John Verdon's Dave Gurney series back in 2010. I immediately liked the lead character and Verdon's plotting and writing. The fifth book - Wolf Lake - is newly released.
Dave Gurney is a retired NYPD Homicide Investigator who had the highest solve rate in the NYPD's history when he left the department. He's retired but puzzles intrigue him and unsolved cases still call his name. He's often called on as a consultant.
The latest case brought to his attention is a doozy. Four separate suicides with two connecting links. All four men, with no apparent connection, had the same nightmare before they died. And all four had sought the help of a prominent hypnotist before those nightmares. Could the hypnotherapist have actually influenced the men to kill themselves? The police seem to think so and have decided the man is guilty. The man's sister and old colleague Jack Hartwick think differently. Jack and his wife Madeleine stop by the remote lodge where the hypnotherapist is located on their way to their ski vacation. (That cover shot totally matches my mental image of the lodge.) And one day turns into......
Dave Gurney is a great protagonist. He's a brilliant puzzle solver, calm and cool when faced with danger and absolutely driven to find answers. I quite like him. But...I like his enigmatic wife Madeleine even more. She's just as brilliant, but thinks differently than Dave, often making observations and suggestions that he doesn't see. She radiates a zen attitude, but this lodge is part of her past and brings up some hidden painful memories. The relationship between the two is a great part of why I enjoy this series so much. I find it really well written and believable. The two play well off each other. Hartwick fills the role of gruff and tough sidekick.
Verdon's plotting is imaginative and intriguing. While I had my suspicions, I found I wasn't one hundred percent correct by the final pages. It's nice to be kept guessing.
Any of Verdon's can be read as a stand alone, but mystery lovers will enjoy starting at the beginning.
Read an excerpt of Wolf Lake. You can connect with John Verdon on his website and find him on Facebook.