Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No. 1) - John Verdon

Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No. 1)

Artist John Verdon

  • Release Date: 2010-07-06
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 99 Ratings


An extraordinary fiction debut, Think of a Number is an exquisitely plotted novel of suspense that grows relentlessly darker and more frightening as its pace accelerates, forcing its deeply troubled characters to moments of startling self-revelation.
Arriving in the mail over a period of weeks are taunting letters that end with a simple declaration, “Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.”  Amazingly, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly.  For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial murder investigation.
What police are confronted with is a completely baffling killer, one who is fond of rhymes filled with threats and warnings, whose attention to detail is unprecedented, and who has an uncanny knack for disappearing into thin air.  Even more disturbing, the scale of his ambition seems to widen as events unfold.
Brought in as an investigative consultant, Dave Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that leave local police in awe.  Yet, even as he matches wits with his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney’s tragedy-marred past rises up to haunt him, his marriage approaches a dangerous precipice, and finally, a dark, cold fear builds that he’s met an adversary who can’t be stopped.
In the end, fighting to keep his bearings amid a whirlwind of menace and destruction, Gurney sees the truth of what he’s become – what we all become when guilty memories fester – and how his wife Madeleine’s clear-eyed advice may be the only answer that makes sense.
A work that defies easy labels -- at once a propulsive masterpiece of suspense and an absorbing immersion in the lives of characters so real we seem to hear their heartbeats – Think of a Number is a novel you’ll not soon forget.

From the Hardcover edition.


  • Immensely fascinating.

    By Justkindly
    I love this character and the way that you write about him. He is complicated and intelligent and very human He is as fascinating as Harry Bosch and I never thought I would find another detective Who was this complicated and funny and relentless. Thank you for creating Dave Gurney.
  • Excellent...

    By Longhorn5555
    Well written, tightly plotted...
  • Think Of A Number

    By ketch834
    For a first book--It's a 5. Maybe I won't give the next books of his I read a 5, and I will read them, and a lower # will only be because he set such a high bar with #1
  • Even better the second time!

    By Dough DRT
    I rarely find a book worth reading again. But after two years I found the book as compelling as the first time. Exceptionally well written, with a mystery that doesn't reveal itself until the very end. A definite must - you'll find it hard to put down!
  • Well Crafted

    By Investowiz
    Complex mystery with reasonable turns and twists.
  • A Must Read Series-John Verdon's 1st Book

    By Oregongrown68
    This is the first book in the Dave Gurney Series. This audiobook is narrated by Scott Brick. Scott also did the second book in this series Shut Your Eyes Tight. John Verdon is a once in a lifetime author. He has no law enforcement background but writes like a retired cop, much like his main character Dave Gurney. Dave is A retired NYPD Detective and is asked to look at a case. This is the first time we meet Dave and his wife and son. His (what I call) Anti-Partner Jack Hargrove and his need to solve puzzles. Dave puts his whole heart into this case and even risks his own life to answer questions and close the case tight. This is a book of substance but keeps you listening through the very end. This book does not have slow areas as each chapter you learn along with Dave what is happening. This is a great book and series. I am sold and a big fan. I bought this book for my own pleasure and review purposes.
  • Excellent Reading

    By Mansam
    Looking forward to reading the next Dave Gurney character novel.
  • Amazing work!

    By KcKippenhan
    John Verdon's David Gurney is as intelligent as he is intuitive. I could not put this book down, the turns and twists kept me on the edge!