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Think of a Number: A Novel by John Verdon

Think of a Number: A Novel

by John Verdon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dave Gurney (1)

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1,13910210,317 (3.65)80

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English (78)  Spanish (10)  Catalan (5)  German (3)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  All languages (102)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Excellent! Well written.. You can't help but try to figure out 'how it's done'... and when the author reveals it, he does so in such a way that you enjoy it -- whether you'd figured it out or not. ( )
  LaurieGienapp | Dec 8, 2017 |
Given a range of 1-1000, which number would you choose if prompted, "Think of a number...?" How would you react if a total stranger could correctly guess that number on the first try? Amazed and scared? That's the premise behind this psychological thriller and it was very entertaining. If you like a book with a little intellectual "oomph," you will enjoy this one. Although I guessed the villain before the end of the story, I was stumped on how he pulled off the trick. Everything is explained and it makes sense. Detective Dave Gurney is brilliant but has his own demons in hiding, and they make an appearance in this case. I will investigate other books by this author! I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was rather bland, but I won't hold that against the author. :) ( )
  Brava10 | Nov 25, 2017 |
I found this book really intriguing. The primary character is Dave Gurney, a former city homicide detective now retired and living in a small town with his wife Madeleine. Gurney is contacted by an old friend from college, Mark Mellery, who has recently received some disturbing letters in the mail. The letter writer asked him to pick a random number from one to a thousand. After Mellery did so, he opened a second envelope containing that same number, predicted by the author of the letter. Mellery asks Gurney’s help to investigate and figure out how the letter-writer accomplished this. After Mellery is found murdered, Gurney is brought in to the investigation as a consultant, hired by the district attorney.

The puzzles provided by the killer and the way Gurney figures them out is complex and interesting. I certainly didn’t foresee the answers, although I do admit I had a suspicion who the killer was. Most of what I liked about this book was the way the characters were written. The author did an excellent job even with the minor characters in the book. None were cookie-cutter, all were interesting and at times cliché-defying. I especially liked the character of Jack Hardwick. My only complaint is that yet again, there is a female spouse who is passive-aggressive. (What is the relationships of these crime fiction authors like with the women in their lives that they write women like this so consistently?) Madeleine is hard to dislike however, as she has many positive traits as well. If anything her character is a little too complex, because I never did get a handle on where she stood about anything.

All in all I enjoyed the book immensely, and I will definitely be picking up Verdon’s next book. I’m hoping he’ll continue with these same characters, but if not I look forward to a whole new story.
( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Dave Gurney is a 40-something retired homicide detective living in rural upstate New York with his wife. He is a quiet introspective “inside” type guy while his wife Madeleine is an outdoorsy extrovert. She’s hoping to rebuild their relationship now that his stressful and time-consuming career is a thing of the past. They also have some unresolved issues from a tragedy in their past.

But being a detective is in his blood and much to his wife’s dismay, Gurney is drawn into the investigation of an intricate scheme of blackmail and murder when the police department asks for his help in solving the case.

This novel is the first in a series and much of the narrative is spent getting to know the characters. Gurney and his wife are smart and complicated and the tension in their exchanges gives them a depth not often seen in a typical murder mystery. It made me want to get to know them better. The mystery is clever and unique and while the resolution isn’t perfect (for all his brilliance Gurney can be a little slow sometimes!), the ending was a page-turner that kept me up way past my bedtime.
( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I'm liking it, even though so far everyone in the book is stressed out and depressed... in a low key, atmospheric sort of way. But the puzzle that Dave Gurney is trying to solve has definitely got me intrigued.
Appparently this was Mr. Verdon's first novel and I am impressed by how he handles the prose, the narrative. It's not his last novel and I suspect I'll read his subsequent works. ( )
  devorah_fox | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
...If this sounds like the kind of head-scratching setup that would get Sherlock Holmes off his cocaine, it’s not the last similarity between the Victorian sleuth and his contemporary counterpart. Gurney has the same precision, logic and thirst for clarity...Dave Gurney is off to a good start too, no matter where his “retirement” takes him. His creator is obviously very comfortable in the genre already. Now he just needs to break from the pack a little more.

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Verdonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Guerrero, JavierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luoma, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Recently retired after a prestigious career with the NYPD, homicide detective Dave Gurney is pulled back into service when an old college friend receives threatening letters from a murderous sender who has an uncanny ability to read a person's thoughts.
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Recently retired after a prestigious career with the NYPD, homicide detective Dave Gurney is pulled back into service when an old college friend receives threatening letters from a murderous sender who has an uncanny ability to read a person's thoughts.… (more)

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