It's been awhile since I've read a legit thriller and GOOD LORD this one was good. And creepy.
Shut Your Eyes Tight- John Verdon
When he was the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He was simply a man who, when faced with a puzzle, wanted to know. He was called to the investigative hunt by the presumptuous arrogance of murderers – by their smug belief that they could kill without leaving a trace. There was always a trace, Gurney believed.
Except what if one day there wasn’t?
Dave Gurney, a few months past the Mellery case that pulled him out of retirement and then nearly killed him, is trying once again to adjust to his country house’s bucolic rhythms when he receives a call about a case so seductively bewildering that the thought of not looking into it seems unimaginable—even if his beloved wife, Madeleine, would rather he do anything but.
The facts of what has occurred are horrible: a blushing bride, newly wed to an eminent psychiatrist and just minutes from hearing her congratulatory toast, is found decapitated, her head apparently severed by a machete. Though police investigators believe that a Mexican gardener killed the young woman in a fit of jealous fury, the victim’s mother—a chilly high-society beauty—is having none of it. Reluctantly drawn in, Dave is quickly buffeted by a series of revelations that transform the bizarrely monstrous into the monstrously bizarre.
Underneath it all may exist one of the darkest criminal schemes imaginable. And as Gurney begins deciphering its grotesque outlines, some of his most cherished assumptions about himself are challenged, causing him to stare into an abyss so deep that it threatens to swallow not just him but Madeleine, too.
Desperate to protect Madeleine and bring an end to the madness, Gurney ultimately discovers that the killer has left a trace after all. Unfortunately, the revelation may come too late to save his own life.
I will say that I'm pretty good at figuring out who actually did it, and I nailed it this time, but the reasoning behind... holy good lord it was creepy. And kind of frightening. Which made this book hard to put down and kept you on the edge of your seat. I realized shortly after starting it that this is the second in a Dave Gurney series (Think of a Number was the first) but it didn't matter, I didn't feel like I missed any key information to keep me out of the loop on this story since there wasn't much carry over from that investigation to this one.
But this story touches on some unique topics, primarily serial sex offenders... mostly women. It's interesting that the story is based around this since it's not something you hear a lot about in your news coverage but it's obviously a very real thing.
In some stories there is always at least one character that I'm never really excited about and wish they were left out all together, but not this one. Every character in this book had their own thing going for them and I never got bored with any story line or dialogue, which is maybe part of the reason I was on edge and devoured this book. John Verdon did such a great job weaving such a bizarre story line together that you don't know where it's been or where it's going, but you know it'll come together for a great moment at the end. And I have to be honest, when that moment came- I didn't realize it would happen then. I thought for sure some more information would come to light first. But I was wrong and I was glad. This was a great book.
Fortunately for you, the publisher is offering my readers a copy of the book for their very own! Leave me a comment on this post (US/Canada only) with your email address if you'd like a chance to win! I will draw for a winner on Wednesday, July 20 so you need to hurry!