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Shut Your Eyes Tight by John Verdon - Excerpt

Shut Your Eyes Tight by John Verdon - Excerpt



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When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers – by their smug belief that they could kill without leaving a trace. There was always a trace, Gurney believed.

Except what if one day there wasn’t?

To read more about Shut Your Eyes Tight or John Verdon please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.
When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers – by their smug belief that they could kill without leaving a trace. There was always a trace, Gurney believed.

Except what if one day there wasn’t?

To read more about Shut Your Eyes Tight or John Verdon please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.

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Publish date: Jul 12, 2011
Added to Scribd: Jun 15, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, andincidents either are the product of the author’s imagination orare used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons,living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.Copyright © 2011 by John VerdonAll rights reserved.Published in the United States by Crown Publishers,an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,a division of Random House, Inc., New York.www.crownpublishing.comCROWN and the Crown colophon areregistered trademarks of Random House, Inc.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataVerdon, John.Shut your eyes tight / by John Verdon.—1st ed.p. cm.1. Detectives—New York (State)—New York—Fiction. I. Title.PS3622.E736S57 2011813'.6—dc22 2010053589ISBN 978-0-307-71789-4eISBN 978-0-307-71791-7Printed in the United States of America
Book design by Lynne Amft Jacket design by Superfantastic
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1First Edition

