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Shut Your Eyes Tight


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About the Author

John Verdon is a former Manhattan advertising executive who lives with his wife in the mountains of upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels, Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight, are both international bestsellers.



Wow! Totally absorbing, brilliantly written. The best book I've read this year * Sun *
Astonishingly accomplished * Daily Mail *
Brainy and well-written . . . a remarkable debut * Sunday Times *

Verdon follows Think of a Number, his sensational debut featuring retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney, with this standout sequel, set a year later. A bizarre, high-profile murder near Gurney's Catskills home puts his already shaky marriage to the test. Four months earlier, "controversial hotshot psychiatrist" Scott Ashton went looking for his spoiled rich-girl bride, Jillian Perry, after he noticed she was missing from their wedding reception at his lavish estate. Ashton discovered her decapitated body sitting in a chair, with her head posed on a table, in the gardener's cottage. The police, who found a machete covered with the victim's blood in the nearby woods, are sure the killer is Ashton's trusted Mexican gardener, Hector Flores, who disappeared after the brutal crime. Perry's eccentric mother, who's unsparing in recounting her daughter's emotional problems, gives Gurney a blank check to locate Flores. Verdon tosses in an apparent impossibility involving the murder weapon, and once again sensitively depicts a relationship in crisis. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

As in Verdon's outstanding debut thriller (Think of a Number), retired NYPD detective Dave Gurney once again, to the dismay of his wife, gets pulled into a bizarre murder case. What starts with the beheading of a bride on her wedding day results in a series of mind-boggling clues that stymie investigators. Police efforts ground to a halt after four months, and Gurney is hired by the bride's wealthy mother to get the case moving again. Why would Scott Ashton, an older celebrity psychiatrist, wealthy in his own right, marry a spoiled, rich girl who is clearly a sociopath? And why would the psychiatrist's gardener, a man he'd molded, Pygmalion-like, from an itinerant worker into a do-it-all assistant, apparently behead the bride during the reception? And what do these events and other murders have to do with a lost Elizabethan play and its author, whose name has become the nom de crime of a sophisticated serial killer? To find out, Gurney will risk his life and marriage. Verdict Absorbing complications, perfect pacing, a conflicted protagonist (endearing for his introspection), and 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. [See Prepub Alert, 1/17/11.]-Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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