It begins with a letter. The letter contains a request – think of a number, any number – and a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is that number.
When Dave Gurney, retired NYPD homicide detective, is contacted by an old college acquaintance about some startling letters he’s been receiving, it is at first little more than a diverting but sinister puzzle. Until the acquaintance is brutally killed.
Suddenly Gurney finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that makes no sense. The killer seems to have known his victim intimately. How else was he able to predict his victim’s thoughts, even his actions? How did he know his darkest secrets?
The killer is smart and he is playing with the police. Gurney needs to be smarter if he’s going to catch him, but this seems only to be the beginning. And the killer alone knows where it will end.
Review: After reading a lot of reviews about this book, I finally decided to pick it up given my love for murder mysteries. I can easily say I enjoyed this book. It is very well written, engrossing and keeps you guessing for a long long time.
The plot is believable, the puzzles intriguing, the pace well controlled and the characters well etched out. Gurney is a complex character; the intricacies between his obsession about his work and his personal life are sensitively and convincingly portrayed and I loved loved Madeline, his wife. I wish there were more wise cracks from her. She seemed to be always ahead on things.
The language is very good and there are quite a few thoughts and ideas thrown in. I didn’t expect that a crime thriller would have such a vast range of vocabulary put in. It’s been a long time since I read a clever, meticulous and well-educated murderer and an equally cool, calm, collected and logical detective. More like Sherlock Home. No, not like Poirot though.
There are few loose ends in this book such as about Gurney’s art work and I expected it to be developed along the way but it wasn’t. The climax was a bit filmy but still the book was very enjoyable. If would be wonderful if this turns out into a series. A very good debut novel. I am very much looking forward to his next book.
My rating: 4.5/5