Monday, July 30, 2012

Let the Devil Sleep - John Verdon - Review AND Giveaway

I was lucky enough to be an early reader (and fan) of John Verdon's debut novel - Think of a Numb3r. (my review) I love getting in on the ground floor of a new series. His second book - Shut Your Eyes Tight (my review) - was just as good and proved that Verdon wasn't a one book wonder. The latest book in his Dave Gurney series - Let the Devil Sleep - was fantastic! John Verdon just gets better and better.

Retired NYPD Homicide Detective Dave Gurney has spent the last six months recovering from gunshot wounds sustained during his last attempt to bring down a serial killer. Yes, he's retired - but can't help himself - puzzles intrigue him and unsolved cases still call his name. He had the highest solve rate in the NYPD's history when he retired.  But this time, he just can't seem to shake things off - he's out of sorts, short tempered with his ever patient wife Madeleine, can't stop worrying about his lingering symptoms and has no interest in doing anything. When Connie, an old journalist friend contacts him to ask a favour, he agrees out of a sense of obligation. Her daughter Kim is doing a series of interviews with families of the victims of a serial killer dubbed The Good Shepherd. Ten years ago, the killer targeted the wealthy, specifically those driving black Mercedes. The case remains unsolved and Kim would like to have him look over what she's doing with his cop's eye and give her feedback.

But a lot occurs in that one day - there's more going on with Kim than she initially mentioned. And the interviews and files on The Good Shepherd pique Gurney's interest. It is Madeleine who notes that Gurney has done more in a day than he has in months - and he's not worrying about his symptoms every five minutes. Slowly, but surely, Dave is hooked again. He believes the initial investigation was flawed.

In the beginning of the series, I wasn't sure what I thought about Gurney. But, as the series grows, so
does Dave. This time out, we get to meet his son Kyle, with whom Dave has a difficult relationship. Verdon explores this dynamic well, letting us get a view of Gurney beneath the controlled exterior. Gurney's enigmatic wife Madeleine continually intrigues me. Her love of nature, colour and life are in stark contrast to Gurney's pursuit of killers. What makes this marriage work? Verdon allows to see into this relationship a little more every time.  Madeline is still my favourite supporting character. Another recurring character is Detective Jack Hartwick. The testy relationship between Jack and Dave is entertaining. I did find it hard to warm up to Kim; I found her to be manipulative and self centered.

So, the characters are great. What about the plot? Well, this is where Verdon shines. The plotting is impeccable, complex and devious. There are two plot lines running simultaneously - could they connected?  Gurney's reasoning and thought processes were fascinating. I enjoyed the matching of wits between the FBI, their psychologist consultant and Dave. We get to reopen the case with Dave as he explores past files. However, the past is not content to stay buried and the tension, thrills and stakes are heightened as the killer puts Dave squarely in his line of sight. I had absolutely no idea whodunit until the last few pages. I love not being able to figure out the case until the end.

Just a great series. You could read any of the books as a stand alone, but I bet you'll be hunting down the other two!  Read an excerpt of Let the Devil Sleep.

You can find John Verdon on Facebook.

See what others on the TLC tour thought. Full schedule here. And thanks the great folks at Crown Publishing, I have a copy of Let the Devil Sleep to giveaway. Open to US and Canada, no P.O. boxes please. Simply leave a comment (and a way for me to contact you) to be entered. Ends August 25/12.

24 comments:

Linda said...

It's been awhile since I read a good detective thriller, and I have a friend who will also love this book. thanks for the giveaway.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Please count me in, sounds like a page turner!
Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com

traveler said...

A great suspense thriller. thanks.s aaubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

e-mail. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Thanks for featuring this intriguing book. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a very well crafted thriller! I need to check this author out!

Karen B said...

I love a good thriller and this one sounds very intriguing!

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Carl said...

It seems we've found a great author with a big career ahead of him. Please enter my name for a chance to win John's newest.
carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Nancy said...

Love thrillers. This one sounds promising.

nanze55 at hotmail dot com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

What a wonderful sounding book

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

lag123 said...

I have not heard of this series. It sounds really good!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Martha Lawson said...

I have been hearing such great things about this author and his books! I would love to be entered to win. Thanks for the chance.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

techeditor said...

It sure would be great to read this--the author is new to me.

bethvollbach(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Thanks

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed his other books.
molly.bishop@live.com

kat said...

I love detective books. looking forward to reading it.
kat_emerick@yahoo.com

Margie said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Maureen said...

It looks like a good series.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I love it when a series gets better and better with each successive book!

Thanks for being a part of this tour!

Michael Draper said...

Please put my name in the entry group. This sounds like a book I'd like.

Mike Draper
dmd311@cshore.com

Jessica To said...

This sounds interesting to me. Thanks for the chance.
reklaw422 at hotmail dot com

Daniel M said...

love complex plots, sounds great! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Piero G. said...

Terrific review. Let The Devil Sleep has all the qualities of a great detective thriller. An edge of the seat page turner that keeps you up until that last page is read. Add my name for this great giveaway.

Anita Yancey said...

He is a new author to me, but his book sounds amazing and I'd love a chance to read. it. Thrillers are my favorite books to read, and this one just sounds so good. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Darlene said...

This sounds like an awesome series, and I'm adding it to my Wishlist!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com