Crime & Mystery John Verdon Think of a Number

ISBN 13: 9780141048703

Think of a Number

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9780141048703: Think of a Number

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 self-revelation.
 
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 investigation.
 
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 sense.
 
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.

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Review:

David Baldacci Reviews Think of a Number

David Baldacci was born in Virginia, in 1960, where he currently resides. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Baldacci practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., as both a trial and corporate attorney. He has published seventeen novels. Read his review of Think of a Number below:

John Verdon has done something remarkable in his debut thriller, Think of a Number. He has successfully juggled every storytelling ball, character, atmosphere, prose, pace and plot, with the skill and assuredness of a veteran novelist at the top of his game. The writing is haunting and quotable, the twists expertly placed and infinitely plausible, the conjured locations vivid and memorable, the characters full of depth and promise. You can read the book as a game of cat and mouse, a ride of chilling suspense, or a literary repast, since it provides all in abundance. In the novel the set-up provides an intriguing dilemma. A man gets a letter that scares him to death by challenging him to think of a number. That catalyst soon speeds the reader and Verdon’s hero, Dave Gurney, a legendary and now retired NYPD detective, headlong into a mystery of the first order. I’m pretty adept at figuring out these types of stories and while I hit on a few twists before Verdon probably wanted me to, the major ones were stunning surprises. I read the last two-hundred pages in one sitting. I did this for two compelling reasons. First, to find out what the hell was going on. And second, just to enjoy the wonderful writing. Some novelists promise plot and pace and deliver it with lightweight characters and silly dialogue. Others get the characters spot-on but the story is mediocre and predictable. Verdon nails it all in his first novel. The villain is appealingly terrifying, smart and cunning while operating mostly in absentia, and that is incredibly difficult to accomplish. The answer behind the “think of a number” plot, most certainly a disaster in lesser hands, proves clever, winning and eminently believable. Verdon’s protagonist Dave Gurney is one for the ages, and readers everywhere will surely clamor to see this man again. Think of a Number gets full marks from me. And I think it will from you, too. Enjoy.


About the Author:

JOHN VERDON has held several executive positions with Manhattan advertising firms, but like his protagonist, he recently relocated with his wife to rural upstate New York.  Think of a Number is his first novel.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Think of a Number is the chilling debut from John Verdon. It begins with a letter .The letter contains a request - think of a number, any number - and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is that number. When Dave Gurney, retired NYPD homicide detective, is contacted by an old college acquaintance about some startling letters he s been receiving, it is at first little more than a diverting but sinister puzzle. Until the acquaintance is brutally killed. Suddenly Gurney finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that makes no sense. The killer seems to have known his victim intimately. How else was he able to predict his victim s thoughts, even his actions? How did he know his darkest secrets? The killer is smart and he is playing with the police. Gurney needs to be smarter if he s going to catch him, but this seems only to be the beginning. And the killer alone knows where it will end. Think of a Number is the debut from John Verdon and is the first in a series starring the retired detective Dave Gurney. In the tradition of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay, John Verdon s unique high-concept plot and memorable cast of series characters will be a major hit with thriller fans. Subsequent titles include let The Devil Sleep and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Praise for John Verdon: The best thriller I ve read in a long, long time Tess Gerritsen Wow! Totally absorbing, brilliantly written. The best book I ve read this year The Sun John Verdon, a former Manhattan advertising executive, lives with his wife on a small hilltop in upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels are Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141048703

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Think of a Number is the chilling debut from John Verdon. It begins with a letter .The letter contains a request - think of a number, any number - and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is that number. When Dave Gurney, retired NYPD homicide detective, is contacted by an old college acquaintance about some startling letters he s been receiving, it is at first little more than a diverting but sinister puzzle. Until the acquaintance is brutally killed. Suddenly Gurney finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that makes no sense. The killer seems to have known his victim intimately. How else was he able to predict his victim s thoughts, even his actions? How did he know his darkest secrets? The killer is smart and he is playing with the police. Gurney needs to be smarter if he s going to catch him, but this seems only to be the beginning. And the killer alone knows where it will end. Think of a Number is the debut from John Verdon and is the first in a series starring the retired detective Dave Gurney. In the tradition of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay, John Verdon s unique high-concept plot and memorable cast of series characters will be a major hit with thriller fans. Subsequent titles include let The Devil Sleep and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Praise for John Verdon: The best thriller I ve read in a long, long time Tess Gerritsen Wow! Totally absorbing, brilliantly written. The best book I ve read this year The Sun John Verdon, a former Manhattan advertising executive, lives with his wife on a small hilltop in upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels are Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141048703

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Think of a Number is the chilling debut from John Verdon. It begins with a letter .The letter contains a request - think of a number, any number - and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is that number. When Dave Gurney, retired NYPD homicide detective, is contacted by an old college acquaintance about some startling letters he s been receiving, it is at first little more than a diverting but sinister puzzle. Until the acquaintance is brutally killed. Suddenly Gurney finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that makes no sense. The killer seems to have known his victim intimately. How else was he able to predict his victim s thoughts, even his actions? How did he know his darkest secrets? The killer is smart and he is playing with the police. Gurney needs to be smarter if he s going to catch him, but this seems only to be the beginning. And the killer alone knows where it will end. Think of a Number is the debut from John Verdon and is the first in a series starring the retired detective Dave Gurney. In the tradition of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay, John Verdon s unique high-concept plot and memorable cast of series characters will be a major hit with thriller fans. Subsequent titles include let The Devil Sleep and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Praise for John Verdon: The best thriller I ve read in a long, long time Tess Gerritsen Wow! Totally absorbing, brilliantly written. The best book I ve read this year The Sun John Verdon, a former Manhattan advertising executive, lives with his wife on a small hilltop in upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels are Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Bookseller Inventory # APE9780141048703

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Think of a Number, John Verdon, "Think of a Number" is the chilling debut from John Verdon. It begins with a letter.The letter contains a request - think of a number, any number - and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is that number. When Dave Gurney, retired NYPD homicide detective, is contacted by an old college acquaintance about some startling letters he's been receiving, it is at first little more than a diverting but sinister puzzle. Until the acquaintance is brutally killed. Suddenly Gurney finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that makes no sense. The killer seems to have known his victim intimately. How else was he able to predict his victim's thoughts, even his actions? How did he know his darkest secrets? The killer is smart and he is playing with the police. Gurney needs to be smarter if he's going to catch him, but this seems only to be the beginning. And the killer alone knows where it will end. "Think of a Number" is the debut from John Verdon and is the first in a series starring the retired detective Dave Gurney. In the tradition of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay, John Verdon's unique high-concept plot and memorable cast of series characters will be a major hit with thriller fans. Subsequent titles include "Let The Devil Sleep" and "Shut Your Eyes Tight". Praise for John Verdon: "The best thriller I've read in a long, long time". (Tess Gerritsen). "Wow! Totally absorbing, brilliantly written. The best book I've read this year". ("The Sun"). John Verdon, a former Manhattan advertising executive, lives with his wife on a small hilltop in upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels are "Think of a Number" and "Shut Your Eyes Tight". Bookseller Inventory # B9780141048703

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