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Group Read Books - archive > Think of a Number Part 1-B Chapter 9-16 - spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (last edited Jul 29, 2014 01:55AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14306 comments This is the second half of Part One
Chapters 9 to 16, pages 57 to 115.
If the first to post could add a short summary it would be great! Spoilers welcome.


message 2: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7814 comments Chapter 9 – No such person

Dave goes to interview Mark at his Institute. He thinks about his son Kyle who had called the day before but declined to have his dad called to the phone. Mark calls while he is en route. The check came back, with a note saying no such person at that address, a company called GD Security Systems.

Chapter 10 – The perfect place

Dave arrives at Mellery’s Institute. He runs into three very odd characters exhibiting strange behavior.

Chapter 11 – A unique ministry

Dave meets Mark who explains that the three patients are trying out new behaviors as part of their therapy. Dave asks if any of the patients might lash out. They are interrupted when secretary brings Mark’s messages with another poem. The sender will call tonight. Dave tells Mark about the whirlpool theory. Mark reacts – his worst phobia is about drowning.

Chapter 12 – The importance of honesty

Mark promises to call the police after the sender calls tonight. They arrange to record the call. Mark mentions an episode with a patient who eventually committed suicide. Mark still balks at making lists – he can’t write down everyone who made a negative statement about him/the institute.

Mark remembers that their technology will allow him to patch Dave into the call with the Sender.

Mark invites Dave to tour the institute on his way out. He does, and meets Caddy Mellery, Mark’s wife!

Chapter 13 – Nothing to be guilty about

Dave wonders why Mark didn’t tell him about the new wife and wonders what else he might be hiding. Madeleine passes on a message from Sonja -- with an edge. Dave recalls the forbidden subject – the death of their four-year-old son, for which he seems to have some responsibility. Mark calls and apologizes for not introducing his wife. He admits to an affair with a patient right after they were married and was afraid if Dave talked with her it would come out. Mark says that Caddy owns all the assets of the Institute.

Chapter 14 – Commitment

Mellery calls to patch Dave into the call from the Sender. He asks Mellery to think of a number. Mellery thinks of 19. The Sender has sent Mellery another letter that he should now have in his mailbox. The Sender says he should check, and he’ll see him in November or December. Mark checks and of course the letter has the number 19 in it. While Dave is waiting for Mark to call him back, his son Kyle calls. Dave reflects on his discomfort with his son.

Chapter 15 – Dichotomies

Dave is going to the Institute to pick up copies of the letters and phone call. Madeleine thinks he is going because he can’t stay away. Before he leaves he sees a box Madeleine has brought up from the basement – his dead son Danny’s drawings.

Dave again advises Mark to go to the police. He demurs and asks Dave to attend one of his lectures to understand why. Mark delivers a lecture on taking responsibility for the things that happen to you by asking “how did I open the door?”

Mark introduces Dave to his assistant/second in command at the Institute. Dave gives Mark a list of questions to ask of the owner of the security firm that was the return address on the letter/poem. Mark makes up an excuse not to do it right away, but promises to later, then makes a cryptic remark about there being “no pain worse than two people living in one body.”

Chapter 16 – The end of the beginning

Dave is uneasy; he longs for a crime scene that can be investigated, rather than this ambiguous mess. He makes arrangements to deliver a photo to Sonja, then cancels out of fear that more will happen at their next encounter. He is stopped on his way to the Institute by a shifty policeman. Mellery has quizzed Gregory (security guy) to no avail. Later, Madeleine hears on the news that Mellery has been murdered and tells Dave.


message 3: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Jul 30, 2014 04:48PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7814 comments Mark is a piece of work. How he could go into this long story about his wife dying, alcoholic blackouts, etc., and not mention that he had a 2nd wife living on the premises! I don't trust a word he says.

I suppose I knew that something was going to happen to Mark but I still wasn't prepared when it happened. I thought we'd get a little further into the mystery before his demise. And what was that about the letterwriter saying he was going to see Mark in November or December? It seemed as though a lot of seeds were being planted -- the accomplished assistant, the wife who owns everything, the fear of drowning, etc. Were these all red herrings to distract us from something else going on?


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14306 comments Mark is a piece of work, Carol - I don't trust him either. Dave is a bit unreliable too, he comes across as a strong efficient and heralded homicide detective, but we are getting subtle and sometimes not so subtle hints of tragedy: (his four year old son's death), his lack of a relationship with Kyle, his divorce, his and Madeline's superficially happy marriage and retirement, vs. deep seated anger and mistrust and a sense of expectation of letting the other down.
An example was in chapter 15 when Dave got up and discovered that Madeline had "made enough coffee for him too". He seemed surprised- yet why wouldn't she, unless in a passive aggressive manner she would not do or do things to punish him.
Madeline as seen from Dave's perspective is initially revealed to be a partner and a sounding board. She is someone who shares her opinions with excellent clarity, and appears to be highly attuned to Dave's cases, as when her "good hearing" allows her to know everything Mark told Dave, her encouragement and support seems to be behind Dave, and then not.
They seem to be having an on going argument that ebbs and flows.


message 5: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7814 comments You've put your finger on something there, Ann. Several times Madeleine has come up with insights into the case. You'd think Dave would build on that and make her a partner in solving the crime, and instead he seems to find ways to distance himself and piss her off every time he wants to pursue a lead or go talk with someone involved in the case. I wish they could have the kind of partnership that Chief Inspect Armand Gamache has with his wife Reine-Marie.

Ann wrote: "Madeline as seen from Dave's perspective is initially revealed to be a partner and a sounding board. She is someone who shares her opinions with excellent clarity, and appears to be highly attuned to Dave's cases, as when her "good hearing" allows her to know everything Mark told Dave, her encouragement and support seems to be behind Dave, and then not.
They seem to be having an on going argument that ebbs and flows. ..."



message 6: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3504 comments I pushed to get this far. It hadn't grabbed me yet but with being this far don't want to give up with the amount of pages I put in already.


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