Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney Series #2)

Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney Series #2)

by John Verdon

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307717917
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 07/12/2011
Series: Dave Gurney Series , #2
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 59,726
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

JOHN VERDON is a former Manhattan advertising executive who lives with his wife in the mountains of upstate New York.  His Dave Gurney novels, Think of a Number, Shut Your Eyes Tight, and Let the Devil Sleep, are all international bestsellers.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Taut and suspenseful…Verdon is in top form as he lays out the twisty mechanics of the crime, creating an agreeably sinister villain…A strong follow-up to the author’s wildly entertaining debut.”—Washington Post

“The crime is grisly and the cop is complicated. A nice combination.”—New York Daily News

“For anyone who loves a good puzzle, John's Verdon's SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT is the easy answer.”—CNN.com

"Verdon, who hit a home run with his debut novel, THINK OF A NUMBER, has now nailed another one."—Booklist (Starred review)

"Absorbing complications, perfect pacing and a conflicted protagonist (endearing for his introspection)...The author's insight, which imbues the story with tremendous humanity, make this a must-read for thriller fans who enjoy tales that are not only gripping but believable." Library Journal

"Verdon follows THINK OF A NUMBER, his sensational debut featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney, with this standout sequel, set a year later. [The elements:] a bizarre, high-profile murder…an apparent impossibility involving the murder weapon, and once again…a relationship in crisis."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Customer Reviews

