About the Book: In this latest novel from bestselling author John Verdon, ingenious puzzle solver Dave Gurney puts under the magnifying glass a notorious serial murder – one whose motives have been enshrined as law-enforcement dogma – and discovers that everyone has it wrong.
The most decorated homicide detective in NYPD history, Dave Gurney is still trying to adjust to his life of quasi-retirement in upstate New York when a young woman who is producing a documentary on a notorious murder spree seeks his counsel. Soon after, Gurney begins feeling threatened: a razor-sharp hunting arrow lands in his yard, and he narrowly escapes serious injury in a booby-trapped basement. As things grow more bizarre, he finds himself reexamining the case of The Good Shepherd, which ten years before involved a series of roadside shootings and a rage-against-the-rich manifesto. The killings ceased, and a cult of analysis grew up around the case with a consensus opinion that no one would dream of challenging — no one, that is, but Dave Gurney.
Mocked even by some who’d been his supporters in previous investigations, Dave realizes that the killer is too clever to ever be found. The only gambit that may make sense is also the most dangerous – to make himself a target and get the killer to come to him.
To survive, Gurney must rely on three allies: his beloved wife Madeleine, impressively intuitive and a beacon of light in the gathering darkness; his de-facto investigative “partner” Jack Hardwick, always ready to spit in authority’s face but wily when it counts; and his son Kyle, who has come back into Gurney’s life with surprising force, love and loyalty.
Displaying all the hallmarks for which the Dave Gurney series is lauded — well-etched characters, deft black humor, and ingenious deduction that ends in a climactic showdown – Let the Devil Sleep is something more: a reminder of the power of self-belief in a world that contains too little of it.
Read for Review (Edelweiss)
Overall Rating 3.50
Story Rating 3.75
Character Rating 3.25
First Thought when Finished: Let the Devil Sleep started slow but once the story hit its stride the rest was very good story telling.
What I Thought of the Story: Let the Devil Sleep is the 3rd book in the Dave Gurney series. As a reader, this was my first journey into this world and that may have hurt me initially as the characters were not known to me. The story (or case) though after about 1/3 of the book was strong enough to draw me into how it was going to play out. There were enough elements introduced (the documentary series, the stalking, the history, and if the perpetrator from the unsolved case) that as a reader, I was compelled to find out how they were all going to play together. The way that John Verdon weaved in and out elements that were connected was really well done and were made to keep the readers on their toes. Let the Devil Sleep will keep you turning the pages and for fans of the series, I believe you will be even more intrigued.
What I Thought of the Characters: Here is where I believe not starting with book 1 hurt me as a reader. Dave Gurney is a hard character to warm up too. He is stand offish and emotionally withholding. Dave is brilliant though and his methodical way of following the clues was the part of the character that I loved. Madeleine, his wife, was my favorite character in Let the Devil Sleep. She was smart, innovative, and her questions really balanced out Dave. She was very good at injecting her wisdom without forcing her way into the case. Jack and Kyle were much-needed male counterparts to Dave. I believe that Dave is a better man because of both of them. I felt invested in all these characters by the end of the story.
Final Thought: Let the Devil sleep will take you on a journey that you won’t forget soon!