurney is a retired cop with a reputation as one of the best. When an old college acquaintance contacts him requesting help with a mystery of his own, Gurney is curious enough to agree. Mark Mellery is an inspirational guru with some secrets in his past. Now someone is sending him threatening letters and Gurney believes it will escalate. Then Mellery is murdered and the cops on the case ask for Gurney's help in solving the crime.

The mystery is a puzzle in itself, a plot point that alone would drive just about any mystery/thriller fan to finish in order to figure it out. But that's just one part of what's so enjoyable about this book. The pacing, always key in any thriller, is perfect: Gurney's discovery of clues and revelations about the crime come about very organically -- nothing seems forced or premature. It's a well thought out story.

I should mention that this is the first in the series. This is good because Gurney and his wife, their relationship, even the issues with Gurney's son, which haven't been completely revealed at the point I am in the story, all of these are things that the reader is learning along the way, making Gurney a lead that you want to know more about. Someone you want to read and get to know through future installments.

Think of a Number is now out in paperback. Book two, Shut Your Eyes Tight was released July 12.

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