Shut Your Eyes Tight (dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel

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Shut Your Eyes Tight (dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel

by John Verdon

Crown Publishing Group | July 12, 2011 | Hardcover

Shut Your Eyes Tight (dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel is rated 4.3333 out of 5 by 3.
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?


Dave Gurney, a few months past the Mellery case that pulled him out of retirement and then nearly killed him, is trying once again to adjust to his country house’s bucolic rhythms when he receives a call about a case so seductively bewildering that the thought of not looking into it seems unimaginable—even if his beloved wife, Madeleine, would rather he do anything but.

The facts of what has occurred are horrible: a blushing bride, newly wed to an eminent psychiatrist and just minutes from hearing her congratulatory toast, is found decapitated, her head apparently severed by a machete. Though police investigators believe that a Mexican gardener killed the young woman in a fit of jealous fury, the victim’s mother—a chilly high-society beauty—is having none of it. Reluctantly drawn in, Dave is quickly buffeted by a series of revelations that transform the bizarrely monstrous into the monstrously bizarre.  

Underneath it all may exist one of the darkest criminal schemes imaginable. And as Gurney begins deciphering its grotesque outlines, some of his most cherished assumptions about himself are challenged, causing him to stare into an abyss so deep that it threatens to swallow not just him but Madeleine, too.
Desperate to protect Madeleine and bring an end to the madness, Gurney ultimately discovers that the killer has left a trace after all. Unfortunately, the revelation may come too late to save his own life.

With Shut Your Eyes Tight, John Verdon delivers on the promise of his internationally bestselling debut, Think of a Number, creating a portrait of evil let loose across generations that is as rife with moments of touching humanity as it is with spellbinding images of perversity.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 528 pages, 9.51 × 6.48 × 1.62 in

Published: July 12, 2011

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307717895

ISBN - 13: 9780307717894

Found in: Mystery and Suspense

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid sophmore novel Mr. Verdon has once again written a wonderful escapist piece that does not disappoint for those readers who enjoy trying to solve the puzzles themselves. Admittedly, the transition from Think of a Number is a bit choppy for the first few chapters. The best part of this series are the adult, realistic (imperfect but not cliche) characters that fill the pages. Just wonderful!
Date published: 2012-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely, positively terrific book! Verdon brings back his early-retired NY police detective Dave Gurney, still at the top of his game, who lives out in the idyllic countryside with his not so happy wife, Madeleine. But Gurney is having a hard time wrapping his mind around the fact that he isn't doing what he does best any more - tracking down the really bad guys. So he lectures at the police academy and tries to seem reluctant (to Madeleine) when he's offered a job consulting on a horrific murder. There are predatory women, chopped off heads, footprints that disappear, coyotes that come and go, sex addicts, the official police investigators who have failed in four months to make any progress in solving the crime, and an ingenious adversary. This is a book I will keep and read again at some point. I love the puzzles Verdon presents us in his books and the in-depth characterization. I savored each and every word and very much look forward to his next book.
Date published: 2012-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good new series to get your hands on! Verdon is back with his second book, Shut Your Eyes Tight, featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney. But retired may be a misnomer for Dave. He and wife Madeleine moved to the country, settling in on an idyllic piece of property. Madeleine is happy, but Dave is restless. In the first year, Dave was asked to 'consult' on a case. He agreed, but working again took it's toll on both Dave and the marriage. When old friend Detective Jack Hartwick stops by to 'visit' and just happens to mention a tantalizing case that could use Dave's insight, he finds himself inextricably drawn in....yet again... A young woman has been murdered at her wedding reception in a truly horrific manner. Held on the grounds of her own home, she went into the gardener's cottage to ask him to attend. Jillian never came out and the gardener can't be found. Gurney takes on the case, drawn deeper into an ugly world that goes much further than 'just' the one murder. And he does so, knowing that his wife will not be happy. "His acceptance of the case would prove that his obsession with solving murders, even in retirement, was intractable and that their future together would be clouded. His rejection of the case, on the other hand, would signal a changed, the first step in his transformation from a workaholic detective into a bird-watching, kayak-paddling nature enthusiast. But, he argued in his imagination, as though she were present, black-and-white options are unrealistic and lead to lousy decisions, because by definition they exclude so many solutions. In this instance the most tenable course would surely lie in a middle ground between black and white. He would accept the case, but with a strict time limitation - say one week. Two weeks maximum." I loved the enigmatic character of Madeleine in the first book and have come to appreciate her even more in this second novel. She says volumes without uttering a word. Verdon has done a fantastic job with this character. I find this secondary storyline and exploration of their marriage and relationship just as engrossing as the mystery. And the mystery is good. What sets Dave Gurney apart is his careful, analytical mind. It is intriguing to follow along with his thought processes as he links together seemingly disparate incidents and clues. "The thing of it is, the whole damn case is like that. Everyone connected with it is either a genius or a lunatic or...a pathological liar or...I don't know what." As I said when I reviewed Think of a Number, I wasn't sold on Dave Gurney. I still haven't embraced him as a character I can say I really like, although we are shown a little more of what makes the man tick this time. But this isn't a bad thing at all. Verdon has created an interesting, flawed protagonist that doesn't fit a mold. Just as Gurney is unable to resist the pull of an unsolved case, I am hooked by Verdon's characters and writing. I am very much looking forward to the next chapter in Dave Gurney's life.
Date published: 2011-07-13

