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Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, #1)
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Think of a Number (Dave Gurney #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  15,921 Ratings  ·  1,718 Reviews
An extraordinary fiction debut, Think of a Number is an exquisitely plotted novel of suspense that grows relentlessly darker and more frightening as its pace accelerates, forcing its deeply troubled characters to moments of startling self-revelation.

Arriving in the mail over a period of weeks are taunting letters that end with a simple declaration, “Think of any number…pic
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published 2010)
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Erik I first read this book about a year after it came out (I think) and I remember talking to my mom about how much I loved the way the book made those…moreI first read this book about a year after it came out (I think) and I remember talking to my mom about how much I loved the way the book made those seemingly impossible events have a rational explanation. One question you could pose to your book club is this: How important is it for rationality and logic to dictate conclusions of events? Personally speaking for the individuals that is.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 24, 2014 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-said

There is a new voice in psychological thrillers and his name is John Verdon. Think of a Number is an unbelievably, excellent debut novel. This one will grab you from the get go! The suspense builds, the plot thickens, your heart races, your palms sweat, the pace accelerates and you tighten your grip to navigate the twists and turns coming at break neck speed. Good thing the pages fairly turn themselves as you will need both of your hands to hold on. This book is unputdownable! The writing is cle
Artemis Slipknot
Mar 26, 2016 Artemis Slipknot rated it really liked it
Πολύ ωραίο, έξυπνο και ενδιαφέρον βιβλίο. Σε κρατάει σε εγρήγορση απο την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος.Το διάβασα μέσα σε δύο μέρες γιατί ήθελα να καταλάβω τι έχει γίνει. Τον δολοφόνο δεν τον υποψιάστηκα καθόλου!!
Maria Thomarey
2,5 δεν μπορω να καταλάβω γιατι αυτος ο συγγραφές αρέσει στον κοσμο . Ειναι σα να διαβάζει Φρανζεν με αστυνομική πλοκή. Και ναι δε μου αρεσε . Βαρέθηκα . Πολλες επαναλήψεις ( λάμψη αλερτ) , και για όποιον εχει διαβασει Ελρου πχ η ίντριγκα σε λεει πολλα. Το βασικό μου προβλημα ηταν οτι βρήκα το δολοφόνο με το που έσκασε μύτη . Και ξενέρωσα τη ζωη μου
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2012 Sam Quixote rated it did not like it
I made it to page 20 of this mediocre "thriller" before throwing in the towel. I realise that it's not giving it much of a chance, how could any writer bring energy or develop a plot in that time? Well some writers have, notably Michael Connelly and Stephen King, which is probably why they're as famous as they are.

John Verdon isn't much of a writer though. Here are some examples of his awful writing that made me put the book down:

"He realised that planting tulip bulbs on a glorious Indian-summe
Oct 11, 2013 Filipa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
M-A-R-A-V-I-L-H-O-S-O!! Um dos policiais mais bem conseguidos que li até hoje. Recomenda-se vivamente para quem gosta (adoraaaa, como eu) este género e mesmo para quem não é muito fã do género.
James Thane
Mar 11, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Dave Gurney has recently retired from his job as one of the NYPD's most talented homicide investigators. He's moved to a rural area in upstate New York and is attempting to rebuild his relationship with his wife, Madeleine, who has always been forced to take a back seat to his job. But then Dave receives a plea for help from Mark Mellery, an old college classmate, who has received a threatening communication--a poem, actually--from someone who claims to know his most intimate secrets.

