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Think of a Number. Home · Think of a Number Author: John Verdon Think. Philosophy for Everyone Volume 10, Number 27, Spring Read more. Think of a Number by John Verdon - Excerpt - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. An extraordinary fiction debut, Think of a. The first book in the Dave Gurney series, Think of a Number is a heart-pounding game of cat and mouse that grows relentlessly darker and more frightening.

Think Of A Number John Verdon Pdf

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Get Free Read & Download Files Think Of A Number Dave Gurney 1 John Verdon PDF. THINK OF A NUMBER DAVE GURNEY 1 JOHN VERDON. Download. JOHN VERDON is the author of the Dave Gurney series of thrillers, international bestsellers published in more than two dozen languages: Think of a Number. Download Think Of A Number Dave Gurney 1 John Verdon Pdf Ebooks principles of flight simulation aiaa education dell kvm manual manual.

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Think of a Number by John Verdon. 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. 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. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Dave Gurney 1. Dave Gurney. Nero Award Nominee Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Think of a Number , please sign up. This is one of my favourite books in the thriller genre. I would like to suggest it for my book-club but I've read that you shouldn't necessarily use books you like, but rather books that inspire thought and discussion. Do you think this book would be a good book-club choice and do you know if there are any book-club suggested questions available?

Erik I first read this book about a year after it came out I think and I remember talking to my mom about how much I loved the way the book made those …more I first read this book about a year after it came out I think and I remember talking to my mom about how much I loved the way the book made those seemingly impossible events have a rational explanation.

One question you could pose to your book club is this: How important is it for rationality and logic to dictate conclusions of events? Personally speaking for the individuals that is. See 1 question about Think of a Number…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. May 17, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: It all came back: Think of any number up to a thousand--the first number that comes to mind. Picture it. Now see how well I know your secrets.

Open the little envelope. It is the first baffling aspect of this case. Is it a guess? Retired Detective Dave Gurney is approached by one of those friends that it takes him a while to remember how he knows this person.

An acquaintance might be a better term to use, but when people need your help they tend to overstate the closeness of your relationship. He calls Gurney. An interesting aspect of this book is the decided distrust of law enforcement that crops up at several points in the novel. Even Gurney experiences a harassment situation with an officer that set my teeth on edge because it reminded me of a recent encounter of my own with law enforcement overreach. Gurney pulls out his retired police officer card and is able to diffuse the situation quickly, but he could tell the officer was disappointed he would not be able to push him around.

Bad apples spoil a barrel, which is unfortunate because there are terrific police officers who truly are working to serve and protect. Serve and protect, not harass and bully. What begins as a puzzle soon becomes deadly. What do these obtuse poems being sent to Mellery really mean? The poet is playing a game.

What really makes the book go beyond just a thriller is the relationship between Dave and Madeleine. They experienced a terrible tragedy together, and now they are trying to adapt to his retirement.

It is evident that Madeleine is more ready for him to be retired than he is.

Let the Devil Sleep

He had a supremely logical brain and a finely tuned antenna for discrepancy. These qualities made him an outstanding detective. Her rebukes are mild, yet effective. Gurney loves working on cases. He is proud of all the murderers he has put behind bars over the years and is considered a legend by many in his profession. Sometimes, when people have been married a long time and have collected some heavy baggage along the way, they need to look for and remember those things they liked about that person before life started inflicting wounds.

He was at a loss for words to capture what he saw. It was as if all the radiance of the snow-covered landscape were reflected in her expression and the radiance of her expression was reflected in the landscape. He studied the facts, figured the angles, tripped the snares, and delivered his quarry into the maw of the justice system. The plot is fascinating. John Verdon deftly leads us from puzzlement to amazement as the missing pieces are found to form a picture of true insanity.

The grand finale provides one revelation after another as we discover the darkness behind the poetry. There are many moments of self-discovery for several of the characters as the truth has them questioning what they know about themselves. Gurney is especially self-reflective as he tries to fathom who he is supposed to be now. This wrestling with inner fears adds a layer of depth to the plot that makes this thriller more literature than thriller.

Highly recommended! If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http: View all 16 comments. View 2 comments. Jul 23, Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing Shelves: There is a new voice in psychological thrillers and his name is John Verdon. Think of a Number is an unbelievably, excellent debut novel.

This one will grab you from the get go! The suspense builds, the plot thickens, your heart races, your palms sweat, the pace accelerates and you tighten your grip to navigate the twists and turns coming at break neck speed.

