Thursday, July 26, 2012

LET THE DEVIL SLEEP - John Verdon

First line: "She had to be stopped."

Dave Gurney is recovering from the gunshot wounds inflicted at the end of Shut Your Eyes Tight. One of the non-physical results of those wounds is a need to feel protected. He's started carrying a gun again, something he hadn't done since he retired from the police force. Another non-physical result is staying secluded, almost cooped up, so when a journalist friend calls asking for a favor for her daughter, he's hesitant to help. The friend's determination and his wife's encouragement result in Dave listening to what the daughter has to say.

Kim Corazon's college project was so well-received by her professor that he passed it along to a contact at RAM TV and they want to produce it. The project is a reality TV show about the effects of unsolved murder on the children of victims. Kim has decided to focus her project on the victims of The Good Shepherd, a unsolved serial murder case from ten years ago. Kim wants Dave to look over her shoulder and make sure she's doing all the right things in regards to the case. But she also would like Dave to look into some odd harassment-type events that have been occurring and that she believes her ex-boyfriend is responsible for. 

Dave is resistant to help, but as he begins to research the case and look into the odd events, things aren't adding up. Dave can't just leave the questions hanging, he has to get to the bottom of things. But the bottom of these things may very well be deadly.

Let the Devil Sleep, John Verdon's third book featuring retired NYPD homicide detective Dave Gurney, moves a little slower than the previous two books. This time Dave isn't in the midst of a current case so much as he's digging up the dirt of a cold case.  So instead of starting off with a baffling murder, the background is coming out as current events take place. But that is not to say the book is a disappointment by any means, it simply means Verdon's changed up his approach to the plot. Let the Devil Sleep is just as addictive as its two predecessors. Readers will find Verdon a little more subtle about his hook this time around, and they won't be able to pinpoint as easily when they realized they simply couldn't put the book down.

Where Let the Devil Sleep does match up with its predecessors is in the rich mystery of the story. The limited perspective the reader is exposed to keeps the suspense building. While the book is written in third person, the perspective is still limited to Dave Gurney's; the reader only knows and sees what Dave does. However, even that perspective is limited as often Dave will be thinking things the reader isn't given access to, compounding the suspense. Let the Devil Sleep revolves around another superbly crafted plot.

Let the Devil Sleep also ventures into the relationship between Dave and his son, Kyle, who has not played a major role in either of the previous novels. Verdon draws some parallels as Kim investigates the children of victims and Dave is examining his own father-son relationship with Kyle, as well as looking back on the relationship he had with his father.

The relationship Dave shares with his wife Madeleine is a peculiar relationship, and I often found myself thinking, "she would drive me crazy." She encourages Dave to participate in investigations and then ends up angry about his involvement. At times she seems to be an inconsistent character. And still, she's a very stabilizing force for Dave. He is a character who is in search of his identity - now that he can no longer identify himself as a homicide detective - and so his relationships with others often reflect his own uncertainty.

I was thrilled to be asked to participate in this blog tour because I discovered Verdon's debut novel, Think of a Number through a TLC blog tour. I was blown away by that novel and each since. I look forward to the release of a new mystery from John Verdon, and Let the Devil Sleep continues the trend. Verdon writes stories that invade your psyche; apropos for the title, Let the Devil Sleep invades quietly and before you know it, it's 4 in the morning and you still have to read "just one more chapter!"

Let the Devil Sleep is available from Crown Publishers in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0307717924); it is also available from Dreamscape Media as an audiobook (ISBN: 978-1611209037), narrated by Robert Fass.

You can read additional reviews of Let the Devil Sleep by other participating bloggers on the tour. See the complete list at the TLC website. You can also follow John Verdon on Facebook and learn more about him and his books at his website.

I'm fortunate enough to be able to give a copy of Let the Devil Sleep to a lucky reader. And several questions came to mind to use with this giveaway, but I decided that since Think of a Number was my favorite debut novel back in 2010, let's hear what your favorite debut novel is this year - so far. And if you haven't read a debut this year yet, tell us what your favorite debut novel ever was. That way the responses can give others some book to check on.

To be eligible, you must have a US or Canada mailing address, leave an email I can contact you with if you win and respond on or before Friday, August 3rd (oh my goodness, where did the summer go?).

14 comments:

Karen B July 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM  

My favorite debut novel is FACES OF THE GONE by Brad Parks (a few years ago.)

kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Carol M July 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM  

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny is very good.

mittens0831 at aol dot com

John July 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM  

I really enjoyed Chalk Line by Paula LaRocque. It was published last year but I just read it earlier this year.

john.t.bychowski@gmail.com

Lilian July 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM  

Definitely Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. a super fun book that is still left me with a empty feeling after I finished it knowing that it'll be awhile before I find anything just like it.

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox
lilianxchengATgmail.com

Einoti July 26, 2012 at 10:40 PM  

The first one that popped into my brain was Barry Eisler's Rain Fall... 2003? I remember waiting anxiously for the next John Rain book....

lag123 July 27, 2012 at 1:09 PM  

My favorite debut novel ever was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Perry St Lawyer July 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM  

In the Woods by Tana French because I'm reading her latest Broken Harbor and I just love her style of narration and writing and the plot lines and the location of her books, Ireland.

Anita Yancey July 28, 2012 at 1:56 PM  

My favorite was Blue Zone by Andrew Gross. I would love to read this book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours July 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM  

Sounds like you were totally pulled into this story!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Nancy July 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM  

My favorite debut this year was The snow child by Eowyn Ivey.

nanze55 at hotmail dot com

Lynettemb@msn.com August 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM  

Still missing by Chevy Stevens. The plot still stays with me .

Steve R August 3, 2012 at 5:19 PM  

The Yard by Alex Grecian

Marjorie/cenya2 August 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM  

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See is my favourite so far this year.
Wow, this a book you will not forget.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Mark Lasbury March 5, 2014 at 1:26 PM  

I was wondering about the name corazon in this book. Michael Connelly had a character named Theresa Corazon in a few of the Harry Bosch stories. She was a medical examiner and then the chief medical examiner.

Corazon is not that common of a name. Are Verdon and Connelly friends - did they cards together on an episode of Castle? You think they consciously used the same name?

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