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Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, #2)
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Shut Your Eyes Tight

(Dave Gurney #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  9,568 ratings  ·  815 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 509 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Crown
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  9,568 ratings  ·  815 reviews

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Andrew Smith
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Verdon’s first novel Think of a Number so much that I immediately got hold of a copy of this book, a follow up story featuring retired NYPD cop Dave Gurney. The background is that Dave retired from the force in his late forties after having enjoyed a glittering career as a star detective. He is highly logical in his approach and loves the challenge of solving complex puzzles. He’s now living in the Catskills, in upstate NY, with his wife Madeleine. She wants Dave to stop resurrecting ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd book in the series and all I can say is that I love this author. He knows how to ratchet up the tension. If you like mysteries I highly recommend this series although I would start with book 1 because the case Dave Gurney was on in that book is mentioned a lot in this book. Plus it's a damn good book (IMO).
James Thane
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Dave Gurney retired from the NYPD as a decorated homicide detective and moved to an isolated country farm, he thought he was putting his old life behind him. Certainly his wife, Madeleine, hoped that was the case, and she loves their new life of peace, quiet and long walks in the countryside. She delights in her flowers, the wild life that abounds around the farm, and in her various hobbies.

Dave, not so much. Gurney discovers that he misses the hunt. His job had energized and challenged
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I've read by this author and the plots are gripping and the main character (although conforms pretty closely to the stereotypical male lead that bores me) isn't at all annoying.

There is one thing that bothered me in this book and in the first and I felt compelled to RANT about it. The main character's relationship with his wife doesn't make any sense to me. According to him, she is insightful and loving and beautiful and perfect. To me she's a horrible communicator,
Michael Martz
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
John Verdon's Dave Gurney is a nicely developed character I've come to appreciate in this series. He's a retired NYC detective with lots of past success, a nice post-retirement with his wife in a bucolic country setting outside the city, and seemingly too much time on his hands. He keeps getting pulled into his past life, which leads to problems with his present life (if that makes any sense...). I've read the series out of order, which isn't normally a good thing, but it does allow a reader to ...more
Feb 06, 2013 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
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
This is a heavy duty thriller/crime fiction/mystery. It involves serial killers and crimes which are among the most depraved one can read - or know about. But the fact it's Dave Gurney investigating lightens the load, somewhat.

Retired homicide detective, living in upstate New York on a bucolic little farmstead (I hope I used that word correctly), Dave is asked - once again! - to 'consult' on a murder involving a young woman beheaded at her own wedding reception. Yep, this one is COMPLEX. Of
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
This book is Think of a Number.

It's structurally identical and the plot is so similar as to make the identity of the murderer obvious from very early on, assuming you have already read Verdon's first novel, which I have. So that's a bit disappointing but it's a gripping read anyway - because it becomes a "howdunnit?" not a "whodunnit?"

Yes, the way the crime was committed becomes the central mystery and it's compelling enough to make me forgive the otherwise repetitious nature of this sequel -
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
7/10. As others have noted this would be much better if it were a hundred pages shorter. His writing can be quite good at times and I see unrealized potential. Does every book have to be psycho serial killers?
Marty Fried
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, mystery
After two books in this series, I'm beginning to see a pattern. Dave Gurney, is still trying to retire as a cop, and his wife is very encouraging, often demanding, but she usually relents because he's just so good at it. The other police all seem to resent him for the same reason. They're a bunch of idiots, and he comes along and knocks out their jacks, sending them tumbling back to earth. The exception is his old semi-partner, an abrasive but smart detective who also doesn't get along too well ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I honestly don't know how to rate this (very long) book. At times I was a solid 3 - then I changed my mind to a solid 4 - then back again! This is the 2nd in the Dave Gurney series- what I can tell you if you like police procedures/PI detective type books you will like the character of Dave Gurney- ( his wife- not so much!) but him- he is just delightful!