– More About This Product –

Shut Your Eyes Tight (dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel

by John Verdon

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 528 pages, 9.51 × 6.48 × 1.62 in

Published: July 12, 2011

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307717895

ISBN - 13: 9780307717894

From the Publisher

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?


Dave Gurney, a few months past the Mellery case that pulled him out of retirement and then nearly killed him, is trying once again to adjust to his country house’s bucolic rhythms when he receives a call about a case so seductively bewildering that the thought of not looking into it seems unimaginable—even if his beloved wife, Madeleine, would rather he do anything but.

The facts of what has occurred are horrible: a blushing bride, newly wed to an eminent psychiatrist and just minutes from hearing her congratulatory toast, is found decapitated, her head apparently severed by a machete. Though police investigators believe that a Mexican gardener killed the young woman in a fit of jealous fury, the victim’s mother—a chilly high-society beauty—is having none of it. Reluctantly drawn in, Dave is quickly buffeted by a series of revelations that transform the bizarrely monstrous into the monstrously bizarre.  

Underneath it all may exist one of the darkest criminal schemes imaginable. And as Gurney begins deciphering its grotesque outlines, some of his most cherished assumptions about himself are challenged, causing him to stare into an abyss so deep that it threatens to swallow not just him but Madeleine, too.
Desperate to protect Madeleine and bring an end to the madness, Gurney ultimately discovers that the killer has left a trace after all. Unfortunately, the revelation may come too late to save his own life.

With Shut Your Eyes Tight, John Verdon delivers on the promise of his internationally bestselling debut, Think of a Number, creating a portrait of evil let loose across generations that is as rife with moments of touching humanity as it is with spellbinding images of perversity.

About the Author

JOHN VERDON’S first novel, Think of a Number, featuring detective protagonist Dave Gurney, was an international bestseller, soaring to the top of bestseller lists in twenty countries. Currently, John lives with his wife in upstate New York.

Editorial Reviews

“Taut and suspenseful…Verdon is in top form as he lays out the twisty mechanics of the crime, creating an agreeably sinister villain…A strong follow-up to the author’s wildly entertaining debut.”--Washington Post

“The crime is grisly and the cop is complicated. A nice combination.”--New York Daily News

“For anyone who loves a good puzzle, John''s Verdon''s SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT is the easy answer.”--CNN.com

"Verdon, who hit a home run with his debut novel, THINK OF A NUMBER, has now nailed another one."--Booklist (Starred review)

"Absorbing complications, perfect pacing and a conflicted protagonist (endearing for his introspection)...The author''s insight, which imbues the story with tremendous humanity, make this a must-read for thriller fans who enjoy tales that are not only gripping but believable." Library Journal (starred review)

"Verdon follows THINK OF A NUMBER, his sensational debut featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney, with this standout sequel, set a year later. [The elements:] a bizarre, high-profile murder…an apparent impossibility involving the murder weapon, and once again…a relationship in crisis."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
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