Think of a Number

Movel of the Month

Think of a Number

Go ahead.  Pick a number and I will be able to tell you which one you chose.  Don’t believe me?  Just read this book and you will see what I mean.  Retired NYPD, Dave Gurney, has found a way to keep a connection to serial killers by touching up photographic portraits of them and displaying them at exhibitions.  His retirement is short-lived when he gets a call from an estranged college friend who believes he has been targeted as a victim of someone’s sick game.  A stranger has sent the college friend a note in verse and has dared him to think of a number which was successfully, yet impossibly guessed.  Trying to convince the nervous man to report his situation to the police is a challenge that Gurney soon realizes is more complicated than he thinks.  In a matter of days, the college friend is found dead—killed with his throat slashed open by a broken whisky bottle.  Gurney becomes involved when he decides to write a note back in the same style as the anonymous killer and ends up with more than he can chew.  Suddenly, Gurney unintentionally opens a can of worms that not only endangers his life but his wife’s safety also.  This psychological thriller is the first in the series and very well written.  I would read Verdon’s other books too.

HisLit title read-alikes:
If you read this book, here are other titles that may draw you in because of similar themes running in the stories.
The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

HisLit author read-alikes:
There are a lot of writers out there who have mastered the psychological thriller.  The following names are a selection of authors who write the closest to Verdon’s style:
-Nelson De Mille (His work usually involves intense suspense and former policemen.  Start with Word of Honor.)
-Allan Folsom (Like Verdon, he writes gritty and fast-paced suspense thrillers, which have intricate plots.  Start with The Day After Tomorrow.)
-Alex Berenson (Although he is more known for the spy thriller, his writing still involves the page turning and compelling suspense that Verdon shows in his work.  Start with The Faithful Spy.)  

There is something about psychological thrillers that make you wonder how certain killers think.  I wish this stuff only happened between the pages or on the screen.  I guess the most chilling thing is that these thrillers play with your mind while reading them but also keep you paranoid in your everyday life, if you dwell too much on how the plots mimic real life.  As for entertainment purposes, they don’t just create excitement but get the cogs in the brain moving too (which is good for mental stimulation)!

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