Peter Pan Must Die (Dave Gurney, No. 4)
By John Verdon
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780385348409, 448pp.)
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
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In John Verdon’s most sensationally twisty novel yet, ingenious puzzle solver Dave Gurney brings his analytical brilliance to a shocking murder that couldn’t have been committed the way the police say it was.
The daunting task that confronts Gurney, once the NYPD’s top homicide cop: determining the guilt or innocence of a woman already convicted of shooting her charismatic politician husband -- who was felled by a rifle bullet to the brain while delivering the eulogy at his own mother’s funeral.
Peeling back the layers, Gurney quickly finds himself waging a dangerous battle of wits with a thoroughly corrupt investigator, a disturbingly cordial mob boss, a gorgeous young temptress, and a bizarre assassin whose child-like appearance has earned him the nickname Peter Pan.
Startling twists and turns occur in rapid-fire sequence, and soon Gurney is locked inside one of the darkest cases of his career – one in which multiple murders are merely the deceptive surface under which rests a scaffolding of pure evil. Beneath the tangle of poisonous lies, Gurney discovers that the truth is more shocking than anyone had imagined.
And the identity of the villain at the mystery’s center turns out to be the biggest shock of all.
JOHN VERDON is a former Manhattan advertising executive who lives with his wife in the mountains of upstate New York. His first three Dave Gurney novels, Think of a Number, Shut Your Eyes Tight, and Let the Devil Sleep, are all international bestsellers.
“Verdon's plot devices are intelligently layered in "Peter Pan Must Die." The denouement is one of the most unusual in crime fiction, and yet is perfectly logical. Verdon's cleverness again shines in "Peter Pan Must Die." – Associated Press
“Peter Pan Must Die is a thrilling read. The rhythm of the novel keeps you on the edge until the last pages–John Verdon has done it again.” – Downtown Magazine
“This case is the most perplexing novel Verdon has crafted to date…Readers who love a good whodunnit will be stunned as to who is really behind the murder of Carl Spalter.” – Florida Times-Union
“Stellar…The plot is full of Verdon’s usual challenges (e.g., it was apparently impossible for the murder to have been carried out), but the cleverness is surpassed by the probing analysis of what makes Gurney tick.”
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
More Praise for John Verdon
“It’s always a pleasure to watch a keen mind absorbed in a difficult puzzle, which is how Dave Gurney distinguishes himself in John Verdon’s tricky whodunits.”--New York Times
“A masterful bit of writing that builds to a surprising and satisfying climax. The tension and enigmatic situations created en route to the conclusion make this book a definite nail-biter. John Verdon’s writing skill might well cause him to become known as ‘The Puzzle Master.’”-New York Journal of Books
“A razor-sharp serial killer thriller… The tension is palpable on virtually every page of a story that perfectly balances the protagonist’s complex inner life with an elaborately constructed puzzle.”--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Taut and suspenseful…Verdon is in top form as he lays out the twisty mechanics of the crime, creating an agreeably sinister villain.”--Washington Post
“The crime is grisly and the cop is complicated. A nice combination.”--New York Daily News
"Good writing and good storytelling often aren’t the same thing. Verdon combines them masterfully.” - Newark Star Ledger
“Verdon is a master at controlling pace, illustrating the story of a rich but complicated marriage, pondering what it means to be sucked back into your life's work even if it might kill you, and demanding that the reader use his or her brain to figure out what comes next.”--Salon