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Shut Your Eyes Tight 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 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!
ginahill on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I figured out this "whodunit" very quickly. Reading the next 400 or so pages, I kept hoping I had it wrong, especially given that the main character, Dave Gurney, is supposed to be a brilliant detective. Verdon's first book was better.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Finally have finished this book and it is not that I did not like it, I did very much. Itwas sucha detailed layer of threads that needed to untangled, pieces that needed to be inserted. DaveGuerny, retired from the police dept. is asked to look into the beheading of a bride on her wedding day. This book is not told in a particularly gritty manner but more of a following along of the reader as pieces of the puzzle are discovered. Many twists and turns and this is definitely a thinking person's mystery.
FMRox on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Retired NYPD detectice Dave Gurney is asked to consult on a local murder of a woman whose head is found cut off on her wedding day.The strained relationship between husband and wife in this sequel sets my teeth on edge. It was like that in the first novel and it's distracting, not enhancing to the story. The plot is interesting even though I knew who the killer was early on. A lot of subplots to get to the main plot and sometimes it moves slowly.
Ronrose1 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
John Verdon has done it again. In this his second book featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney, Verdon has once again fashioned a suspenseful, tale full of twists and a clever plot that will have you rushing through the pages trying to keep up with Gurney and get one step ahead of the killer. Getting one step ahead is going to be hard as the victims have all been found with their heads cut off. The first victim, was a young woman whom her mother described as a self centered, uncaring, sexually abused and abusive witch. This head case had just married her former therapist, the head of a local sexual therapy institute for abused young women. Immediately following the marriage ceremony, which was fully video taped, the bride is found in a small cottage on the property, sitting in a chair, her head cut off and placed on a table facing her body. After months of fruitless police investigating, retired detective Gurney is hired by the victim's mother, who wants to find Hector Flores, the man suspected of killing her daughter. Flores proves to be as hard to find as a winning lottery ticket. It will take all of Gurney's investigative expertise, experience, and wily skills to solve this case as the heads continue to roll. This book provided for review by the Amazon Vine program and the well read folks at Crown Publishing.
jennybateacher on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I so enjoyed Shut Your Eyes Tight! Dave Gurney, a former NYC detective, is such a wonderful character. He's been enlisted to look into a grizzly murder that remains unsolved. He is non-committal but gets sucked in the more he learns. Yep, I know the feeling Dave, I got sucked in right along with you! There are so many creepy psychological twists and turns, every time I thought I was sure I knew "who dun it" something else came along to change my mind. Absolutely LOVED this book!
Coyote99 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Received this book as an ARC......I am not sure how I applied for it but I would like to thank Crown Publishers of New York for sending it to me. I have not read the first of this series, so did not have the backstory available. I will go back and remedy that as I enjoyed this book. Tight writing, good plot, nicely drawn characters (lots of references to previous case so I would read in order if that option is available). My only problem with the book was that It was a little far-fetched. I just can't believe that a school like Mapleshade could possibly exist and the evilness of the villain was just beyond my limit of credulity. And Gurney's relationship with his wife was a little annoying. Maybe reading the first book would have explained why they were even together. Having said that, it was a fast read and for the genre, a good book. I would recommend to those who like fast-paced imaginative detective stories.
mniday on LibraryThing 6 months ago
When Dave Gurney put his retirement on hold to assist in solving the Mellery case, he thought it would be the last time. But when his old friend, Jack Hardwick, asks him to meet with the mother of a recent murder victim, Dave finds his curiosity hard to deny. He soon finds himself investigating not one murder, but the murders of several young girls who had been treated for sexual deviances.I will warn you now, this one is a page turner. I found it very hard to put down, I just had to keep reading one more page. We have all come across authors whose work just seems to flow right out of their mind and into ours. Verdon is one of these authors. I can honestly say, this was my favorite read of the year so far.This novel falls somewhere between cozy mystery and high action thriller. There are, certainly, many scenes where the action is riveting, but they do not overwhelm the story. The pacing is somewhat relaxed, like a cozy mystery, but the plot and investigation is much more intellectual. The overall feel of this novel is refreshingly unique.The characters in Shut Your Eyes Tight are interesting, yet believable. The main character, Dave Gurney, is an incredible investigator, but he has problems with his marriage. His wife wants a simple quiet life, yet she understands her husband's need to exercise his mind. All of the characters have many sides and are sometimes unpredictable, making all that more human.The mystery genre has a new name to add to the list of its elite. John Verdon's Dave Gurney novels are fast becoming required reading. We can only hope there are many more Gurney novels in our future.
