October 20, 2010


Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Crown; 1 edition (July 6, 2010)

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, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial murder investigation.

Think of a number between one and one-thousand…got it?

Now if I wrote on a piece of paper the exact number that you’re thinking of…how freaked out would you be? How scared would you be? Scared enough to do whatever I ask before I find out more of your secrets?

This is the premise of John Verdon’s first novel: Think of a Number. I absolutely enjoyed this book. The idea of it is extremely creative, and I thought that he wrote the mystery in a way that didn’t give away too much too fast. Of course, there were times when you, as a reader, were like, “okay, that was too easy”…but other than that, I didn’t want to put it down.

The main character in this novel is a retired police officer named Dave Gurney. And we watch as he tries to figure out who is behind the numbers, and we get sucked into his world almost immediately. I love the way you felt about each character – especially Dave’s wife. Throughout the entire novel, you assume that she’s just another background character – until you fear that something might happen to her. Then all of a sudden, it’s like “no! I don’t want her to die!” LOL I’m pretty sure that that’s exactly how Dave felt too…so I want to say Good Job to the author for making us understand his characters even more.

Give this book a try – I think you’ll like it. I’m going to keep my out for Verdon’s next novel :)

4 out of 5 stars


  1. The letter/poem in this book that the bad guy sent creeped me out so much that I rushed and bought the book for my Nook. Haven't read it yet, but I've only seen good things about it so far. Thanks for sharing....


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