Customer Reviews for

Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Amazing sophomore effort - highly recommended!

In this sequel to "Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No.1)," Verdon outdoes himself - his first book was very good - this one is AMAZING!!

Dave Gurney, retired homicide detective with the NYPD, is approached by Jack Hardwick from NYBCI (NY Bureau of Criminal Investiga...
In this sequel to "Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No.1)," Verdon outdoes himself - his first book was very good - this one is AMAZING!!

Dave Gurney, retired homicide detective with the NYPD, is approached by Jack Hardwick from NYBCI (NY Bureau of Criminal Investigation) with a request. Four months prior, a young woman (Jillian Perry) was murdered on her wedding day - her head cut off with a machete - and while Hardwick originally was running the investigation, a disagreement with his commanding officer over how it should be run led to Hardwick being taken off the case and replaced by Arlo Blatt - those who read the first book will remember that Blatt is ... less than intelligent. Therefore the case has gone nowhere in all that time. Jillian's mother, Val Perry, wants to hire Dave to find the truth about the murder and bring the murderer to justice. Dave quickly discovers many things that had been overlooked or ignored by the BCI; as the case progresses it becomes more twisted, more complex, and Dave finds himself being immersed in a world of sexual abuse and extremely dangerous people.

Like the previous book, there is a running sub-plot regarding Dave's marriage and home life, and enough details are supplied to give the reader a good grasp on the personalities of all people who are introduced in the book.

Verdon's writing, which started out very good, has improved dramatically from his first book to this next one - the transitioning is smoother, the details are maintained in a more orderly fashion, and the writing overall has a higher quality. I believe anyone who enjoys a good mystery, thriller and/or suspense novel - or even just really enjoys a good story - will find this book irresistible. Do yourself a favor and be sure to pick this one up!

posted by Katya_Sozaeva on June 14, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Shut Your Eyes Tight

Retired detective Dave Gurney is asked to look into a murder case that has become cold which has the police stymied. A new bride was beheaded at her wedding reception, in a closed room with no clues or suspects. Originally thought a missing Mexican gardener committed th...
Retired detective Dave Gurney is asked to look into a murder case that has become cold which has the police stymied. A new bride was beheaded at her wedding reception, in a closed room with no clues or suspects. Originally thought a missing Mexican gardener committed the murder but after 4 months, this guy cannot be found. Dave Gurney's investigation leads him into a dangerous world of sexual deviation.

The novel is complex and somewhat long, that at times I was lost. Gurney's character is a fascinating one, but his wife I could have done without. Although, a good thriller, it was a little too heavy for me (I guess I wasn't in the mood to think). It had its twists and turns.

posted by grumpydan on September 20, 2011

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Shut Your Eyes Tight

    Retired detective Dave Gurney is asked to look into a murder case that has become cold which has the police stymied. A new bride was beheaded at her wedding reception, in a closed room with no clues or suspects. Originally thought a missing Mexican gardener committed the murder but after 4 months, this guy cannot be found. Dave Gurney's investigation leads him into a dangerous world of sexual deviation.

    The novel is complex and somewhat long, that at times I was lost. Gurney's character is a fascinating one, but his wife I could have done without. Although, a good thriller, it was a little too heavy for me (I guess I wasn't in the mood to think). It had its twists and turns.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A roller coaster ride - couldn't stop reading

    It's a thriller, love story, puzzling who-done-it all wrapped up in one book. His first book, Think of Number, was just as good, which made me want to pre-order this book (the first time I've EVER done that). I was not disappointed. Both books start with a seemingly impossible crime until retired NYPD Det. Gurney whittles away at it until he finally comes up with the answer. Besides being a great writer, Verdon has increased my vocabulary, which is why I'm glad I read both books on my Nook so I could easily use the dictionary.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing sophomore effort - highly recommended!

    In this sequel to "Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No.1)," Verdon outdoes himself - his first book was very good - this one is AMAZING!!

    Dave Gurney, retired homicide detective with the NYPD, is approached by Jack Hardwick from NYBCI (NY Bureau of Criminal Investigation) with a request. Four months prior, a young woman (Jillian Perry) was murdered on her wedding day - her head cut off with a machete - and while Hardwick originally was running the investigation, a disagreement with his commanding officer over how it should be run led to Hardwick being taken off the case and replaced by Arlo Blatt - those who read the first book will remember that Blatt is ... less than intelligent. Therefore the case has gone nowhere in all that time. Jillian's mother, Val Perry, wants to hire Dave to find the truth about the murder and bring the murderer to justice. Dave quickly discovers many things that had been overlooked or ignored by the BCI; as the case progresses it becomes more twisted, more complex, and Dave finds himself being immersed in a world of sexual abuse and extremely dangerous people.

    Like the previous book, there is a running sub-plot regarding Dave's marriage and home life, and enough details are supplied to give the reader a good grasp on the personalities of all people who are introduced in the book.

    Verdon's writing, which started out very good, has improved dramatically from his first book to this next one - the transitioning is smoother, the details are maintained in a more orderly fashion, and the writing overall has a higher quality. I believe anyone who enjoys a good mystery, thriller and/or suspense novel - or even just really enjoys a good story - will find this book irresistible. Do yourself a favor and be sure to pick this one up!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    David Gurney is a Modern Day Sherlock Holmes

    This is an excellent follow-up to Think of a Number. David Gurney is once again pulled out of retirement to help the police solve a mystery of a butchered bride. Gurney is hired by the bride's mother and once again has to go back to the life that annoys his wife. The bride had been murdered and even though there were video cameras everywhere, the murderer seems to have vanished and avoided all the cameras.