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spbooks_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
If you haven't read any John Verdon yet and you like a good detective crime story you'd better get on to them. I consider him to be one of the best in the genre writing intelligent, intriguing plots with a complex protagonist and a dash of psychology, philosophy, sociology thrown in. You actually learn things while the clever plot unfolds. SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT fulfills every expectation following the first in the series and, while it becomes obvious near the end who the murderer is, it's the getting there that creates the tension. Gurney is a brilliantly rendered character with an inner thought/feeling world that is realistic and reflects the foibles of relationships we all experience at times. These are excellent stories and the next one is definitely on my to-read list!
hiramholliday reviewed this
Only reading through the first chapters it strikes me how the writer succeeds in letting the reader feel good about himself. He does this by letting Dave Gurney prise one of his pupils for her insight in some police matter, while the (intelligent) reader reached the same insight before the pupil did and in this way should feel even better about him or herself.
fmrox reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Retired NYPD detectice Dave Gurney is asked to consult on a local murder of a woman whose head is found cut off on her wedding day.The strained relationship between husband and wife in this sequel sets my teeth on edge. It was like that in the first novel and it's distracting, not enhancing to the story. The plot is interesting even though I knew who the killer was early on. A lot of subplots to get to the main plot and sometimes it moves slowly.
stevealdous reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Both annoying and compelling at the same time. The pace is slow and there are too many longeurs. Although a lot of time is invested in the characters you still somehow feel distant from them. The plot is far-fetched and yet somehow it manages to keep you hooked to the end as it skates a dangerous precipice between an implausible, sensationalist thriller and an absorbing psychological drama. Not sure which description fits best.
ginahill_1 reviewed this
Rated 2/5
I figured out this "whodunit" very quickly. Reading the next 400 or so pages, I kept hoping I had it wrong, especially given that the main character, Dave Gurney, is supposed to be a brilliant detective. Verdon's first book was better.
beamis12 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Finally have finished this book and it is not that I did not like it, I did very much. Itwas sucha detailed layer of threads that needed to untangled, pieces that needed to be inserted. DaveGuerny, retired from the police dept. is asked to look into the beheading of a bride on her wedding day. This book is not told in a particularly gritty manner but more of a following along of the reader as pieces of the puzzle are discovered. Many twists and turns and this is definitely a thinking person's mystery.
jenners26 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Book OverviewDetective Dave Gurney, who readers first met in Think Of A Number, is back with another case—despite promising his wife Madeline that he really was retired after the events of the Mellery case. However, the reality is that Gurney is not cut out for retirement and a quiet life in the country. He needs a challenge and a puzzle to keep life interesting. So when an old colleague requests his help on a case, Gurney is easily drawn back into the fray.Although the case appears to be open and shut, the police have been stymied for months. The facts seem cut and dry: At her wedding reception, a young bride is found beheaded in the cottage of the live-in gardner just before the congratulatory toast. Based on where the murder took place, it seems obvious that the gardner is the murderer—especially since video footage from the wedding accounts for everyone else’s whereabouts and the bride was seen entering the gardener’s cottage moments before the toast. Although the police have identified the murder weapon and the perpetrator, the gardener seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.As Gurney gets drawn into the case, he begins to discover that things (including the bride and her groom) aren’t quite as they seem. In fact, it seems that Gurney may have stumbled onto a much larger conspiracy that involves a possible serial killer. Besides the case of the beheaded bride, the book also focuses on Gurney’s increasingly strained personal life and an unexpected development in his art career.My ThoughtsI read Think of A Number last year—drawn in by the seemingly “impossible” scenario. I ended up being intrigued by Gurney and the tragic back story hinted at in the first book. So when I was offered this book for review, I jumped at the chance to read it. After all, it featured another “impossible” case—plus I wanted to get to know Gurney more. Unfortunately, I think Verdon suffered a bit of a sophomore slump as this book didn’t grab me as much as his first one.Part of the problem has to do with the sprawling and complex plot. Verdon seems determined to create another puzzler that leaves readers scratching their heads, but the scenario just isn’t as compelling in this book. In a way, this book sets up a classic “locked room” mystery. However, with almost no cast of characters to get to know and investigate, readers must rely on Verdon to provide the clues and plot developments instead of trying to puzzle things out on their own. This led to a less active reading experience. In addition, the plot got so convoluted and complicated that I started to lose the core of the story. In fact, thinking back now, I would have a hard time explaining to you exactly what happened!In addition, the relationship between Gurney and Madeline wasn’t as fully developed as it was in the first book. In fact, Madeline was barely present in this book—often just passing by as Gurney was doing his stuff. I was also bothered by some of the decisions that Gurney made and his choice to keep critical information from Madeline. It seemed inconsistent with their relationship.Despite my complaints, Shut Your Eyes Tight isn’t a horrible book. Readers who enjoy mysteries and thrillers would probably like it, and it is well-suited for a summer read (lots of thrills; not too much thinking). However, it is uncharacteristically long for these types of books—clocking in at just over 400 pages. Still, I wouldn’t write off Dave Gurney and John Verdon yet. Think of A Number was Verdon’s first book, and I think it is common for authors to have a bit of a slump in their follow-up, especially when pressured to come up with another “impossible” scenario for their super-detective.
ronrose1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
John Verdon has done it again. In this his second book featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney, Verdon has once again fashioned a suspenseful, tale full of twists and a clever plot that will have you rushing through the pages trying to keep up with Gurney and get one step ahead of the killer. Getting one step ahead is going to be hard as the victims have all been found with their heads cut off. The first victim, was a young woman whom her mother described as a self centered, uncaring, sexually abused and abusive witch. This head case had just married her former therapist, the head of a local sexual therapy institute for abused young women. Immediately following the marriage ceremony, which was fully video taped, the bride is found in a small cottage on the property, sitting in a chair, her head cut off and placed on a table facing her body. After months of fruitless police investigating, retired detective Gurney is hired by the victim's mother, who wants to find Hector Flores, the man suspected of killing her daughter. Flores proves to be as hard to find as a winning lottery ticket. It will take all of Gurney's investigative expertise, experience, and wily skills to solve this case as the heads continue to roll. This book provided for review by the Amazon Vine program and the well read folks at Crown Publishing.
jennybateacher reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I so enjoyed Shut Your Eyes Tight! Dave Gurney, a former NYC detective, is such a wonderful character. He's been enlisted to look into a grizzly murder that remains unsolved. He is non-committal but gets sucked in the more he learns. Yep, I know the feeling Dave, I got sucked in right along with you! There are so many creepy psychological twists and turns, every time I thought I was sure I knew "who dun it" something else came along to change my mind. Absolutely LOVED this book!
dsdmd reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Mr. Verdon's style of writing consists of a mystery to be solved by retired super detective Dave Gurney and the well developed personal side of Det. Gurney and his private life. When I read his first novel, I don't think I really got this. The book was slower paced than I normally like and I looked at this as a negative. This time I got it. The mystery is good and Det. Gurney with his analytical mind sees things that others don't. He loves solving puzzles. Sometimes it is believable and sometimes it is not but it is entertaining. I thought I figured the mystery out (and in the end I was right) but there were enough twists and turns that I doubted my conclusion at times. Interwoven into the mystery, however, is the very personal story of the day to day lives of him and his wife, Madelaine. Both characters are likable but so different that they are not particularly likable together. I find her a bit selfish where he is concerned. In this personal side of his books, he develops the characters very well. His descriptions of places, people, and things puts you there, and they are believable. On the mystery/crime side, he develops characters and scenerios that are evil. I look forward to Dave Gurney, No. 3.

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