Shut Your Eyes Tight, by John Verdon

Shut Your Eyes TightFinished 8-7-11, rating 4/5, mystery, 528 pages, pub. 2011

Second Dave Gurney thriller

What are you thinking?” he said.

She smiled and frowned, almost at the same time.

“I’m thinking life is short,”she said finally, in the way of someone who has come face-to-face with a sad truth.

“And therefore…?” he prompted, trying to break through her strange mood. 

She seemed to be weighing his tone, his words.  Just as he concluded she wasn’t going to answer him, she did. 

Just as he concluded she wasn’t going to answer him, she did.  “Therefore we’re running out of time.” She cokced her head-or maybe it was a tiny involuntary spasm-and regarded him curiously.

Chapter 14

Dave Gurney, retired NYPD detective, is trying to stay retired, but having a hard time relishing his new life in the country.  It’s been a year since he was pulled out of retirement for a case and it almost cost him his life and marriage.  Now a new case has been dangled under his nose and he rises to the bait and goes to work on another seemingly impossible murder.  A woman is murdered on her wedding day at her reception.  Not just murdered, but decapitated while more than a hundred wedding guests lived it up, oblivious to the horror.  Dave can’t resist, much to the consternation of his wife, Madeleine, and takes the offer from the murdered woman’s mother.

I really liked the first one and I really liked this one.  Dave Gurney is the man you want to hire if a crime has been committed and you want answers.  He is a brilliant detective.  I liked the initial impossibility of the crime and I didn’t completely figure out the how until the end.  I liked the continued look into the marriage of Dave and Madeleine, although Madeleine got on my nerves a bit in this one, but only for a little while.  I think Verdon is very skilled at fleshing out a character which doesn’t always happen in a thriller.

There was a lot going on in this one and lots of characters I wanted to know more about, but even though the book was over 500 pages it wasn’t long enough to get to know more about some of the more interesting characters.  Maybe we’ll run into them in a later book.  I do think the story could have been tighter.  I had to stop a few times to try to wrap my head around everything that was going on.  I did figure out the murderer and related mystery before the halfway point, so maybe part of my enjoyment came from feeling smart when I turned the last page.  One of the main storylines involved sexual depravity and it wasn’t something I really enjoyed, but it did keep me reading.

I thought this was a solid follow-up to Think of a Number.

I received this Uncorrected Proof for the TLC Tour.  Visit these other bloggers who shared their thoughts about this thriller.

John Verdon’s  TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, July 11th:  Life in Review

Wednesday, July 13th:  A Bookworm’s World

Thursday, July 14th: Simply Stacie

Monday, July 18th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos

Wednesday, July 20th:  Books Like Breathing

Monday, July 25th:  Thoughts of Joy

Tuesday, July 26th:  Stiletto Storytime

Wednesday, July 27th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts

Friday, July 29th:  Colloquium

Monday, August 1st:  Cafe of Dreams Book Review

Tuesday, August 2nd:  My Random Acts of Reading

Thursday, August 4th:  Life.. with Books

Monday, August 8th:  Stacy’s Books

Wednesday, August 10th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques

Monday, August 15th:  Rough Edges

Wednesday, August 17th:  Bewitched Bookworms

Thursday, August 18th:  Rundpinne

Monday, August 22nd:  Book Junkie

Wednesday, August 24th:  Readaholic


13 thoughts on “Shut Your Eyes Tight, by John Verdon

  1. Marce says:

    I didn’t realise this was a follow up, need to read the 1st then, i’m very intrigued. I may not enjoy if I figure out the murderer and the over 500 pages. At a wedding though, wowsa, sounds great.

  2. Jenners says:

    You liked it a little more than I did … but I just so enjoyed the premise of the first one. I too had a hard time keeping the plot straight in my mind. Glad I wasn’t alone with that!

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