Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LET THE DEVIL SLEEP: a new novel by John Verdon

I learned something this week: John Verdon is a hell of a writer. I read Let the Devil Sleep in two days, which is saying a lot, because it's a BIG book, running 449 pages. It was just damn hard to stop.

This is Mr. Verdon's third novel, and third in the continuing adventures of retired NYPD homicide detective Dave Gurney. And now, God help me, I'm going to have to find and read the first two, Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight.

Let the Devil Sleep begins with Gurney at home, lamenting the gunshot injury that ended his career, when he's asked to help a passionate young journalist with a TV project. Ten years earlier, you see, a killer calling himself the Good Shepherd blasted six people off the highway and was never caught. The journalist, a young lady named Kim Corazon, plans to interview the families of the victims to examine the toll the killings have taken on their lives.

Gurney isn't much interested until it appears someone is trying to scare he and Kim off the project, and the FBI is stonewalling all attempts to get details of their failed investigation. When he's pushed, Dave Gurney pushes back, and pushes hard. He's soon committed not only to assisting Kim, but reopening the ten-year-old Good Shepherd case, and finding out where the FBI went wrong.

We meet some great characters here: Another ex-cop driven more-than-half mad by his obsession with the Shepherd. A psychoanalyst whose stellar reputation is threatened by the reopening of the case. A couple of detectives who still value truth over propriety. And family members of the Shepherd's old victims, some angry and some despondent, but all still struggling to brings their shattered lives back into balance.

Let the Devil Sleep is above all a mystery novel, but John Verdon's explorations into Dave Gurney's character and relationship with his wife, his son, and his fate make this a powerful novel as well.

Bottom line: I'm now a Verdon fan. I'll be eagerly awaiting his next book.

8 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

This might help:

http://randall120.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/shut-your-eyes-tight-john-verdon

I may have to find this and the third one myself.

sally beth said...

Thanks for sharing
this formation. Valuable.enjoyed reading it….

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