Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shut Your Eyes Tight - John Verdon - Review AND Giveaway

I read John Verdon's debut thriller Think of a Number last year and really enjoyed it. (my review)

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.

Read an excerpt of Shut Your Eyes Tight.

And if you'd like to get a taste as well, I have a copy of Shut Your Eyes Tight to giveaway, courtesy of Crown Publishing. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes. Simply comment to be entered. Ends Sat. Aug 6 at 6 pm EST.

Check out what other bloggers on the TLC tour think of Shut Your Eyes Tight.

74 comments:

Maureen said...

It looks like a good story.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Sounds interesting and I like that the character doesn't have the be totally lovable to make the book work.

Julie said...

You know a book is good when you are not sure if you like the protagonist, but you can't help but want to read more books with him in them anyway! I am really looking forward to reading this book, as well as the first one!

jwitt33 at live dot com

Zee

debbie said...

I love a good mystery.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Mona said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)
This book sounds really good. I like that it focuses on Gurney's personal life as well. I'm going to put THINK OF A NUMBER on my list too.

monagargATyahooDOTcom

ChristyJan said...

Sounds like a great mystery read ~ please enter me

hawkes(at)citlink.net

Linda said...

I appreciated your comment that the secondary story line re. the marriage was as intriguing as the mystery. Sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway.

Margaret said...

This one sounds quite interesting. Count me in!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

LisaMM said...

Great review! So many have commented on the wife (first book and this book). Sounds like she's a really good character. Thanks so much for being on the tour!

Darlene said...

This sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the draw!

I'm subscribed by email, and my email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

Thanks for the giveaway!

PoCoKat said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds great!!!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Marjorie said...

Who can pass up a great mystery.
Count me in for this super giveaway.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Vidisha said...

Sounds great!!!

GFC follower

vidishamun@gmail.com

Sue Farrell said...

I like a well-written mystery and the addition of the wife's personality and the "retirement" situation should make this book very interesting.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Margie said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I always love a good mystery.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

A mystery which would be fascinating to enjoy. many thanks. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

shanaelyse said...

Can't get enough of these mysteries! I'd love to win!

shanaelyse@gmail.com

heathertlc said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one even if the main character isn't one of your favorites. Personally I think I'd identify more with his wife myself.

Thanks for being on the tour.

Judy H said...

I would love to read this.

headlessfowl at gmail dot com

Ruby said...

wow sounds good!!!

rubyroseandrews @gmail.com

Nicole said...

Would love to win that book!

nicolemarielum @gmail.com

readerofthepack said...

I have Think of a Number on my nook waiting to be read. This one sounds good too.

readerofthepack AT gmail DOT com

Nancy said...

I love mysteries!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Pat L. said...

Sounds like a good story. You are giving away some interesting books.

patoct at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win this book as we are a big family of readers.

connies_sweeps(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

looks like a good book

lydias_sweeps(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

This looks like a very good story.

slots_granny(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

lovesthemets@yahoo.com

Another suspense giveaway. Yay.

Karen T.

kmorghan said...

I read "Think of a Number" and enjoyed it and recommended it to others. I'm glad to see that John Verdon has another book out already - should be a good read!

rubynreba said...

I'd enjoy reading this. Thanks for the giveaway.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

linett said...

sounds like great summer reading, thanks

Desmond said...

Count me in, please!

dwarzel at hotmail.com

Debbie Kennedy said...

I love to read. Please enter me in your giveaway and thank you for offering it!
cleaningrhouse at yahoo dot com

stilettostorytime said...

Glad you enjoyed the book. I did as well. I was glad he chose to do a sequel. I liked the first book but I think this second one blew it away. No need to enter me.

Courtney
Stiletto Storytime

Marjorie said...

Oh, I would love to read this mystery. Sounds great.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

littlelatina said...

looks interesting

janeh said...

sounds fascinating!

purehrt555 said...

I would love to read this book, I haven't read the first one, but my coworkers really liked it.

purehrt555(at)yahoo(doT)com

Molly said...

I so would love to win this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE suspense and this one has been on my TBR list since the start of TLC's tour.

Thanks for the chance!

Molly AT reviewsbymolly DOT com

Karen said...

I would LOVE to read this.

Karen Gonyea
ktgonyea at gmail.com

sweetsue said...

This sounds like an exciting book!
smchester at gmail dot com

Amber said...

Thanks for the review! I'd love to be entered :)

ayoung3360@hotmail.com

lag123 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lag123 said...

I have this one on my wishlist!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

gene said...

i'd love to add this to my collection!

perki014@uwp.edu

Tarah said...

Oh it sounds like a great read! I'll have to check out the first one!

Tarah
tarah716[at]ymail.com

ellie said...

There's nothing better than a new mystery and this is a new to me author. I'd love to check it out.
eswright18 at gmail dot com

Theresa N. said...

I love to read this book.
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

Candie L said...

Please enter me in your contest. Thank you

candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

Caryn said...

I loved Think of a Number and I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

caryn9802 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

Looks like a good debut thriller. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

John Ferris said...

Great Giveaway.
John Ferris
guapo1317@live.com

ewhatley said...

I also read his debut novel, Think of a Number, last summer and loved it. I'm so happy to see he's written a second book and hope we see much more from him.

mybeachylife at gmail dot com

Diane52 said...

I love a good mystery and this one seems to be it.
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com

Pamcakes said...

I sounds like a great mystery. :)
b dot ringer at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy a good mystery!


Bshaw75015@aol.com

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed "Think of a number", too!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this.
shanac68@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would like to read this work!

theyyyguy@yahoo,.com

Mary said...

Sounds like a great read!

mryward(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kate said...

Sounds like a great read.

beckandcallgirl@live.com

Alissa said...

Sounds like a good book.

Deborah Wellenstein said...

This does sound interesting.

dwellenstein at cox dot net

dvice12 said...

This sounds great

susan1215 said...

Sounds great

s2s2 at comcast dot net

Jim said...

i love books

jim.coyne2@verizon.net

purango said...

It sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway. garrettsambo@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a book I would like to read. Always looking for a new author to read.

bowlinsuzy@yahoo.com

Shari said...

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

sklyn@mediacombb.net

AEKZ2 said...

I'd like to read this. Thanks!

annettekz2@yahoo.com

susansmoaks said...

i would love to win
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

stacybuckeye said...

I really liked this one too. I do enjoy the inside look at Dave & Madeleine's marriage. It's compelling.