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Group Read Books - archive > Think of a Number Part 3-A Chapters 32-43 -spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (last edited Jul 29, 2014 01:57AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments This is the first half of part three, Back to the Beginning, which we will split into two parts, this first segment is pages 235-303, Chapters 32-43.
If the first to post could provide a brief summary that would be helpful. Spoilers welcome in this thread.


message 2: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Part Three: Back to the Beginning

Chapter 32 – The cleansing to come

The mysterious man and his mother are sitting in bed. He is writing a poem, which she asks him o read to her. It is about the cleansing to come. She asks what he will do, but he doesn’t answer. He knows she just likes the sound of his voice, she doesn’t really want or need to know the details of the cleansing to come.

Chapter 33 – A hell of a night

Dave has a dream about his father that has him waking up in tears. He wants to share it with Madeleine, but she barely knew his father, so he just gets ready for the next day.

Chapter 34 – A dark day

Dave drives to the Bronx to meet Det. Randy Clamm. Clamm has a case with a similar m.o. that he wants to consult with Dave on. The husband of a religious fanatic was murdered; they think the wounds are knife wounds. Clamm thinks she is holding something back. They finally get her to admit she held back what she assumed was a gift her husband left for her – a flower.

Chapter 35 – Stumbling into the light

Clamm and Dave are not sure the cases aren’t related. Dave returns home and discusses the trip with Madeleine. He tells her about the flower, which is plastic. Madeleine points out that a fresh flower is a gift – a plastic one is home décor. He describes the flower, and she i.d.’s it as a Peony – the name of the town where the local murder took place. There’s the connection between the cases.

Chapter 36 – One thing leads to another

Dave calls Clamm to tell him about the peony connection. He suggests Clamm talk with the widow again and ask her what she did with the whiskey bottle. Dave calls Kline to update him. Clamm calls back; the widow gave up the bottle, 4 Roses. She didn’t want his new AA friends to know he had fallen off the wagon. Dave surmises that the killer is taunting them.

Chapter 37 – Bad things come in threes

Dave calls Gregory Dermott to ask if any more checks have been sent to him. He has received two checks, one from each murder victim. And a third from a man named Richard Kartch.


message 3: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Chapter 38 – A difficult man

Dave looks up Kartch’s address in Sotherton, MA, and talks to a neighbor. Kartch is a loner and a mess. Dave calls the local PD and asks them to warn Kartch he may be in danger. Later Dave gets a call from the Sotherton PD – they have a “situation” and want Dave to come up.

Chapter 39 – You and I have a date, Mr. 658

Dave arrives in Sotherton at Kartch’s house. Kartch has been murdered in similar circumstances to Mellery; footprints that appear to be heading away, and disappear. They find several envelopes with red printing on them, and a returned check in the amount of $289.87, just like the others.

Chapter 40 – A shot in the dark

Dave returns home. He pulls over, overcome with emotion. He ponders the checks; what if the point was more than that they be cashed? After some reflection, he goes home and writes an ominous and threatening poem back to the killer, to be mailed to Dermott’s p.o. box.

Chapter 41 – Back to the real world

Dave mails the letter. He picks up some messages, including one from the policeman on the two latest murders with details that match the first murder (bullet in wall, letters). Madeleine returns and he tells her how the second “think of a number” scam was pulled off. The killer was already at the mailbox with a portable printer. When Mellery said “19” the killer printed out a letter that said “19”.

Gregory Dermott called. He was left a letter, taped to his window, containing a threatening message.

Chapter 42 – Upside down

Dave gets the local PD to agree to send a cop to Dermott’s house. Dave thinks he’s figured out how the number scam was pulled off. He calls Hardwick and asks him to send out a request for similar m.o.’s for the last five years.

Chapter 43 – Madeleine

Madeleine has gone out to see the sun rise. Dave joins her. When they return home they share a quiet moment.


message 4: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Boy, the tension is really ratcheting up here.

I was very concerned when Dave wrote that poem to send to the killer. On the one hand, it was very clever, and sent the intended threatening message. On the other hand, I thought it was very risky to wave a red flag at that bull.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Carol: I was concerned about Dave in this segment too. He is hot and cold on so many things with Madeline especially; and the impulsive sending of the poem to the killer, taunting him, seemed to be very risky.


message 6: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3593 comments Worried about Dave too. Him and his wife strange couple. For some reason I think something is up with her. And getting a kick with the fish terms flounder beach, clamin, etc.


message 7: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3593 comments Might try to push to finish tonight if I can make it


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments DonnaJo: I also thought the author was trying to put some doubt in our minds about Madeline. That could partly be from the distance that seems to be growing between her and Dave; or from how she seems to be able to figure out facets of the case that no one else can uncover or figure out.

Donnajo wrote: "Worried about Dave too. Him and his wife strange couple. For some reason I think something is up with her. And getting a kick with the fish terms flounder beach, clamin, etc."


message 9: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments That's interesting! I didn't quite have that take. I did get annoyed with her because of her passive/aggressive behavior, which Dave was also guilty of. Things like not repeating where she was going because she "had told him already," I just saw this as a marriage in trouble, and unfortunately because we don't ever see them in the "in love" phase it feels a little cold.

Ann wrote: "DonnaJo: I also thought the author was trying to put some doubt in our minds about Madeline. That could partly be from the distance that seems to be growing between her and Dave; or from how she se..."


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments One of the other ways I thought the author put a bit of suspicion on Madeline was when she was not telling Dave where she was going (that was annoying) It was subtle, but I was watching for any clues to the identity of the murderer and she was a little off.
The couple of times they showed affection were pretty rare.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "That's interesting! I didn't quite have that take. I did get annoyed with her because of her passive/aggressive behavior, which Dave was also guilty of. Things like not repeating where she was going because "she had told him already"..."


message 11: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3593 comments I kept thinking something was up with Madeline.


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