What would you do if you answered the phone and someone asked you to pick a number. You pick that number, and then that someone tells you to go look in your mailbox. There is a piece of paper in there with the exact same number you just picked. How is that possible?
Think of a Number is an extraordinary edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have your mind reeling with the possible and the impossible. David Gurney is a retired NYPD homicide detective. Pretty famous from some homicides he solved, but is now in the country with his wife; retired. He picks up a hobby at a local art class, making art from photographs of murderers. The teacher is pretty hot herself, but again, Dave's married.
Then he gets a call from a college classmate he hasn't seen in twentyfive years. Mark Mellery needs Dave's help. He is getting these letters and poems that make no sense to him. But what he cannot get past is the fact that person unknown picked his number. How?
Dave can't stand unsolved puzzles, but he's retired, right? So, he suggest Mark get the police involved. But then Mark ends up dead, and before you can say retired, Dave is working as a consultant with the NYPD to solve Mark's murder. But as more dead bodies and more clues pile up, Dave has to work quickly to solve the puzzle, but can he?
I loved this book! It's full of mystery, murder, puzzles and wonderful and vivid characters. The pages almost turned themself, I was so into the story. Mr. Vernon is a master storyteller and I sincerely hope he has another book with Detective Dave in it, I really enjoyed his character and how his mind works.
Beautifully written! There were times when I put this book down with deep regret because I simply HAD to go to bed. The plot was so different, the mystery simply fascinating. Interspersed were insights into the relationship between the main character and his wife that make them more than flat characters there to push the plot along.
"The worst pain in our lives comes from the mistakes we refuse to acknowledge the things weve done that are so out of harmony with who we are that we cant bear to look at them. Mark Mellery
Former detective Dave Gurney is a man trying desperately to be in harmony with himself. Recently retired from the NYPD as their top man in homicide, he and his wife, Madeleine, have retired to an idyllic little town in upstate New York.
Try as he might, however, he just cant completely detach himself from his deep-seated desire to solve puzzles and figure out what makes killers tick. And so it is a double-edged sword that lands in his lap when an old classmate, Mark Mellery, seeks him out for help with some mysterious, threatening letters hes been receiving.
The letters are all in the form of poems that set forth a puzzle, the first of which also included a game think of any number between 1 and 1000 and then open the small envelope included. Mellery was understandably freaked out when after picking 658, he thought at random, he opened the envelope to find written on the paper inside it 658.
As the letters are thinly veiled threats against Mellerys life, Gurney tries to convince him to take them to the police. Mellery refuses and makes Gurney promise that he will not either. When Mellery is brutally murdered in his home a few days later, however, Gurney has no choice but to take all the information he has to local law enforcement. When more people are killed, including a police officer, Gurney is reluctantly invited to join the investigation as a consultant.
While Think of a Number certainly has a compelling serial killer plot, it is at heart a character driven story. Gurney is a rigid, overly-logical man who, despite being aware of his shortcomings, is compelled to go again down the same path that has already once brought his marriage to the verge of breaking. Proud of his ability to find answers where others cant, Gurney sees the killer as being as logical as he is pathological and he simply cannot resist trying to best the killer by solving his puzzles no matter the potential personal cost.
With his somewhat sterile approach to virtually everything Gurney is a character it can take a little to warm up to. Much of the story involves his inner reflections on the motivation for his seemingly self-destructive behavior, and as such the storyline may move a bit slow in places for some. However, the puzzles author John Verdon has created for the killer, the ability to pull off some of which seems to border on the supernatural, are tremendously fun to try and figure out along with Gurney.
So, if youre up for a book that will not only entertain you but will also make you dust off your little grey cells and actually think, Think of a Number is definitely a book you should pick up.
This was a good thriller! It kept you thinking and trying to figure out what was going on. You get a letter in the mail and someone is telling you to guess a number and they can guess it - what the heck?!?!?!?!? Good twists. It kept me interested.
The relationship between the main character and his wife made me a little sad but am left knowing they have been through a lot together and thinking it will get better.