    The police had thought it was a simple murder and run, but as Gurney investigates it seems like it is way more than that and it may make his previous Mellory case look like a small time crime. What makes the story work is how well Gurney sees discrepencies in what was thought to be facts and is able to take the investigation in whole new directions. He must also do this while trying to right his strained relationship with Madeline, his wife.

    The story grips the reader from the start and doesn't let go. The writer is so good at presenting Gurney's thought process that the reader literally feels transported to the inside of his head. I hope that this is just the beginning for the Gurney stories and that more are on the way!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    :)

    Great read! Would have liked more detail pertaining to the lives of those in the Skard family, their business, and the actual murders. Had the basic solution figured out rather early on...just couldn't determine who was who. Then a surprising twist at the end to prove me wrong! Still want to know what Gurney did while "under the influence!!" That ommission was unfair!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The More Things Change

    In his second appearance, retired NYPD detective David Gurney faces an ever-shifting set of “facts” in his effort to solve a bizarre murder case. A bride is found decapitated within moments of her marriage ceremony, and there is absolutely no forensic evidence available. As only a “consultant,” retained by the mother of the bride to find the murderer, Gurney not only faces the challenge of an ingenious adversary, but also the official police investigators who have failed in four months to make any progress in solving the crime.

    The novel is not so much as a murder mystery than a “thriller,” suffused with a series of logical and sometimes illogical assumptions that do little to move the story forward as much as to just muddy the investigation. The juxtaposition of Gurney’s obsession with his craft and his wife’s deep desire to just enjoy their retirement does little to add to the forward movement of the book, except to contribute to its length, which could have been shortened to good effect by some judicious editing. On the whole, however, it is a good story, enlivened by some clever twists, and it is recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Positively a Must Read

    We had read John's other book "Think of a Number" and my brother couldn't believe he hadn't written another one when he was truly a good author. So he found this and I have read it and find it to be a truly riveting great read. You think you have the plot all figured out and whoa - here comes another wrinkle. I'm sure my brother will enjoy it as much as I have. Great job Mr. Verdon!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Page turner!

    Excellent thriller and a page turner! I hated putting this one down, and hated when it ended.
    John Verdon is very literate and well-spoken as a writer. I can't wait for his next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sick Novel Well Written

    The ick factor of this book tempts me to rate it one star. But the fact remains that it is well-written and suspenseful. More warning might be given to the presumed reader of just what the bargain is here. I certainly did not care to enter the world that Verdon creates. But once he has you in the door, it's hard to turn back. Only the hope of some redemption keeps you going. Well, the curiosity factor is big too. Just how sick a world can this author concoct? For that he earns five stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended for mystery and puzzle lovers.

    John Verdon has done it again. After Think of a Number, his first Dave Gurney mystery, indeed his debut novel, one could forgive him if his second entry was a bit of a let down. Shut Your Eyes Tight, however, moves inexorably and most entertainingly forward. Helping Gurney solve the intricate puzzle is his reluctant Watson, hardboiled and cynical Detective Jack Hardwick. Hindering Him is almost everyone else in this Rubik's Cube of a mystery. About halfway through or so, you may think you have solved the core of the mystery; don't let that deter you as the problem then becomes not so much the what as the how of it. Tricky all the way. Enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    Excellent read

    Mr Verdon has an incredible vocabulary. Keep your dictionary close by.

    I look forward to his next adventure!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    Genaral Wolf

    "My name is Genaral wolf. My nickmname is wolf. We will be picking teams in second res. Bios three. Until my permission, you WILL NOT FIGHT!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Very exiting - a page turner!

    Kept me wanting more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Enough

    Great plot, keeps u guessing but ENOUGH with Madeline! She and her storyline is Boring. Five stars if Vernon drops the wife!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Excellant book!

    Couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    I absolutely loved Think of a Number and couldn't wait to start

    I absolutely loved Think of a Number and couldn't wait to start on this one. While I thoroughly enjoy Verdon's twists ability to delve into a simple idea and come out with a brilliant psychological twist, I thought it was overused in this book, and thus lost the original luster.He didn't depend on us to be as smart as we were while reading the first book and I found that to be a bit insulting. There was a disconnect between myself and Gurney that I certainly didn't expect to feel after the last book. I find myself trying not to compare his subsequent works to his monumental debut, but it is a difficult task with such little suspense. I am hoping Let the Devil Sleep reaffirms my faith in Verdon, because he can't wait until the last 30 pages to make it interesting.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Great book

    If you liked John Verdon's first Detective Gurney, you are going to love this one. I am officially a fan.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    very disappointing

    This book sounded so good, but just got more and more frustrating as it went along. I didn't like the main character at all and the plot was so complicated (but really wasn't, in the end). The ending was a combination of schmaltz and bravado that only made me slam the book shut and vow never to read anything by this author again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Did not like!!

    I really enjoyed Think of a Number so was looking forward to the next book written by John Verdon. I found this book to be too twisted and perverted for my taste. While I love the writing style of the author I did not like the bizarre plot and sexual content.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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