Good thing the pages fairly turn themselves as you will need both of your hands to hold on. This book is unputdownable! The writing is cle There is a new voice in psychological thrillers and his name is John Verdon. The writing is cleanly eloquent, very intelligent and no doubt, highly quotable with a full cast of beautifully crafted, well imagined and colourfully scripted characters that are both unique and memorable.

Nothing disappoints, even the ending is eerily apt. How many hopes drown in a bottle of gin? View all 13 comments. Jul 15, Sam Quixote rated it did not like it. I made it to page 20 of this mediocre "thriller" before throwing in the towel. I realise that it's not giving it much of a chance, how could any writer bring energy or develop a plot in that time? Well some writers have, notably Michael Connelly and Stephen King, which is probably why they're as famous as they are.

John Verdon isn't much of a writer though. Here are some examples of his awful writing that made me put the book down: Could he cram in any more cliched modifiers into that overlong and breathless sentence?

But it was the exposition that did it for me. After 10 pages of the main character feuding with his wife over nothing, he meets an old friend he hasn't seen in a while: Still do - haven't changed a bit! If I didn't know you were forty-seven like me, I'd say you were thirty!

Anyone else stung by the information dump made by this character? So now we know the main character's age and physical description, all clumsily spilled out by a character in dialogue that doesn't even sound vaguely real. Factor in the cheesy chapter headings "Trouble in Paradise" and "I know you so well I know what you're thinking" and I was finished with this tripe.

Try something else, the writing in this book is barely above high school standard and about as sophisticated as a happy meal. View all 27 comments. Mar 11, James Thane rated it really liked it Shelves: Dave Gurney has recently retired from his job as one of the NYPD's most talented homicide investigators.

He's moved to a rural area in upstate New York and is attempting to rebuild his relationship with his wife, Madeleine, who has always been forced to take a back seat to his job.

But then Dave receives a plea for help from Mark Mellery, an old college classmate, who has received a threatening communication--a poem, actually--from someone who claims to know his most intimate secrets. To prove the point, the poet instructs Mellery to pick a number up to and then open another, smaller, envelope that was sent along with the threatening lines. Mellery picks the number and is stunned to open the second envelope and discover that his adversary has correctly predicted the choice.

Mellery asks Gurney for advice, but when Gurney suggests that Mellery should bring in the police, Mellery refuses for fear that it would cause complications in his professional life. Despite his wife's misgivings, Gurney agrees to help his friend and thus goes to work with one if not both hands tied behind his back. To say any more would be to give too much away, but what follows is an excellent suspense novel that rises far above the average thriller, in which Dave Gurney matches wits with an extremely interesting and intelligent villain who has a very deep agenda.

A crucial subplot involves the relationship between Dave and Madeleine and the end result is a gripping story with very well-drawn and sympathetic characters. Think of a Number is an excellent debut novel that should appeal to anyone who enjoys a compelling, well-written story. I can hardly wait to read John Verdon's second book. View all 6 comments. Jun 22, Giannis rated it liked it. View all 5 comments. I was actually looking forward to reading this, and man am I disappointed.

The things I didn't like were firstly and most importantly the writing! If there wasn't a picture of the author I would have guessed that this book was written by a 15 year old. I wasn't. Other than that, I was let down by the killer. See John Verdon literally offered the killer's identity in a plate I was actually looking forward to reading this, and man am I disappointed. See John Verdon literally offered the killer's identity in a plate if you were paying close attention.

And I hate it when I am able to figure out who the killer is and by no means am I trying to sound cocky. I love to be surprised but it didn't happen this time. Last but not least, the action. The first half of the book took the longer to read because it was flat. The second part I finished it in a day but when the story started to unfold I got bored again.

If a book doesn't make your blood run cold and keep you at the edge of the seat how on earth can you enjoy it to the fullest? The characters were interesting though.

To sum up, if you are looking for a fine book to pass your time pick it up. If you demand more than that then this book is not for you. Mar 25, Artemis Slipknot rated it really liked it. First and most importantly, this was incredible. This is not your standard run of the mill thriller. This will stretch the grey matter that lies between your ears. For once all the testimonials on the cover are accurate, this is the best thriller I have read in a long time.

Dave Gurney, a highly venerated ex NYPD detective, is living the quiet life and enjoying his new hobby of artistically enhancing mug shots of convicted serial killer. Out of the blue Dave gets a phone call from an old school First and most importantly, this was incredible. Out of the blue Dave gets a phone call from an old school mate telling Dave that he is getting these really weird ominous poems sent to him.