To prove t
Καλή προσπάθεια του John Verdon να γράψει κάτι διαφορετικό.Συμπαθητικό αλλά δεν είναι από τα βιβλία που με ξετρέλαναν.Καλή ιστορία,μυστήριο,αγωνία με έξυπνους γρίφους που κρατάνε τον αναγνώστη σε εγρήγορση,αλλά λίγο κουραστικό σε ορισμένα σημεία.Ήταν λίγο περισσότερο μακρόσυρτο από ότι θα έπρεπε.Δεν ήταν τόσο καλό όσο το περίμενα.Το τέλος είναι αναμενόμενο.
Dee Dee Walker
Feb 18, 2012 Dee Dee Walker rated it it was ok
I just finished this book and I have to say that I was quite disapointed. I began this book with raving reviews. It wasn't until a was about half way through that I started to rethink how great this book was. I have to confess that I was totally caught up with the mystery of how the killer seems to read minds. Put quite simply, the killer ask the victim, via a letter, to think of a number and the killer professes to know what that number will be. The number is in a sealed envelope. The number is ...more
Franco  Santos
Dec 12, 2016 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El primer libro de mi saga policíaca favorita. No es el mejor de la serie, en mi opinión. No obstante, es una muy buena novela, que me gustó mucho. Me encantó el tinte psicológico que le dotó a esta historia el autor.
Sé todo lo que piensas,
sé cuándo parpadeas,
sé dónde has estado,
sé adónde irán tus pasos.
Vamos a vernos solos,
señor 658.
Es un caso que no tiene ni pies ni cabeza, desborda la razón y la coherencia. Cuanto más investiga Gurney, más complejo se torna todo el asunto. El detective se
May 18, 2016 Vaso rated it it was amazing
It is the first book of this writer that I 've read, and I am excited!!!
A very nice story, with a lot of mystery!!!
Apr 23, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
Think of a number between 1 and 1,000: Go on, first one that enters your head.


So John Verdon arrives on the scene with a cliche-ridden brick of a book about a genius detective whose obsessive behaviour is damaging his marriage and so he has retired from the NYPD to upstate NY where everything will be much better...if he doesn't get dragged into solving a mystery for an old college mate who is being sent freaky hand-written messages by a scary person who seems to know more about the recipient t
Emir Ibañez
Dec 23, 2016 Emir Ibañez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guau. John Verdon es, sin duda, una voz distinta entre tantos escritores de thrillers en la actualidad.
Tiene un estilo muy particular. Su prosa roza lo poético y lo psicológico. Sus personajes son muy bien desarrollados, así sea un testigo innecesario para la trama no pasa como uno más.

Y, bueno, el pedazo de misterio que gira en torno al libro es fascinante y... desesperante.
Hace muchísimo tiempo que no me quedaba tan enganchado a un libro policial para saber quién diablos es el asesino y qué ex
Sandra Stiles
Jul 27, 2010 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, adult
This book took me longer to read than most books. The reason? I kept trying to figure out the clues. I am obviously not very good at that. Dave Gurney is a retired detectivce. He has retired and is now spending time with his wife. Unfortunately after suggesting he take an art class with her, his wife is not happy with the path that class has taken. First of all her husband is creating art out of the mug shots of serial killers he put away. Second of all she can tell that the instructor has the h ...more
Feb 09, 2013 Harry rated it it was amazing
It's 9PM and I'm thinking: "I'll lay in bed for a bit, read and call it a night. Gotta get up early, wake my daughter up, fix her lunch, get breakfast ready and then take her to school." The book I'm reading is John Verdon's latest: Let the Devil Sleep. The plate that sits on top of the chimney on the roof sends the sound of rain - like soft staccato bullets - down the chimney chute into the bedroom. I hit the power switch on my Kindle and focus on the page before me.

