Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shut Your Eyes Tight

Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, No. 2): A NovelShut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel  by John Verdon, Crown Publishing, July, 2011

...the plotting was complex and engrossing but at 500+ pages it is just too long

Shut Your Eyes Tight is the second novel to feature Dave Guerney, the highly decorated, retired NYPD detective now living in upstate New York. Guerney is enticed into an investigation where a bride has been beheaded at her wedding reception. The obvious suspect is nowhere to be found and the police investigation is stalled. Guerney is hired by the victim’s mother to investigate the murder. Guerney uncovers clues that the police have overlooked and the investigation focuses on sex crimes, a sex procurement business and a school for young sexual predators.

I thought the mystery element of this book was very satisfactory. The plotting was complex and engrossing and the denouement was quite good. The story really needs better editing though, and at 500+ pages it was just too long. Many passages share the detective’s thoughts and doubts and really doesn’t advance the story. The other disappointment I had was Guerney’s personal life didn’t progress at all. He still has a poor relationship with his son, if the author is not going to develop this side story just leave it out of the book. He still has a poor relationship with his wife. I found the passive/aggressive wife to be a very inconsistent character, again not really well developed or very appealing. I think the author needs to jettison all of his personal life if he can’t do a better job developing it in subsequent books.

So in summary, this book doesn’t improve on the promising debut novel Think of A Numb3r but I’ll probably read the next in the series in hopes that this author can sharpen his writing.

I read a copy of this novel that I received through the Amazon Vine program.


Zibilee said...

I also dislike it when a book it too long and feels like it could have been edited a little better. It frustrates me when things seem like they go on an on. This was a very interesting review, and I am glad that you were candid with your opinions on it!

Kathy said...

Ziblee, as always thanks for your comment. I feel like I have been on a run of so-so books. I do think this author could really be helped by a good editor. Thanks, Kathy

Julie said...

wow; 500+ pages for a thriller? I expect that in a fantasy novel, some sci-fi, or any type of epic read, but a thriller .. But, that aside, when I think of thrillers and/or crime mysteries, I generally don't expect a lot of character development (I like it when it's included, but the genre generally doesn't do a great job of it). I'm still not certain whether or not I want to pick up this series, but I do thank you for your review.