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

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

4.0 76
by John Verdon

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When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers – by their smug belief that they could kill without…  See more details below


When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers – by their smug belief that they could kill without leaving a trace. There was always a trace, Gurney believed.

Except what if one day there wasn’t?

Dave Gurney, a few months past the Mellery case that pulled him out of retirement and then nearly killed him, is trying once again to adjust to his country house’s bucolic rhythms when he receives a call about a case so seductively bewildering that the thought of not looking into it seems unimaginable—even if his beloved wife, Madeleine, would rather he do anything but.

The facts of what has occurred are horrible: a blushing bride, newly wed to an eminent psychiatrist and just minutes from hearing her congratulatory toast, is found decapitated, her head apparently severed by a machete. Though police investigators believe that a Mexican gardener killed the young woman in a fit of jealous fury, the victim’s mother—a chilly high-society beauty—is having none of it. Reluctantly drawn in, Dave is quickly buffeted by a series of revelations that transform the bizarrely monstrous into the monstrously bizarre.  

Underneath it all may exist one of the darkest criminal schemes imaginable. And as Gurney begins deciphering its grotesque outlines, some of his most cherished assumptions about himself are challenged, causing him to stare into an abyss so deep that it threatens to swallow not just him but Madeleine, too.
Desperate to protect Madeleine and bring an end to the madness, Gurney ultimately discovers that the killer has left a trace after all. Unfortunately, the revelation may come too late to save his own life.

With Shut Your Eyes Tight, John Verdon delivers on the promise of his internationally bestselling debut, Think of a Number, creating a portrait of evil let loose across generations that is as rife with moments of touching humanity as it is with spellbinding images of perversity.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Having made good on his first outing, Think of a Number (a USA Today best seller sold to 20 countries), Dave Guerney returns to fight crime again. He wanted to retire, but not a chance: a bride has been gruesomely murdered at her own wedding. Now things are getting murderous with his wife, too. Mystery readers should definitely consider.

Product Details

Publication date:
A Dave Gurney Novel , #2
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Random House
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3 MB

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Shut Your Eyes Tight 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 76 reviews.
Katya_Sozaeva More than 1 year ago
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!
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
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.
SunnyDay1961 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
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.
BarboOH More than 1 year ago
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!
susanrn96 More than 1 year ago
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.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
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.
the_curious_reader More than 1 year ago
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.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous 3 months ago
sanlewis 5 months ago
John Verdon is amazing; the twists and turns make it impossible for one to stop reading. The action is more mental than physical, but intriguing. Try it, you'll be impressed.
Brodk More than 1 year ago
An excellent puzzle piece. Good writing and good characterizations. My complaints are that the detective and his wife would never have married in real life, and the supporting law enforcement characters are types, not real people. Still good for four stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved loved loved the second book in this series. I love the puzzle solver. JV knows how to keep u reading one of my favorite writers he gets better with each book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I knew who the killer was in the first account of the crime scene, I still recommend this book and other books by this author. He has uncanny insights and commentary into human nature, and he wields a pen like Van Gogh wielded a paintbrush. With so many books on the market these days with trite/sophomoric writing and storylines dazzling in their lack of creativity, this author delivers. I've read voraciously since childhood and have a strong vocabulary. So I have to love an author who introduces me to not just one, but two or three new words a book. Thank you, John.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! I experienced the full gamet of emotions with this book. 251 pgs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author John Verdon has written a novel that might even be a littlte bit better than his first book, THINK OF A NUMBER. His style of writing grabs your attention and interest right from the start and never seems to let go. In both of his writings, NYPD (Ret) Dave Gurney brings his mind to bear on a large amount of seemingly unrelated bits of information and some questionable evidence to solve the case(s). This author uses his fertile sense of imagination to create stories that I have thorughly enjoyed. Would not be at all suprised that this gentleman pens a big prize winning novel some day in the not too distant future. A very strong recommendation to follow this authors future writings. Wishing Detective Gurney a long and exciting life time. J M Lydon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this one as much, if not more, than his first. Can't wait to read his next one! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a fun new camp. Please join! Go to zeph res one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
However is rather a muddle and depends on grafic violence too much for my taste and doubt if will continue to read back or forward not a keeper m.a.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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