In John Verdon’s most sensationally twisty novel yet, ingenious puzzle solver Dave Gurney brings his analytical brilliance to a shocking murder that couldn’t have been committed the way the police say it was.
The daunting task that confronts Gurney, once the NYPD’s top homicide cop: determining the guilt or innocence of a woman already convicted of shooting her charismatic politician husband -- who was felled by a rifle bullet to the brain while delivering the eulogy at his own mother’s funeral.
Peeling back the layers, Gurney quickly finds himself waging a dangerous battle of wits with a thoroughly corrupt investigator, a disturbingly cordial mob boss, a gorgeous young temptress, and a bizarre assassin whose child-like appearance has earned him the nickname Peter Pan.
Startling twists and turns occur in rapid-fire sequence, and soon Gurney is locked inside one of the darkest cases of his career – one in which multiple murders are merely the deceptive surface under which rests a scaffolding of pure evil. Beneath the tangle of poisonous lies, Gurney discovers that the truth is more shocking than anyone had imagined.
And the identity of the villain at the mystery’s center turns out to be the biggest shock of all.
Nero Award finalist Verdon combines a brilliant puzzle and psychological insight into his sleuth, Dave Gurney, in the stellar fourth novel featuring the retired NYPD homicide detective (after 2012's Let the Devil Sleep). Much to the dismay of Gurney's wife, he agrees to work on another case instead of relaxing at the couple's upstate New York property. Jack Hardwick, who lost his job with the state police after helping Gurney in the previous book, asks the detective to help overturn a murder conviction. Kay Spalter was convicted of shooting to death her husband, Carl, a gubernatorial candidate running on an anti-Mafia platform, at his mother's funeral, but some people think she was framed. Hardwick wants Gurney simply to identify irregularities in the investigation so as to make an appeal successful, but the only way Gurney knows how to do that is to find the truth. The plot is full of Verdon's usual challenges (e.g., it was apparently impossible for the murder to have been carried out), but the cleverness is surpassed by the probing analysis of what makes Gurney tick.
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This was an interesting book to read. The more you get into it the faster you want to read. Great detective novel!
Best Mystery of 2014
This is the fourth book revolving around NYPD Detective Dave Gurney written by John Verdon. This is the the first book in the series I have listened to and it was such a great book I have added the previous 3 to my Audible Wish List.
First I want to say that Robert Fass deserves to be recognized for his work on this audiobook. His presentation and performance of each character was as good as if they had seven or eight different voice talents performing this book. The story may be the best mysteries I have read this year, Robert Fass brings the story to another level as I was on the edge of my seat listening. I know if I had read this book it would have kept me up all night until I finished it.
John Verdon has written an almost perfect book. I never new who hired the killer until the very end. If this was a movie you would watch a second time just to see if you missed a clue along the way because the finally is so shocking.
A man is murdered at his mothers funeral by a snipers bullet. His wife is convicted of the murder and an ex New York State Police Detective asks Retired NYPD Detective Dave Gurney to help him get her conviction reversed. There could be no two Cops more different than Dave Gurney and Jack Hardwick, but Dave owes Jack a big favor. And so it begins the Odd Couple of Detectives look into the case.
This, as I said, may be the Best Mystery I have read this year and it is my favorite book of the year as of this writing. I hope there are more books with both of the main characters in the future and that Robert Fass continues as the narrator.
This book was gifted to me by the Publisher Dreamscape Media for an honest review.