Think of a Number by John Verdon


Name & Author: Think of a Number by John Verdon

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Release Date: July 6th 2010

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller


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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. think of a number

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.           -Goodreads


My Thoughts:

I picked this book up at a whim at my local library not really expecting much of it. The book took me by surprise, I really liked it. This is John Verdon’s debut novel. There are two other books out in this series: Shut Your Eyes Tight and Let the Devil Sleep.

The book revolves around Dave Gurney, a retired NYPD top homicide investigator. He struggles to adapt to his new life, a calm and comfortable one.
One day an old classmate of Gurney’s, Mallery, turns to him for help. Soon Gurney is deep into an investigation that turns into a murder mystery when Mallery is murdered. More bodies turn up. All the men who have been murdered have gotten the same mysterious letters. A letter that someone knows them extraordinary well and is keeping tabs on them.

I really liked the murder mystery in the book. There are lots of details that are unsettling, especially the steps that stop in the middle of nowhere.  And all the details that lead the investigators in the wrong direction.

Dave Gurney is a genius when reading a murder scene, but is rubbish at noticing that his marriage is going down the drain. His private life is a big part of the book. As the investigation moves on, he slowly takes more part in his marriage. He and his wife talk about the problems in their life, about their dead son. And in the end Gurney talks to his son, from former relationship, and connects to him, something that he has never really done before.

The book is very well written. It keeps you guessing and on your toes till the end. It’s original, not like anything else I have read before. It’s a true brain puzzle. However it is a slow read, there is a lot to take in and to not miss anything it takes a while to get through.

I read a translation and I think that some of John Verdon’s charm may have gotten lost in the process. I wish I had read it in English.


4/5 stars!




September 2013 Wrap-Up


I have decided to make a monthly wrap up. As you probably know a monthly wrap up is when I tell you about all the books I read that month.


I’m going to start with the month of September. In September I read total of eight books, which is pretty good for my first month of University and tons of assignments.


Update October 12th: I found one book that I forgot to save at Goodreads. So, I read in total of nine books.


The books I read are:

think of a numberpaper townsspeakjoylandshatter mesvar við brefi helgucity of bonesharry pottercatherine


Think of a Number by John Verdon: A mystery/crime novel. 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.” A rather good book. 4/5 stars. Review to come.


Paper Towns by John Green: YA/Contemporary. After a night of adventures Margo disappears and leaves Q clues. He soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew. Really good book! Recommend it to everyone. 5/5 stars! Review to come.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: YA/Contemporary. During the end of summer party Melinda calls the cops. Isolated and depressed she starts high school. During the course of the book you get to know why she called the cops. Very good book. 4/5 stars. Review to come.


Joyland by Stephen King: Crime/Thriller. Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. It was OK, it was not what I expected for a Stephen King book. 3.5/5 stars. Review to come.


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: YA/Paranormal. Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. If she does someone dies. Getting out of imprisonment Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. Very good book. 4.5/5 stars. Review to come.


Svar við bréfi Helgu (Reply to a Letter from Helga) by Bergsveinn Birgisson: Fiction/Romance. A sweet novel about an old farmer who is writing letters to the only girl he has ever loved. Really good book. 4.5/5 stars. Review to come.


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: YA/Paranormal. Clary’s world gets turned up side down when she gets thrown into the world of Shadowhunters. I’m not sure what to think of this book. I tried to read it couple years back and hated it. After seeing the movie I read it completely. 3.5-4/5 stars. Review to come.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blod Prince by J. K. Rowling: YA/Fantasy. Everybody knows what Harry Potter is about. It was amazing as always. 5/5 stars. There might be a complete series review sometime later this year.


Catherine by April Lindner: YA/Contemporary/Retelling.  A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you’ve never seen it before. Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery. I loved this book. I read Wuthering Heights when I was twelve or thirteen, so this book was like a conclusion or an ending for me, because I didn’t really understand the original story when I read it. 5/5 stars. Review to come.



I’m really happy how this month turned out and I think that October will be even better reading month.





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Wish-List Wednesday #8

Welcome to Wish-List Wednesday! Every Wednesday I will tell you about the books, series or book related things that are highest on my wish-list.

For this week I have chosen Sick by Tom Leveen


The book was published October 1st 2013.

Breakfast Club meets The Walking Dead as a group of unlikely allies tries to survive a deadly outbreak.

Brian and his friends are not part of the cool crowd. They’re the misfits and the troublemakers—the ones who jump their high school’s fence to skip class regularly. So when a deadly virus breaks out, they’re the only ones with a chance of surviving.

The virus turns Brian’s classmates and teachers into bloodthirsty attackers who don’t die easily. The whole school goes on lockdown, but Brian and his best friend, Chad, are safe (and stuck) in the theater department—far from Brian’s sister, Kenzie, and his ex-girlfriend with a panic attack problem, Laura. Brian and Chad, along with some of the theater kids Brian had never given the time of day before, decide to find the girls and bring them to the safety of the theater. But it won’t be easy, and it will test everything they thought they knew about themselves and their classmates.  -Goodreads

I heard of this book in Benjaminoftome’s September wrap up on YouTube. He really loved this book and gave it 5 stars.

I haven’t read many zombie books. This one seems to be a good one to get into zombies.

I want to give this book a go because this isn’t really what I would normally go for.

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