Saturday, October 13, 2012

Let the Devil Sleep by John Verdon

Retired cop Dave Gurney has been depressed, uncomfortable with retirement and obsessing about his slow recovery from the bullet wounds incurred during his last case. When Kim, the daughter of an old friend, calls on him to act as a consultant for a college journalism project, he’s reluctant. When she adds that she’s also dealing with an ex-boyfriend who seems to be stalking her, he feels obligated to at least spend a day accompanying her and looking into it. Both the journalism project and the stalker turn out to be more intriguing—and dangerous—than he could have imagined, and Gurney’s propelled out of depression and into the kind of high-stakes deduction that he lives for.

Let the Devil Sleep kept me enthralled for hours at a time. Gurney’s an intelligent, cynical, detail-oriented detective whose deep love for his wife lightens his own dark view of the world. Set largely in rural New York, the plot runs along three lines: the cold case Kim is creating a documentary about, Kim’s stalker/ex-boyfriend, and a new series of murders that seems as if it could be related to the ten-year-old case. There’s a strong emotional undercurrent which gives the characters greater depth and makes their actions more believable: Gurney’s depression and self-doubt, Kim’s desperation for success, and the pain echoing into the present from the decade-old murders.

Let the Devil Sleep is Verdon’s third Dave Gurney mystery, after Think of a Number and Shut Your Eyes Tight, but it can certainly stand alone. I can’t wait for the next installment.

No comments:

Post a Comment