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Sé el que estàs pensant by John Verdon
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1,0621017,895 (3.66)78
Member:lluisanglada
Title:Sé el que estàs pensant
Authors:John Verdon
Other authors:Esther Roig Jiménez, David Fernández Jiménez, Mercè Santaularia Campillo
Info:Barcelona:Proa
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:***
Tags:negra

Work details

Think of a Number: A Novel by John Verdon

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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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 |
Masterfully done. Despite many other (Franky more urgent) calls for my attention, I couldn't put this down for long. Verdon created suspense well before the first victim died, and built it carefully and effectively...and kept it building for 350 pages, without once over reaching.
I'm eager for his next book. ( )
  shadowdancer | 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 |
This an interesting first novel which takes a very traditional crime conundrum (effectively a locked-room murder although it happens out in the open) and runs with the theme in modern day America.

The key investigator is a retired police detective, famous for bringing down serial killers in his time but now struggling to come to terms with life after work in an unfamiliar rural environment. The result is a clever combination of Agatha Christie era mystery and modern day police procedural/thriller -- and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Readers who relish extreme violence and very fast plots might not like 'Think of a Number' quite so much. It's vaguely marketed to suggest that it's past of the slash-and-burn school of crime fiction. In fact it's rather more considered than that and the mystery unfolds at a gentle rate. The author, a mature chap who rather reflects his protagonist in many ways, takes his time to develop both his characters and the plot. The awkward interactions between the detective and his wife ring true, and cast shadows through the whole investigation.

That's not to say that this is a dull book -- far from it, and it has its fair share of bumpy moments where different officers, politicians and top brass trip over each other. The intricacy of the core plot is unusual, too, and kept me guessing for an awful long time...

Just don't be put off or misled by the slightly strange prologue, seen from the killer's point of view. That really does feel out of place, as if the publisher insisted on a bit of freaky weirdness right at the beginning. You could skip the first pages and not miss it in the least!

Think of a Number is an interesting introduction to a new character and from a new author. Definitely worth trying, although the follow up, Shut Your Eyes Tight is a little less successful.
8/10 ( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (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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Book description
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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