Today Booklover Book Reviews has the great pleasure of hosting the TLC Book Tour for John Verdon’s latest thriller Let The Devil Sleep.
Let The Devil Sleep Synopsis
In this latest novel from bestselling author John Verdon, ingenious puzzle solver Dave Gurney puts under the magnifying glass a notorious serial murder case – 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 re-examining 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. (Amazon)
Let The Devil Sleep is the third title in John Verdon’s bestselling Dave Gurney detective series – but do not worry if, like me, you have not read the previous titles — this reads well as a standalone novel also.
From the very first line of the Prologue, “She had to be stopped”, I knew this title would be hard to put down. The writing is considered and tight and the tension builds steadily. I also note John Verdon has the enviable skill of writing free-flowing and realistic dialogue.
In Let The Devil Sleep John Verdon has crafted a complex web of clues and enough damaged characters with vested interests to keep readers guessing right to the last breath.
He knew younger men who believed in good luck, relied on good luck, thought it was something they owned. But at the age of forty-eight, Gurney knew damn well that luck is only luck, and the invisible hand that flips the coin is as cold as a corpse.
Verdon’s lead character Dave Gurney is one of those endearing strong silent types that does not suffer fools easily but will do anything to protect those he loves. He is wise, but also damaged, from his time in the police force. The reader lives the thrill of the hunt and being hunted from our protagonist’s point of view, figuring out who the killer is at exactly the same time he does, and not a minute earlier.
The murky night, with its depthless black shapes and ill-defined edges, seemed to reflect his view of the world at that moment.
He knew two things – two facts in collision with each other. First, a cool and rigorous objectivity had always been at the root of his success as a detective. Second, his objectivity was now questionable. He suspected that the slowness of his recovery, the feeling of vulnerability, the impression of being sidelined – the fear of irrelevance – had filled him with an agitation and anger that could easily warp his judgement.
In addition to the criminal investigation, in Let The Devil Sleep John Verdon explores the challenges of family relationships – particularly that between parent and child. If I had to identify an area for improvement it would be that while Dave Gurney and his son were very well developed, some of the other supporting cast, particularly the women, could have benefited from greater depth in characterisation.
Let The Devil Sleep by John Verdon is an entertaining thriller to sink your teeth into and keep you guessing right to the very end.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5
Have you read Let The Devil Sleep? Do you want to?
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Be sure to check out the other tour stops on this TLC Book Tour.
Genre: Action-Adventure, Crime-Detective, Thriller, Mystery
Author Information: John Verdon, a former Manhattan advertising executive, lives with his wife on a small hilltop in upstate New York. His first two Dave Gurney novels are Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight. Let the Devil Sleep is his third.
– Check out John Verdon’s website
* My receiving a copy of this novel free for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinion in this review.