The friend is in a real state, begging Dave to help him. With some reluctance Dave agrees to look into things. Little did Dave know that this was about to consume every waking and sleeping moment of his life. Dave tries to convince his friend to go to the police but to no avail.

Download EBOOK Think of a Number by John Verdon Online free

When Dave hears that his friend been killed, with his head almost severed from his body, Dave goes to the police to explain his involvement in the case. This is where your grey matter comes into play. How does Dave make the implausible plausible? As I said earlier, this is a cut above your average thriller. View all 3 comments.

Sep 05, Tammy rated it really liked it. Given a range of , which number would you choose if prompted, "Think of a number? Amazed and scared? That's the premise behind this psychological thriller and it was very entertaining.

If you like a book with a little intellectual "oomph," you will enjoy this one. Although I guessed the villain before the end of the story, I was stumped on how he pulled off the trick. Everything is explained and Given a range of , which number would you choose if prompted, "Think of a number? Everything is explained and it makes sense.

Detective Dave Gurney is brilliant but has his own demons in hiding, and they make an appearance in this case. I will investigate other books by this author! I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was rather bland, but I won't hold that against the author. He said he didnt want to disturb you, it wasnt really urgent.

Did he say anything else? She turned and walked across the thick, moist grass toward the house. When she reached the side door and put her hand on the knob, she seemed to remember something else, looked back at him, and spoke with exaggerated bafement. According to the book jacket, your old classmate seems to be a saint, perfect in every way. A guru of good behavior.

Its hard to imagine why hed need to consult a homicide detective. A retired homicide detective, corrected Gurney. But shed already gone in and neglected to cushion the slam of the door. Chapter 3 Trouble in paradise he following day was more exquisite than the day before.

It was the picture of October in a New England calendar. Gurney rose at a. The patio and the French doors leading to it were additions hed made to the house at Madeleines urging. She was good at that sort of thing, had a sensitive eye for what was possible, what was appropriate. It revealed a lot about her her positive instincts, her practical imagination, her unfailing taste.

But when he got tangled in their areas of contention the mires and brambles of the expectations each privately cultivated he found it difcult to focus on her remarkable strengths. He must remember to return Kyles call. He would have to wait three hours because of the time difference between Walnut Crossing and Seattle.

He settled deeper into his chair, cradling his warm coffee mug in both hands. He glanced at the slim folder hed brought out with his coffee and tried to imagine the appearance of the college classmate he hadnt seen for twenty-ve years.

The photo that appeared on the book jackets that Madeleine printed out from a bookstore website refreshed his recollection not only of the face but of the personality complete 14 JOHN VERDON with the vocal timbre of an Irish tenor and a smile that was improbably charming. When they were undergraduates at Fordhams Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, Mark Mellery was a wild character whose spurts of humor and truth, energy and ambition were colored by something darker.

He had a tendency to walk close to the edge a sort of careening genius, simultaneously reckless and calculating, always on the brink of a downward spiral. According to his website bio, the direction of the spiral, which had taken him down rapidly in his twenties, had been reversed in his thirties by some sort of dramatic spiritual transformation. Balancing his coffee mug on the narrow wooden arm of the chair, Gurney opened the folder on his lap, extracted the e-mail hed received from Mellery a week earlier, and went over it again, line by line.

Hello, Dave: I hope you dont nd it inappropriate to be contacted by an old classmate after so much time has elapsed. One can never be sure what may be brought to mind by a voice from the past.

Ive remained in touch with our shared academic past through our alumni association and have been fascinated by the news items published over the years concerning the members of our graduating class.

I was happy to note on more than one occasion your own stellar achievements and the recognition you were receiving. Then, about a year ago, I saw that youd retired from the police department and that youd moved to up here to Delaware County. It got my attention because I happen to be located in the town of Peony just down the road apiece, as they say.

I doubt that youve heard of it, but I now run a kind of retreat house here, called the Institute for Spiritual Renewal pretty fancy-sounding, I know, but in reality quite down to earth. Its a situation in which I believe that your advice would be most helpful.

What Id love to do is pay you a brief visit. If you could nd it possible to spare me half an hour, Ill come to your home in Walnut Crossing or to any other location that might better suit your convenience. My recollections of our conversations in the campus center and even longer conversations in the Shamrock Bar not to mention your remarkable professional experience tell me that youre the right person to talk to about the perplexing matter before me.

Its a weird puzzle that I suspect will interest you. Your ability to put two and two together in ways that elude everyone else was always your great strength. Whenever I think of you, I always think of your perfect logic and crystal clarity qualities that I dearly need more of right now.

Ill call you within the next few days at the number that appears in the alumni directory in the hope that its correct and current. With many good memories, Mark Mellery P.

