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."
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.