After reading a few hundred
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I’ve been successfully cured of my addiction to mysteries and thrillers year ago, but when Audible dangled this lovely carrot right in front of my nose in the form of their Audible daily deal, I simply couldn’t resist. John Verdon has been receiving a lot of praise from those far more familiar with the genre so of course I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Think of a Number starts off very strongly, with a seemingly unsolvable puzzle in front of our retired detective. Dave Gurney has bee
Jan 23, 2016 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: panost
Βιβλίο με ωραία πλοκή, αληθοφανή και μεστή. Ο ήρωας στη λύση των γρίφων ονομάζεται Ντέιβ Γκάρνεϋ και είναι μόλις συνταξιοδοτημένος αστυνομικός του τμήματος ανθρωποκτονιών της Ν. Υόρκης.
Από τις πρώτες κιόλας σελίδες ο αναγνώστης καταλαβαίνει ότι ο συγγραφέας δε θα αφήσει τον ήρωα του να αγιάσει και να ασχοληθεί με το χόμπυ του που είναι η επεξεργασία φωτογραφιών δολοφόνων! Παρόλα αυτά το βιβλίο δομεί αξιόπιστα την ιστορία του παράλληλα με τις εσωτερικές αναζητήσεις του ήρωα και τα φαντάσματα του
Aug 11, 2015 Nellakii❤ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ενα πανεξυπνο αστυνομικο θριλερ σε κραταει σε ενταση και αγωνια μεχρι και την τελευταια του σελιδα..
Ο ταλαντουχος John Verdon ξερει πως να παιζει με το μυαλο μας κι αυτο φαινεται πολυ καλα στο συγκεκριμενο βιβλιο!
Αξιζει να διαβαστει!

“What he took he will give, when he gets what he gave.”
Jul 28, 2011 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, audiobook
A sensational debut novel. It left my mind in knots and me uttering "WTF" on a regular basis.
Tim Warner
Oct 01, 2011 Tim Warner rated it it was amazing
Having just finished this book, I might rate it far too highly. But it is an incredible read on many levels. I kept thinking that if John Updike wrote a thriller, well, this would be it. It isn't imitative of Updike, but it carries the weight or maybe better said, the angst of developed characters dealing with interior landscapes rarely explored in this genre.

The book is not what I would call a page turner, until towards the end. In fact, there is a plodding sense to the pacing of the story whic
Larry Bassett
Apr 14, 2014 Larry Bassett rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Larry by: Jeanette
Shelves: mystery
Un-fucking-believable but a great story with adrenaline and thought provocation too.

This is the first book in what is, at this time, a four book series about the retired star police homicide detective Dave Gurney who still wants to keep his thumb in the pudding. He has moved from NYC to rural upstate NY, has a perceptive wife and the hint of some life trauma, an “accident” that was the death of their four year old son. This author was suggested to me by a new GR friend so is a trial run for me.
Oct 16, 2016 Sita_belen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pues al final no me había equivocado con mi sospechoso.
He de decir que me ha encantado, te mantiene enganchada de principio a fin. Si el asesino/a hubiese sido una sorpresa para mí le habría dado las 5 estrellas.

Si os gustan los thriller psicológicos, casos de asesinos en serie, el rollo policial a nivel de inspectores de homicidios...os lo recomiendo 100%

Lo mejor es que justo ayer comentaba con una compañera del cole nuestras últimas lecturas y resulta que tiene toda la saga del detective Gurne
Dec 23, 2015 Sonia rated it really liked it
Estupendo. Sabía que no me decepcionaría, en parte porque cuando se trata de crímenes, los prefiero de asesinos seriales así de ingeniosos, y en cuanto a Gurney, me ha gustado muchísimo en muchos aspectos. Es la clase de detective que sabes que se involucrará inevitablemente en el caso a pesar de todo, por la fuerza de su profesión y todo lo que ello conlleva.
Al principio el caso se me hizo interesantísimo, pero a medida que avanzaba se tornó un poco lento y perdiendo fuerza porque no sucedía mu
Jul 29, 2010 Lorin rated it did not like it
I hate to say a book was bad, but this book was bad. The characters were almost interesting, if they hadn't been so archetypal. The plot started off interesting (though it got less so as it moved toward the climax of the story line). The writing - bad. I felt like the author had a list of nonverbal descriptions, analogies, and big words that he was trying to find a place for and would therefore shove them into the thoughts or dialogue of characters that would not have used those words. The descr ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Vir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pendientes-2015
Sé lo que estás pensando ha resultado ser una lectura intrigante y con mucho trasfondo psicológico. Un thriller policial muy bien ambientado, con un caso bastante atípico y que llama la atención del lector desde el principio, puede que peque de ser algo lento pero, eso sí, me enganchó una barbaridad.

