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From the Publisher
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
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
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
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.