Even if you end up as mystied by my problem as I am, and have no advice to offer, it will still be a delight to see you again. The promised call had come two days later. Gurney had immediately recognized the voice, eerily unchanged except for a distinct tremor of anxiety.

After some self-deprecating remarks about his failure to stay in touch, Mellery got to the point. Could he see Gurney within the next few days? The sooner the better, since the situation was urgent.

Another development had occurred. It really was impossible to discuss over the phone, as Gurney would understand when they met.

There were things Mellery had to show him. No, it wasnt a legal matter, not yet, anyway. No crime had been committed, nor was one being specically threatened not that he could prove.

Lord, it was so difcult to talk about it this way; it would be so much easier in person. Yes, he realized that Gurney was not in the private-investigation business. But just half an hour could he have half an hour? With the mixed feelings hed had from the beginning, Gurney agreed.

Think of a Number by John Verdon - Excerpt

His curiosity often got the better of his reticence; in this instance he was curious about the hint of hysteria lurking in the undertone of Mellerys melliuous voice. And, of course, a puzzle to be deciphered attracted him more powerfully than he cared to admit. He was a natural actor, undisputed star of the college dramatic society a young man who, however full of life he might be at the Shamrock Bar, was doubly alive on the stage.

He was a man who depended on an audience a man who was drawn up to his full height only in the nourishing light of admiration. Gurney opened the folder and glanced through the e-mail yet again. He was bothered by Mellerys depiction of their relationship. The contact between them had been less frequent, less signicant, less friendly than Mellerys words suggested. But he got the impression that Mellery had chosen his words carefully that despite its simplicity, the note had been written and rewritten, pondered and edited and that the attery, like everything else in the letter, was purposeful.

But what was the purpose? The obvious one was to ensure Gurneys agreement to a face-to-face meeting and to engage him in the solution of whatever mystery had arisen. Beyond that, it was hard to say.

There was also the small matter of the P. In addition to subtly challenging him with the suggestion that he might be defeated by the puzzle, whatever it was, it also appeared to obstruct an easy exit route, to vitiate any claim Gurney might be tempted to make that he was not in the private-investigation business or would not be likely to be helpful. The thrust of its wording was to characterize any reluctance to meet as a rude dismissal of an old friend. Oh, yes, it was carefully crafted.

That was something new, wasnt it? Denitely not a cornerstone quality of the old Mark Mellery. This apparent change interested Gurney.

On cue, Madeleine came out through the back door and walked about two-thirds of the way to where Gurney was sitting. Your guest has arrived, she announced atly. Where is he? In the house.

He looked down. An ant was zigzagging along the arm of his chair. He sent it ying with a sharp ick of his ngernail. Ask him to come out here, he said. Its too nice to be indoors. It is, isnt it? By the way, he looks exactly like his picture on the book jacket even more so. Even more so? Whats that supposed to mean? She was already returning to the house and did not answer. Chapter 4 I know you so well I know what youre thinking ark Mellery took long strides through the soft grass.

He approached Gurney as if planning to embrace him, but something made him reconsider. My God! Mellery went on. You look the same! God, its good to see you! Great to see you looking the way you do! Davey Gurney! Still do havent changed a bit! If I didnt know you were forty-seven like me, Id say you were thirty!

He clasped Gurneys hand with both of his as though it were a precious object. Driving over today, from Peony to Walnut Crossing, I was remembering how calm and collected you always were. An emotional oasis thats what you were, an emotional oasis! And you still have that look. Davey Gurney calm, cool, and collected plus the sharpest mind in town. How have you been?

Ive been fortunate, said Gurney, extricating his hand and speaking in a voice as devoid of excitement as Mellerys was full of it. I have no complaints. Mellery enunciated the syllables as if trying to recall the meaning of a foreign word. Its a nice place you have here. Very nice. Madeleine has a good eye for these things. Gurney motioned toward a pair of weathered Adirondack chairs facing each other between the apple tree and a birdbath.

Mellery started in the direction indicated, then stopped. I had something. Could this be it? Madeleine was walking toward them from the house, holding in front of her an elegant briefcase. Understated and expensive, it was like everything else in Mellerys appearance from the handmade but comfortably broken in and not too highly polished English shoes to the beautifully tailored but gently rumpled cashmere sport jacket a look seemingly calculated to say that here stood a man who knew how to use money without letting money use him, a man who had achieved success without worshipping it, a man to whom good fortune came naturally.

