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Saturday, 25 July 2015

John Verdon - Think of a number

john verdon - think of a number (your choice your life your death) this book was reviewed on the bookshow by corinna and the reviews for it online were good, so i thought i'd give it a go.  It was written in 2010 & he has since written more.
it is a crime book and first for this author.  it starts off slowly with retired NYPD homicide detective Dave gurney being contacted by an old college friend who was receiving some strange letters.  He hasn't seen or heard from this friend Mellery, for over 20 years but Gurney had become a kind of celeb in the NYPD and the media for solving some big crimes.  He was a smart cop.  The letters consist of some strange cryptic poems, sinister but also almost mind readingly accurate.  When asked to think of a number the number Mellery thought of was the one predicted in the sinister letters.  The letters became more threatening. Gurney told his friend several times to go to the police but Mellery didn't think he had enough reason to, all he had were a few crank letters and he didn't want the police trampling all over his property where he lived and ran his rehab clinic.  There were some rich clients using his clinic.
When Mellery is found dead with another poem stuck to his chest the police are brought in and Gurney is obviously questioned.  This begins his involvement as more poems turn up and the same perp is linked to older crimes further afield.  He can't turn away from it as he pits his wit against this very clever serial

killer, which causes a rift with his wife.  She blames his job for their family tragedy and doesn't want him coming back out of retirement to be absorbed once again in policework which takes over his life.
It's a good enough book and towards the end you can start to join the dots.  I was miffed that they didn't follow one of the more obvious leads straight away, that it was dismissed, which wasn’t in keeping with this smart cop. Also, his wife seemed smarter than him in solving clues at times. There seemed superfluous stories around the story, which for me didn't help, didn't mean anything.  An older son from another marriage, pops up now and again - why, it doesn't enhance the story?  Gurney, as a new to crime character, wasn’t as endearing as JK Rowlings ‘Cormoran Strike’.
But this aside it was a good whodunnit

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