Shut your Eyes Tight

Shut your Eyes Tight

A Novel

Book - 2011
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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.

With Shut Your Eyes Tight, John Verdon delivers on the promise of his internationally bestselling debut, Think of a Number, creating a portrait of evil let loose across generations that is as rife with moments of touching humanity as it is with spellbinding images of perversity.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307717894
Call Number: F VERDON J
Characteristics: 509 p. ; 25 cm


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Aug 29, 2015

My second book from this author. The first was better much better. This one has too much twists and in the end the plot is laid down in front of Gurney and is resolved only by is attempted suicide. I must say that the end is rather weak. Hopefully the third in the series will be better constructed .

Aug 27, 2013

I really enjoyed this complex story. Admittedly I listened to the audio book version, and the skill of the narrator may have been a factor in maximising my pleasure, but my listening was fragmented since I listen to audio books in short bursts while cooking, gardening, etc. And I still found it absorbing. It's a bit farfetched in places (hence only 4 stars), but, hey.

ehbooklover Feb 15, 2013

Another great page-turner by Verdon that has lots of plot twists, a complex and flawed protagonist, and a combination police procedural/“locked room” mystery. I enjoyed this, but I would definitely say that Verdon’s first title, “Think of a Number”, was better.

Dec 03, 2012

Good but not as good as his first novel. A serial killer who beheads his victims although the serial part comes later. The story is mostly cerebral detective work so the pacing is methodical. I would've liked a little more pace tp the story. It features the same retired policeman from the first novel.

Sep 17, 2012

This is a lot more interesting than Verdon's first book. At first there was a slightly alarming shade of a similar killer angle which thankfully did not stick.

However, there are some downsides to the book, which prevents a higher rating from me. First off, the book is too long. Verdon's first, I thought, was too long, and this one is even longer. There were some side plots that seemed pointless and which Verdon tied to the main story, and still ended up being pointless. Some of the detail is also distracting.

The characters are still unlikeable. I suppose this is good as Verdon maintains his continuity of the characterization from the start. But it's lessens the fun of reading the book when you don't like, or care, for the main characters.

The husband-wife relationship of Dave and Madeline continues to perplex and annoy me. Their interaction is more bleak, more disconnected in the second book. In a book full of unlikable characters it should have made sense for Verdon to try and bring some comfort in having a warm and supporting wife to turn to for wisdom and backup. Instead, I dreaded whenever Dave and Madeline were together.

Is every police officer in Verdon's stories a self centered, unfriendly, uncompromising, moronic a**hole? Because that's what I'm getting whenever the BCI cops are involved, cops from other counties and even highway patrolmen. And why is it that only Dave has the insight to uncover clues and crack the case? You'd think that there was no one other than Dave who can do the job, no one who has ever encountered serial killers (who in Verdon's mind seem to be as common as snow in the North Pole).

The plot is interesting; the ending is disappointing. I'd say that Verdon still has some paths to travel before he gets it right.

Oct 09, 2011

It was likely a fairly good story, but It was dragged out with unnecessary detail. It was a 200 page story that took 509 pages to write. The author should have a look at John Sanfords books. He really knows how to write a good story that moves along just right.

jkendle Sep 21, 2011

Good read. You can be the detective, too.

paisley6 Sep 20, 2011

Disappointing read as I really enjoyed his first book. I thought there was too much detail and would have been better with 100 or so less pages.

Sep 17, 2011

A page turner with lots of red herrings. Some details remain unresolved, but overall a very satisfying police procedural.

Jul 19, 2011

If Verdon ever turns to a life of crime, we're in trouble. He has the ability to come up with these complex, seemingly unsolvable crimes that seem to follow Sherlock Holmes adage that if you eliminate the possible, all that's left is the impossible. This is not an easy read but an absorbing one. Dave Gurney agrees to consult on another murder. He's having issues with adapting to his bucolic retirement, much to his wife's disapproval. Their relationship is the thing that is the real mystery. Opposites can attract but the only thing these two seem to share is the same house. By the end, Madeline comes around a bit to accepting that Dave will always be Dave & she may have to adjust her vision of what their life should be. Intricate plotting, thorough research into police procedure & forensics & lots of red herrings add to this examination of what makes us tick.


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