A harried look about his eyes, however, conveyed a different message. Ah, yes, thank you, said Mellery, accepting the briefcase from Madeleine with obvious relief. But where. You laid it on the coffee table. Yes, of course. My brain is kind of scattered today. Thank you! Would you like something to drink?

We have some iced tea already made. Or, if youd prefer something else. No, no, iced tea would be ne. Thank you. As Gurney observed his old classmate, it suddenly occurred to him what Madeleine had meant when she said that Mellery looked exactly like his book jacket photograph, only more so.

The quality most evident in the photograph was a kind of informal perfection the illusion of a casual, amateur snapshot without the unattering shadows or awkward composition of an actual amateur snapshot.

It was exactly that sense of carefully crafted carelessness the ego-driven desire to appear ego-free that Mellery exemplied in person.

As usual, Madeleines perception had been on target. In your e-mail you mentioned a problem, said Gurney with a get-to-the-point abruptness verging on rudeness. During the telling of this tale, Mellery referred to himself, Gurney, and the protagonist as the Three Musketeers of the Rose Hill campus, striving to make something sophomoric sound heroic.

Gurney found the effort embarrassing and offered his guest no response beyond an expectant stare. Well, said Mellery, turning uncomfortably to the matter at hand, Im not sure where to begin. If you dont know where to begin your own story, thought Gurney, why the hell are you here? Mellery nally opened his briefcase, withdrew two slim softcover books, and handed them, with care, as if they were fragile, to Gurney. They were the books described in the website printouts he had looked at earlier. The other was called Honestly!

You may not have heard of these books. They were moderately successful, but not exactly blockbusters. Mellery smiled with what looked like a well-practiced imitation of humility. Im not suggesting you need to read them right now. He smiled again, as though this were amusing.

However, they may give you some clue to whats happening, or why its happening, once I explain my problem. The whole business has me a bit confused. And more than a bit frightened, mused Gurney. Mellery took a long breath, paused, then began his story like a man walking with fragile determination into a cold surf. I should tell you rst about the notes Ive received. He reached into his briefcase, withdrew two envelopes, opened one, took from it a sheet of white paper with handwriting on one side and a smaller envelope of the size that might be used for an RSVP.

He handed the paper to Gurney. Gurney took the paper and settled back in his chair to examine it, noting at once the neatness of the handwriting.

The words were precisely, elegantly formed stirring a sudden recollection of Sister Mary Josephs script moving gracefully across a grammar-school blackboard.

But even stranger than the painstaking penmanship was the fact that the note had been written with a fountain pen, and in red ink. Red ink? Gurneys grandfather had had red ink. He had little round bottles of blue, green, and red ink. He remembered so little of his grandfather, but he remembered the ink. Could one still purchase red ink for a fountain pen? Gurney read the note with a deepening frown, then read it again.

There was neither a salutation nor a signature. Do you believe in Fate? I do, because I thought Id never see you again and then one day, there you were. It all came back: how you sound, how you movemost of all, how you think. If someone told you to think of a number, I know what number youd think of. You dont believe me? Ill prove it to you. Think of any number up to a thousandthe rst number that comes to your mind. Picture it. Now see how well I know your secrets. Open the little envelope.

Gurney uttered a noncommittal grunt and looked inquiringly at Mellery, who had been staring at him intently as he read. Do you have any idea who sent you this? None whatever. Any suspicions? Did you play the game?

The game? Clearly Mellery had not thought of it that way. If what you mean is, did I think of a number, yes, I did. Under the circumstances it would have been difcult not to.

So you thought of a number? Mellery cleared his throat. The number I thought of was sixve-eight. He repeated it, articulating the digitssix, ve, eight as though they might mean something to Gurney.

When he saw that they didnt, he took a nervous breath and went on. The number six fty-eight has no particular signicance to me. It just happened to be the rst number that came to mind.

Ive racked my brains, trying to remember anything I might associate it with, any reason I might have picked it, but I couldnt come up with a single thing. Its just the rst number that came to mind, he insisted with panicky earnestness. Gurney gazed at him with growing interest.

And in the smaller envelope. Mellery handed him the other envelope that was enclosed with the note and watched closely as he opened it, extracted a piece of notepaper half the size of the rst, and read the message written in the same delicate style, the same red ink: Does it shock you that I knew you would pick ?

Who knows you that well? Send that exact amount to P. Box , Wycherly, CT These qualities made him an outstanding detective. Maybe she should be the brilliant detective I know of no other author who has such a grasp of the complexity of the mind. Other Editions There is a new voice in psychological thrillers and his name is John Verdon.

The house retained its original architectural simplicity.

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