Customer Reviews for

Think of a Number (Dave Gurney Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

An Excellent Thriller

I couldn't put this book down. An excellent thriller that begins when David Gurney, a retired NYC detective is approached by an old college friend (Mark Mellory). Neither had spoken since college but Mellory had followed Gurney's storied career as he had solved some ver...
I couldn't put this book down. An excellent thriller that begins when David Gurney, a retired NYC detective is approached by an old college friend (Mark Mellory). Neither had spoken since college but Mellory had followed Gurney's storied career as he had solved some very famous police cases. On top of that Mellory had always thought of Gurney as someone with a sharp mind.

Mellory has a puzzle to solve and he thinks someone of Gurney's mettle may be of assistance. Apparently he had received a somewhat threatening letter by someone who claims he know something bad that Mellory did and that he knows Mellory so well that he can guess the first number that comes to Mellory's mind from 1 to 1000. Mellory thought of the number 656 and sure enough a second letter comes with the number 656 written on it.

Along with that letter comes a series of poems, each more threatening followed by phone calls. Gurney is intrigued and starts investigating for Mellory even though he is "retired."

This whole thing does not sit well with Gurney's wife Madelaine. She had always wanted Gurney to retire and move away from NYC to the country and they live in a very rural town called Walnut Crossing. Madelaine always felt that Gurney would always be so absorbed by his work that he would forget everything else and this feeling had only been amplified by the death of their young son several years earlier.

As Gurney gets more involved in Mellory's problem he builds a bigger rift with Madelaine. The investigation leads to the trail of a possible serial killer. The local authorities are baffled and feel that they need someone with Gurney's skill to solve the mysteries left behind by the killer. Gurney realized that he may only be retired in name but in reality he starts acting like a cop again and gets involved with the case to the exclusion of all else.

The mystery at the beginning of the book grips you and the book builds to a tension packed finale.

posted by Kataman1 on April 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Too much descriptive writing.

The author can certainly write. He has a great command of language and vocabulary. What I didn't like about the book was it moved too slowly. Almost every comment hat to be described with some meaning or intention or look. If you cut out what the character meant, or...
The author can certainly write. He has a great command of language and vocabulary. What I didn't like about the book was it moved too slowly. Almost every comment hat to be described with some meaning or intention or look. If you cut out what the character meant, or was thinking or how they pursed their lips, etc., this book could have been written in 75 pages. The action moved at a snail's pace. Because of the hook which kept me till the end, I give this book three stars. Next time, I hope the writer will have more action and leave some of the descriptive information to the reader's imagination. The author has great potential, and I post this as a constructive comment and not condemnation.

posted by WarrenJA on July 29, 2010

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    Too much descriptive writing.

    The author can certainly write. He has a great command of language and vocabulary. What I didn't like about the book was it moved too slowly. Almost every comment hat to be described with some meaning or intention or look. If you cut out what the character meant, or was thinking or how they pursed their lips, etc., this book could have been written in 75 pages. The action moved at a snail's pace. Because of the hook which kept me till the end, I give this book three stars. Next time, I hope the writer will have more action and leave some of the descriptive information to the reader's imagination. The author has great potential, and I post this as a constructive comment and not condemnation.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Writing style Killed the Excitement

    I thought the plot and storyline of this book was great, however the writing left something to be desired. I often found my mind wandering at the flowery, verbose writing and I got tired of picking up a dictionary. This prevented me getting fully absorbed in the book. I can typically read a thriller of this length in less than 3 days, but it took me over a week and half; curious as to the outcome, but dreading the verbage to get me there. Maybe it's my own personal preferences, but when I want to read a Crime drama, a Thriller, a Suspense novel I want a rapid flowing writing style that grasps you from page 1 and doesn't let go until the last word. I didn't expierence that with this novel despite the potential from the plot and characters.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    just okay

    i was about to give up..then it hooked me, but lost it all with a predictable ending...this writer has potential...........keep it up and try again!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good psychological read

    Story involves a retired detective, famous for capturing a notorious serial killer, who is called out of retirement by a college chum to help decipher a mysterious mailing. The item and subsequent mailings leads the detective to a series of unexplainable events and murders. And intertwined with his investigation, are events that force him to face his own psychological failures and family problems. Often, the outcome of mystery books are obvious from the beginning, but with this book, the author keeps the reader guessing right to the end.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    dictionary anyone?

    I have several degrees, from good schools. Never have I had to stop so many times to look up a word. A fairly good read, but who exactly was the audience? Don't make it so hard on the average reader....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    EASY FUN READ

    Well done and keeps you guessing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good.

    Good book, but very "wordy" in parts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2010

    predictable but entertaining

    Although I had a pretty good idea how the events would turn out, I was interested enough in how the plot was going to be exposed to keep reading all the way to the end. It's a quick and easy read without requiring careful attention to detail but I recommend it, nonetheless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2010

    Close, But Off The Mark

    There are days when I,ll grab a book looking for some escapism, yet always hoping to find an new interesting character to explore. Vardon came close to delivering this with his antagonist, but in the end fell just short, taking what could have been a somewhat interesting character into a more two dimension, predictable arena.

    The character of Gurney is difficult to connect to and although I should have empathized with the tragedy of his son, it felt a little hollow and not mined for the emotional gold just under the surface. Dermit wasn't explored deeply enough, his ultimate motivation feeling a little forced.

    Having said that, not a great thriller but a good read for a rainy day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2010

    Think of a Number has a good story line that will keep you thinking until the very end!

    The story itself is good, it moves along a bit slowly and characters are not very well developed - the story does keep you in suspense as far as the "who dunnit" factor and that is always a pleasant suprise! This is a quick read, one you can settle into before bed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Think of a number

    I tried to like this book, it seemed like a good premise when I read it but the execution left something to be desired. The book just kind of trudged along, never really getting anywhere fast; to me, it was way too long. The story was basic enough but it just wouldn't get to it, there was no suspense, no build up and before the end I was just eager for it to be over. Mysteries and thrillers are supposed to be just that, thrilling, this was nap material; I actually picked up the book on cd to see if I could get through it better but I couldn't. The narrator of the audio book seemed like he was bored with it from the beginning and I really couldn't concentrate on it. I have read some good mysteries in the last month but this was not one of them; I give it three stars because the story was decent but the storytelling was flawed.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    wish therr was a 2 1/2 star option

    It's interesting, but certainly nothing that i'd recommend.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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