John Verdon has always been a writer but used his talent in industries other than the fiction field. After leaving New York for the quieter pace and beauty of the western Catskill Mountains he enjoyed the chance to read mystery novels.
The novels he particularly enjoyed were by a diverse range of authors from Arthur Conan Doyle to Ross Macdonald and Reginald Hill. This lead to the idea of writing his own mystery which turned out to be his debut novel, Think of a Number.
The Dave Gurney Series
The Dave Gurney series features a recently retired NYPD police detective who is being used as an investigative consultant. The books are atmospheric and filled with suspense and this is what immediately grabs the reader. It’s the reason we read hardboiled mystery novels.
Think of a Number (2010) is an outstanding debut that earned a nomination for the 2011 Nero Award. In this first book a series of letters arrive in the mail that challenges its readers with the following “Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.”
Peter Pan Must Die (2014) was the 4th book in the series and took out the Nero Award for Best Detective Fiction. It was also nominated for the Shamus Award for Best Novel.
In this novel the twists and turns are more pronounced as Gurney is challenged with a case that holds more challenges than just deciding on what is right and what is wrong.
There is an important atmospheric element to the entire series that drags the reader in and immerses you with a sense that you are part of the story. Gurney is a puzzle master and, as such, gives the reader the chance to try to use the clues to get to the answer first.