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Let the Devil Sleep (Dave Gurney, No. 3): A Novel

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Dave Gurney is back

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 ...
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!

posted by Twink on July 30, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Quite slow plot development. I was spoiled by Vernon's Think of

Quite slow plot development. I was spoiled by Vernon's Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight. This third in the Dave Gurney series yawned in comparison to his first two. It was not enthralling and failed to capture the intensity as the other books.

posted by P-king on November 24, 2012

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dave Gurney is back

    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!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Verdon Scores Again

    Slowly recovering from his injuries sustained in his previous case, Dave Gurney is sucked into a new case. It starts out as a favor, then becomes therapy and finally an obsession. For the reader it becomes harder and harder to put it down. The plot, the character development and the writing are excellent. If you like well written, suspenseful mysteries, this a read for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    The best yet by John Verdon! I could not put it down.

    The best yet by John Verdon! I could not put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2012

    There was a large cast of characters and lots of overlapping sto

    There was a large cast of characters and lots of overlapping storylines, but they all revolved around the Good Shepherd case and Kim’s interviewing the families for RAM-TV, kind of a cross between Fox News and TMZ. There was so much going on and I loved the fast pace of the book.
    I love this series and highly recommend it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Excellent!

    His best book yet! I hated for it to end. His characters are well developed and continue to grow with each new book. He is maturing as a writer. I'm ready for the next one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    AWESOME!!!!

    It was amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In his third appearance, retired NYPD detective David Gurney pr


    In his third appearance, retired NYPD detective David Gurney probably wishes he never answered the telephone. By doing so, he ends up in a most precarious situation when a journalist who had written a laudatory profile of him when he was a top homicide detective asks him to look over her daughter’s shoulder. The daughter has a chance to have her thesis idea converted into a TV series: “Orphans of the Murder,” a series of interviews with the families of the victims of a killer known as The Good Shepherd. The homicides had taken place a decade earlier.

    Gurney reluctantly agrees, but then becomes more and more involved in the case, which he believes was mishandled in the original investigation. Of course, as he continues to look into it and raise questions, he makes no friends in the establishment, especially the FBI which had assumed control of the case. And complicating his efforts is the Good Shepherd’s attempts to forestall and kill the TV series.

    The novel begins as Gurney is slowly recovering from three gunshot wounds, one to his head, as a result of his last exploit. And, of course, no Gurney story would leave him uninjured as a result of his determination to solve a case. While the plot is logical and straightforward, a lot of the writing is repetitive, especially Gurney’s relations with his second wife, Madeleine, and his son, Kyle. That said, the story moves forward at a swift pace and has an unforeseen conclusion, and it is highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2012

    Quite slow plot development. I was spoiled by Vernon's Think of

    Quite slow plot development. I was spoiled by Vernon's Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight. This third in the Dave Gurney series yawned in comparison to his first two. It was not enthralling and failed to capture the intensity as the other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Author John Verdon¿s third novel, LET THE DEVIL SLEEP, is compri

    Author John Verdon’s third novel, LET THE DEVIL SLEEP, is comprised of many interesting elements—a compelling story, a population of vivid characters, and an opaque and dangerous plot whose literary waters only become clearer in the novel’s closing pages. All the earmarks of a fabulous read! For me, however, above all else, is the character of David Gurney and how he developed from the debut novel, THINK OF A NUMBER, navigating his way through SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT, and finally culminating with LET THE DEVIL SLEEP.

    In this third of a series tracking down serial killers, main character David Gurney—a highly decorated, retired NYPD homicide detective—reluctantly agrees to take a young television reporter under his wing as she interviews survivors of the victims targeted by The Good Shepherd, a vicious serial killer. This novel is about two journeys—finding the killer and Gurney finding himself. A very good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    This is the 3rd in a series about retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney. Like the others, the plot grabs you and has you trying to figure out who the killer is, and you can't put the book down until you've finished it. John Verdon is an author who can enthrall and tantalize. This is a must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2012

    Good Read!!

    I like John Verdon. He writes well with good characters and plenty of action. However, his plots are not always first rate. His first book (Pick A Number) was his best. Dave Gurney is a methodical ex-detective who always figures it out, and I just love his interaction with Hardwick. I enjoyed this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    This series reveals more and more about this character.

    If you have read the other books by this author, you'll enjoy this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I learned something this week: John Verdon is a heck of a writer

    I learned something this week: John Verdon is a heck of a writer. I read
    LET THE DEVIL SLEEP in two days, which is saying a lot, because it's a
    BIG book, running 449 pages. It was just hard to stop. This is Mr.
    Verdon's third novel, and third in the continuing adventures of retired
    NYPD homicide detective Dave Gurney. And now, God help me, I'm going to
    have to find and read the first two, THINK OF A NUMBER and SHUT YOUR
    EYES TIGHT. LET THE DEVIL SLEEP begins with Gurney at home, lamenting
    the gunshot injury that ended his career, when he's asked to help a
    passionate young journalist with a TV project. Ten years earlier, you
    see, a killer calling himself the Good Shepherd blasted six people off
    the highway and was never caught. The journalist, a young lady named Kim
    Corazon, plans to interview the families of the victims to examine the
    toll the killings have taken on their lives. Gurney isn't much
    interested until it appears someone is trying to scare he and Kim off
    the project, and the FBI is stonewalling all attempts to get details of
    their failed investigation. When he's pushed, Dave Gurney pushes back,
    and pushes hard. He's soon committed not only to assisting Kim, but
    reopening the ten-year-old Good Shepherd case, and finding out where the
    FBI went wrong. We meet some great characters here: Another ex-cop
    driven more-than-half mad by his obsession with the Shepherd. A
    psychoanalyst whose stellar reputation is threatened by the reopening of
    the case. A couple of detectives who still value truth over propriety.
    And family members of the Shepherd's old victims, some angry and some
    despondent, but all still struggling to brings their shattered lives
    back into balance. LET THE DEVIL SLEEP is above all a mystery novel,
    but John Verdon's explorations into Dave Gurney's character and
    relationship with his wife, his son, and his fate make this a powerful
    novel as well. Bottom line: I'm now a Verdon fan. I'll be eagerly
    awaiting his next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Love Detective Dave Gurney!

    This series is awesome. I read the first three books back to back and can't wait for the next one to be published.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    WONDERFUL SERIES

    This author is an excellent writer...I have enjoyed all three of his books and am waiting impatiently for the fourth. I am a teacher and well-versed in literature and believe me when I tell you that these books could be described as literature.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Good Author

    I'm very happy to have discovered John Verdon. It isn't often that someone comes onto 'the scene' as fully-fledged as Verdon has; while things certainly mature with each book, refreshingly, his writing hasn't really needed to, it was already good with his first book. Having said this, what I would love to see is some growth and movement in Gurney's relationship with his wife. He remains, throughout all three books, rather boorish and combative in most transactions with her, creating an interactive flatness for me that simply makes me wonder why it would ever be that she would stay with him. I'm getting a little weary of Gurney's cogent insight around his interactions with her not being coupled with any kind of growth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Page turner

    Good read

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    Great new find!

    I found John Verdon by accident from a co-worker. As I am always looking for new authors, I paged through this title and decided I needed to start with the 1st book. Great characters, and very well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

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