Jan 20, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery and crime lovers
Note: SPOILERS!! Don't read if you want to be surprised by who the killer is!!

I borrowed Think of a Number from my grandmother to read and I finished it fairly quickly. I'm not usually a big fan of mystery novels but this one drew me in with the interesting number trick. The whole time I was reading the book, I just wanted to know how the killer had done it! How could he predict what number out of a thousand a person would think of?? It drove me nuts enough to keep reading until I found out. By
Nov 08, 2012 Ana rated it liked it
Algumas ideias sobre o livro:

- Gostei da premissa do livro porque parecia um pouco diferente do que tinha lido até agora dentro do género policial
- Está muito concentrado no desenrolar da investigação criminal - característica que me agradou bastante! - e não se perdia muito com aspectos mais pessoais da vida das personagens. No entanto, apesar de por um lado isso ter sido bom, por outro, principalmente na parte final, acho que pecou um pouco; havia algumas coisas que pediam algo mais conclusivo
Nov 02, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it
This is hard to believe that this is a debut author. Mr. Verdon with all the twists and turns he takes the reader on, will keep you on the edge of your seat. To tackle the age old premise of a serial killer, who thinks he's smarter than the local police sounds all too familiar. But, this one is an inventive take on how our bad guy thinks his puzzles will not be solved. Our hero Dave Gurney, you can not help but like. It's like he was put on this earth to solve these type of puzzles. And, the exc ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Xana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comecei esta leitura com expectativas altas e acabou por não chegar lá.
É um policial levezinho, que li sem dificuldade. Gostei do personagem principal, desconfiei do assassino um bom bocado antes de nos ser mostrado.
Gostei e quero mto ler os próximos..
Aug 16, 2010 Fran rated it it was amazing
Think Of A Number
Author John Verdon

Think of any number and I promise you that I will know which one you picked. Sounds like a parlor trick or a card trick. No so! This is more serious. Imagine receiving a note and several unsigned poems from an unknown source telling you that you will pay for what you have done, for your past and for your sins. What if you guessed a number in your head and opened an envelope sent with this poem that told you the number you picked. How would you react?

You open th
Jun 17, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Think Of A Number introduces John Gurney, a recently retired NY homicide detective with a talent for hunting down serial killers. The book opens with our hero in upstate New York, residing in a picturesque house, planted in a picturesque setting. Dave's found himself a new time consuming and rather bizarre artistic hobby, which is a good thing, because his marriage is one spousal argument away from flat-lining. Out of the blue Dave is contacted by a college buddy, who is now a life coach/spiritu ...more
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Marmara: Aklından Bir Sayı Tut 5 47 Oct 28, 2015 09:05AM  
Mystery/Thriller ...: * Think of a Number Initial Comments no spoilers 22 38 Apr 10, 2015 04:57AM  
goddamn jhon verdon 3 52 Sep 01, 2014 08:03AM  
Goodreads Librari...: 9780141048703 2 29 Apr 01, 2013 02:49PM  
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JOHN VERDON has held several executive positions with Manhattan advertising firms, but like his protagonist, he recently relocated with his wife to rural upstate New York.
More about John Verdon...

Other Books in the Series

Dave Gurney (5 books)
  • Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, #2)
  • Let the Devil Sleep (Dave Gurney, #3)
  • Peter Pan Must Die (Dave Gurney, #4)
  • Controlaré tus sueños (Dave Gurney, #5)

Share This Book

“The worst pain in our lives comes from the mistakes we refuse to acknowledge--the things we've done that are so our of harmony with who we are that we can't bear to look at them.” 10 likes
“The person I think I am is terrified of the person I really am, terrified of what others would think of that person. What would they do to me if they knew the person I really was? Better to be safe! Better to hide the real person, starve the real person, bury the real person!” 9 likes
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