Jenners26 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Book OverviewDetective Dave Gurney, who readers first met in Think Of A Number, is back with another case¿despite promising his wife Madeline that he really was retired after the events of the Mellery case. However, the reality is that Gurney is not cut out for retirement and a quiet life in the country. He needs a challenge and a puzzle to keep life interesting. So when an old colleague requests his help on a case, Gurney is easily drawn back into the fray.Although the case appears to be open and shut, the police have been stymied for months. The facts seem cut and dry: At her wedding reception, a young bride is found beheaded in the cottage of the live-in gardner just before the congratulatory toast. Based on where the murder took place, it seems obvious that the gardner is the murderer¿especially since video footage from the wedding accounts for everyone else¿s whereabouts and the bride was seen entering the gardener¿s cottage moments before the toast. Although the police have identified the murder weapon and the perpetrator, the gardener seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.As Gurney gets drawn into the case, he begins to discover that things (including the bride and her groom) aren¿t quite as they seem. In fact, it seems that Gurney may have stumbled onto a much larger conspiracy that involves a possible serial killer. Besides the case of the beheaded bride, the book also focuses on Gurney¿s increasingly strained personal life and an unexpected development in his art career.My ThoughtsI read Think of A Number last year¿drawn in by the seemingly ¿impossible¿ scenario. I ended up being intrigued by Gurney and the tragic back story hinted at in the first book. So when I was offered this book for review, I jumped at the chance to read it. After all, it featured another ¿impossible¿ case¿plus I wanted to get to know Gurney more. Unfortunately, I think Verdon suffered a bit of a sophomore slump as this book didn¿t grab me as much as his first one.Part of the problem has to do with the sprawling and complex plot. Verdon seems determined to create another puzzler that leaves readers scratching their heads, but the scenario just isn¿t as compelling in this book. In a way, this book sets up a classic ¿locked room¿ mystery. However, with almost no cast of characters to get to know and investigate, readers must rely on Verdon to provide the clues and plot developments instead of trying to puzzle things out on their own. This led to a less active reading experience. In addition, the plot got so convoluted and complicated that I started to lose the core of the story. In fact, thinking back now, I would have a hard time explaining to you exactly what happened!In addition, the relationship between Gurney and Madeline wasn¿t as fully developed as it was in the first book. In fact, Madeline was barely present in this book¿often just passing by as Gurney was doing his stuff. I was also bothered by some of the decisions that Gurney made and his choice to keep critical information from Madeline. It seemed inconsistent with their relationship.Despite my complaints, Shut Your Eyes Tight isn¿t a horrible book. Readers who enjoy mysteries and thrillers would probably like it, and it is well-suited for a summer read (lots of thrills; not too much thinking). However, it is uncharacteristically long for these types of books¿clocking in at just over 400 pages. Still, I wouldn¿t write off Dave Gurney and John Verdon yet. Think of A Number was Verdon¿s first book, and I think it is common for authors to have a bit of a slump in their follow-up, especially when pressured to come up with another ¿impossible¿ scenario for their super-detective.
Twink on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Verdon is back with his second book, Shut Your Eyes Tight, featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney. But retired may be a misnomer for Dave. He and wife Madeleine moved to the country, settling in on an idyllic piece of property. Madeleine is happy, but Dave is restless. In the first year, Dave was asked to 'consult' on a case. He agreed, but working again took it's toll on both Dave and the marriage.When old friend Detective Jack Hartwick stops by to 'visit' and just happens to mention a tantalizing case that could use Dave's insight, he finds himself inextricably drawn in....yet again...A young woman has been murdered at her wedding reception in a truly horrific manner. Held on the grounds of her own home, she went into the gardener's cottage to ask him to attend. Jillian never came out and the gardener can't be found. Gurney takes on the case, drawn deeper into an ugly world that goes much further than 'just' the one murder. And he does so, knowing that his wife will not be happy."His acceptance of the case would prove that his obsession with solving murders, even in retirement, was intractable and that their future together would be clouded. His rejection of the case, on the other hand, would signal a changed, the first step in his transformation from a workaholic detective into a bird-watching, kayak-paddling nature enthusiast. But, he argued in his imagination, as though she were present, black-and-white options are unrealistic and lead to lousy decisions, because by definition they exclude so many solutions. In this instance the most tenable course would surely lie in a middle ground between black and white. He would accept the case, but with a strict time limitation - say one week. Two weeks maximum."I loved the enigmatic character of Madeleine in the first book and have come to appreciate her even more in this second novel. She says volumes without uttering a word. Verdon has done a fantastic job with this character. I find this secondary storyline and exploration of their marriage and relationship just as engrossing as the mystery.And the mystery is good. What sets Dave Gurney apart is his careful, analytical mind. It is intriguing to follow along with his thought processes as he links together seemingly disparate incidents and clues."The thing of it is, the whole damn case is like that. Everyone connected with it is either a genius or a lunatic or...a pathological liar or...I don't know what."As I said when I reviewed Think of a Number, I wasn't sold on Dave Gurney. I still haven't embraced him as a character I can say I really like, although we are shown a little more of what makes the man tick this time. But this isn't a bad thing at all. Verdon has created an interesting, flawed protagonist that doesn't fit a mold. Just as Gurney is unable to resist the pull of an unsolved case, I am hooked by Verdon's characters and writing. I am very much looking forward to the next chapter in Dave Gurney's life.
JackieBlem on LibraryThing 6 months ago
This is Verdon's second book featuring retired detective Dave Gurney and another powerful and fast paced murder mystery. He gets the call 4 month into a stalled investigation over a bride murdered at her own wedding reception--not from the police but from her mother. Gurney agrees to work on the case for two weeks (much to the dismay of his frustrated wife). and quickly discovers that the picture is far bigger than anyone had yet imagined. It seems there is a serial killer with a bit of a literary bent who has been quietly doing his thing for a least 3 years. And now he's gone public--and has Gurney directly in his sights. Verdon writes smart, smart mysteries with intricate puzzles that continue to surprise to the very last pages. I highly recommend this book, as well at the first one in the series, "Think of a Number".
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