Think of a Number by John Verdon
(Dave Gurney, No.1)

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An extraordinary fiction debut, Think of a Number is an exquisitely plotted novel of suspense that grows relentlessly darker and more frightening as its pace accelerates, forcing its deeply troubled characters to moments of startling self-revelation.
Arriving in the mail over a period of weeks are taunting letters that end with a simple declaration, “Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.”  Amazingly, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly.  For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial murder investigation.
What police are confronted with is a completely baffling killer, one who is fond of rhymes filled with threats and warnings, whose attention to detail is unprecedented, and who has an uncanny knack for disappearing into thin air.  Even more disturbing, the scale of his ambition seems to widen as events unfold.
Brought in as an investigative consultant, Dave Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that leave local police in awe.  Yet, even as he matches wits with his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney’s tragedy-marred past rises up to haunt him, his marriage approaches a dangerous precipice, and finally, a dark, cold fear builds that he’s met an adversary who can’t be stopped.
In the end, fighting to keep his bearings amid a whirlwind of menace and destruction, Gurney sees the truth of what he’s become – what we all become when guilty memories fester – and how his wife Madeleine’s clear-eyed advice may be the only answer that makes sense.
A work that defies easy labels -- at once a propulsive masterpiece of suspense and an absorbing immersion in the lives of characters so real we seem to hear their heartbeats – Think of a Number is a novel you’ll not soon forget.

From the Hardcover edition.

About John Verdon

See more books from this Author
JOHN VERDON is a former Manhattan advertising executive who lives with his wife in the mountains of upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels, Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight, are both international bestsellers.
Published June 25, 2010 by Broadway Books. 434 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Think of a Number

Book Reporter

There are times when one wants to reach into the pages and shake Gurney --- a likable enough guy, all things considered --- to remind him to do this or that.

Jul 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Think of a Number (Dave Gurne...

Thick with forensics and tightly plotted scenes that track the segue from fall to winter, the book powers forward on the strength of Gurney’s cool (if ever more exhausted) thought processes.

Jul 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Think of a Number (Dave Gurne...

Pop Culture Nerd

If it were a red herring, it’s a little too obvious and makes me think he thinks I’m stupid.

Jun 25 2015 | Read Full Review of Think of a Number (Dave Gurne...

Savannah Now

Proud of his ability to find answers where others can’t, Gurney sees the killer as being “as logical as he is pathological” and he simply cannot resist trying to best the killer by solving his puzzles… no matter the potential personal cost.

Sep 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Think of a Number (Dave Gurne...

Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

Former detective Dave Gurney is a man trying desperately to be in harmony with himself.

Sep 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Think of a Number (Dave Gurne...

She promotes authors and sets up virtual book tours through Enchanted Book Promotions.

Aug 31 2013 | Read Full Review of Think of a Number (Dave Gurne...

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