Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Peter Pan Must Die by John Verdon

Dave Gurney is back in this fourth installment of John Verdon's series.

It's been just a few months since Gurney helped solve the Good Shepherd case. Just a few months since his consulting led to Jack Hardwick's forced retirement from the NYSP. Jack has been left with something of an axe to grind over the whole thing and Gurney is well aware that he owes him. So when Jack approaches him with a new plan, Gurney has little choice but to go along. 

Jack is set on starting up as a PI and he has his eye on a high profile case as his first. Kay Spalter was convicted of killing her husband, Carl, and is serving a life sentence. Jack has inside information proving negligence in the investigation and, with the help of a top-notch attorney and Gurney, plans to get the case overturned. As Gurney begins to investigate, it becomes clear that there are definite questions about Kay's guilt and the case against her. With mob links, corrupt cops, and a seriously dysfunctional family at the root of the case, Gurney has plenty of leads to look into. Strangely, though, one unidentified person keeps appearing at every turn. Is this the real killer? And if so what is the motive behind Carl Spalter's murder?

John Verdon is a master at creating whip quick puzzlers! Gurney, dubbed a super cop, has excellent observation skills - skills that fortunately don't come across as over the top. It's quite easy, as a reader, to follow his train of thought and the various details to his conclusions.

In Peter Pan Must Die, Jack is something of a roadblock. He's determined to prove negligence - a clear effort to enact some revenge on the very people who penalized him for bringing Gurney in on their former case. And yet, as Gurney begins to find clues suggesting Kay Spalter's innocence, Jack seems almost unwilling to listen. He's not out to prove her innocence, he's out to prove the guilt of the police!

I love the interactions and relationships between Gurney and the other characters. The tension between him and his wife over his continued involvement in investigations in spite of his retirement (which is actually quite accepting on her part). Gurney's feelings about Jack, "it's complicated" about sums it up. There's a definite care and attention in the development of the characters in this series that I appreciate as a fan.

I kind of feel like the Dave Gurney series is one that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. I really do recommend checking it out, even if you dive in with this latest, as Verdon has created something here that rivals the best of the mystery/thriller genre!

Per Blogging for Books requirements: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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