So, at times I felt this story was too 'long winded' - and there was a lot going on at the same time-best I can describe it. Again, at times I
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally go for series, but there's something about Dave Gurney, retired detective with a difficult marriage and a tough time staying idle, that invites revisiting. I listened to this one on audio, just as I did with its predecessor. It was very well read by the always reliable Scott Brick, although I have no idea why they switched the readers from book one to book two. Normally it seems the same reader does the series. Anyway...the story itself was very good, solidly crafted mystery ...more
Gloria ~ mzglorybe
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
“If the facts contradict each other, it means that some of them aren’t facts.”

Dave Gurney never forgot that lesson learned in his early years at the NYPD Academy. Now that he is currently drawn into consulting in a murder investigation, it couldn’t be more true. Nothing about this case makes sense. It is a maze of conundrums.

Officially retired, after a harrowing case that almost took his life in Verdon’s first novel “Think of a Number” Gurney has agreed to settling into his cozy new abode on 50
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
John Verdon has constructed a clever little puzzler here, a blending of two genres, thriller and police procedural.

here's the set-up. Spoiled rich girl marries celebrity psychiatrist twice her age. Shortly before the celebratory toast, she's found in the gardener's cottage sitting in a chair, decapitated, head sitting on a table facing the body. The Mexican gardener is missing, along with the neighbor's wife. The bloodhounds followed a trail behind the cottage leading back into the woods for a
Feb 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is the second time I have attempted to read this book. Both times I have felt the same reaction...why oh why. As in why oh why are I subjecting myself to this book. Well I could not read anymore of this book on my second try after getting to chapter 13. Which to be honest was not hard to get to chapter 13 as the chapters are pretty short. Well they are when you find yourself skimming the pages. I was not into this book at all. I actually had to re-read the murder scene. I only knew this ...more
Richard White
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good a the previous entry, "Think of Number" one of my favorites, but a solid . ...more
Larry Bassett
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I listen to this book on audible. It was a startling and thrilling and unsettling book. Extremely well written and the audible presentation was also well done.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine
Shelves: vine-book
In this sequel to "Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No.1)," Verdon outdoes himself - his first book was very good - this one is AMAZING!!

Dave Gurney, retired homicide detective with the NYPD, is approached by Jack Hardwick from NYBCI (NY Bureau of Criminal Investigation) with a request. Four months prior, a young woman (Jillian Perry) was murdered on her wedding day - her head cut off with a machete - and while Hardwick originally was running the investigation, a disagreement with his commanding
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
In this second installment of the Dave Gurney series, the plot follows the same “locked room” formula as the first. A seemingly impossible crime occurs when a bride is found murdered on her wedding day. What was first thought to be a simple murder investigation turns out to be something far more sinister and multi-layered. Although the book was well-written, I found the resolution less than satisfying, and some of Gurney’s actions implausible.

The secondary plot involves Dave’s relationship with
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This book is an exceptional mystery thriller, perhaps one of the best I have read in a long time. Verdon not only brings the characters to life, but also makes the reader feel each and every turn of the plot and storyline. Main character David Guerney is taken along an amazingly cluttered path in the hopes of helping to solve a truly grisly murder of a bride decapitated on her wedding day.

What seems like a simply open and shut case leads us down many paths the reader may not want to explore,
Don Gorman
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
(3 1/2). I have really taken a liking to these Dave Gurney books. He is such an engaging protagonist I have no problem forgiving some minor indulgences that Verdon takes in making these stories work. This one is mesmerizing at times, moves very quickly most of the way and manages to do that though deductions and revelations as opposed to sex and violence. We do have some nasty bad guys here, and you can figure out (mostly) what the goings on are, but the ending is real solid. I will reserve the ...more
Kimmel Tippets
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was fascinating. I loved the idea of a murder that appeared to be perfect, with no trace evidence and contradicting facts. Detective Gurney was an interesting character. It was easy to see how serious he takes his job. It is obviously difficult for him to live a normal life without a puzzle to solve.
The relationship with Gurney and his wife, Madeleine was also amazing. Verdon does a great job at building the tension between them. I could really feel for her. She didn’t want to change
Dana Moison
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the sophistication and the subtlety of gestures in John Verdon’s books. And most of all, the element of surprise. You can find all three in this current thriller.

Retired NYPD homicide detective Dave Gurney is asked to help in a horrifying murder investigation that has almost no concrete leads: A beautiful bride is discovered decapitated in the secluded cabin of the shady Mexican gardener, who is nowhere to be found and is presumed to have run away with the promiscuous neighbor. The
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
An overreaching, overwritten, disappointing followup to Verdon's whiz-bang debut. A sense of repetition - the kind of "I feel like I've read this exact same line earlier in this story" repetition (and in fact I was able to pinpoint a couple of short paragraphs that the writer plagiarized from himself) - and kitchen sink writing detracted from what could have been another very engaging "locked room" mystery. The influence of the extreme popularity of international mafia crime thrillers (e.g. The ...more
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After reading a series of fairly forgettable books, this was a pleasant change. I loved John Verdon's first book (Think of a Number) and I loved this, couldn't put it down. I won't rehash the plot, there are plenty of summaries available.

What impresses about John Verdon is his intelligent writing, the focus is not on blood and guts but rather the subtle clues and nuances in the case. I read an article recently about philosophy and the teaching of rational thinking - this book picked up on those
Gerald Sinstadt
Dec 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
It must be depressing for an author to work long and hard in producing 500 pages and then see it condemned out of hand in 50 words. I dislike doing that but I have to be honest and say that I found Shut Your Eyes Tight to be virtually unreadable.

After the highly improbable murder is set out there follow two whole chapters, irrelevant to the plot, in which the ex-cop delivers a lecture. Then we return to his fractious relationship with his wife, which does nothing for narrative thrust or for
I read this second in the Dave Gurney series first because it was $1.99 on Kindle. I would read more books in the series.

Dave Gurney has retired at 46 from the NYPD. He and his wife, Madeleine, have moved to rural Connecticut to immerse themselves in the natural process of growing your own crops. Against Madeleine's wishes, Dave is hired by a wealthy socialite to find her daughter's murderer. The daughter was killed at her own wedding reception. It's almost a locked room mystery - everyone
Sep 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read the readers’ reviews of SHUT YOUR EYES TIGHT and after reading the book myself, I was amazed that the majority of readers gave the book 4 or 5 stars. I thought the book was repetitive, dull and weird. Even the author admits it is repetitive when the main character, Dave Gurney thinks “After exhausting himself by exploring the same blind alleys over and over. . . “ I am not good at figuring out the where the clues would lead, but some of the clues in this book were so obvious that I ...more
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2015
I enjoyed this one more than the first one. It was a very exciting read with bunch of twists and turns I did not see coming, including the murderer. It is a very detail-oriented book, and not so much a very fast paced thriller, which I quite liked. I have the third book on my shelf, so I will definitely be continuing the series.
Jane Brant
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Glad to see this continuation of the Dave Gurney is sufficiently different than the first one with serial murders based on deep, disturbing psychotic behavior. I found this plot line less credible than the first one, but the literary ride was filled with twists and turns consistent with author's style and expertise.
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John Verdon Books: Shut Your Eyes Tight Discussion 1 14 Oct 20, 2015 07:34AM  

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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.

Other books in the series

Dave Gurney (6 books)
  • Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, #1)
  • Let the Devil Sleep (Dave Gurney, #3)
  • Peter Pan Must Die (Dave Gurney, #4)
  • Wolf Lake (Dave Gurney, #5)
  • White River Burning (Dave Gurney #6)
“The stories people tell you about themselves seem to retain the possibility of being false. But what you discover about them by yourself seems to be the truth.” 38 likes
“This case is complex. It's got layers to it, Davey. It's a fucking onion... You're a natural-born onion peeler -- the best that ever was.” 19 likes
More quotes…