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Wolf Lake

A Dave Gurney Novel: Book 5

List Price: $16.95

June 13, 2017 | Paperback | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4, 384 pages | ISBN 9781619027336
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Could a nightmare be used as a murder weapon? That’s the provocative question confronting Gurney in the thrilling new installment in this series of international bestsellers. The former NYPD star homicide detective is called upon to solve a baffling puzzle: Four people who live in different parts of the country and who seem to have little in common, report having had the same dream—a terrifying nightmare involving a bloody dagger with a carved wolf’s head on the handle. All four are subsequently found with their wrists cut — apparent suicides — and the weapon used in each case was a wolf’s head dagger.

Police zero in quickly on Richard Hammond, a controversial psychologist who conducts hypnotherapy sessions at a spooky old Adirondack inn called Wolf Lake Lodge. It seems that each of the victims had gone there to meet with Hammond shortly before turning up dead.

Troubled by odd holes in the official approach to the case, Gurney begins his own investigation — an action that puts him in the crosshairs of not only an icy murderer and the local police but the darkest corner of the federal government. As ruthless as the blizzard trapping him in the sinister eeriness of Wolf Lake, Gurney’s enemies set out to keep him from the truth at any cost — including an all–out assault on the sanity of his beloved wife Madeleine.

With his emotional resources strained to the breaking point, Gurney must throw himself into a deadly battle of wits with the most frightening opponent he has ever faced.

Wolf Lake is the page–turning new work by a writer hailed by the New York Times as “masterly” — and it furthers the adventures of Dave Gurney, a detective reviewers have compared to Sherlock Holmes.

About John Verdon

JOHN VERDON is the author of the Dave Gurney series of thrillers, international bestsellers published in more than two dozen languages: Think of a Number, Shut Your Eyes Tight, Let the Devil Sleep, Peter Pan Must Die, Wolf Lake, White River Burning, and On Harrow Hill. Before becoming a crime fiction writer, Verdon had two previous careers: as an advertising creative director and a custom furniture maker. He currently lives with his wife, Naomi, in the rural mountains of upstate New York―raising chickens, tending the garden, mowing the fields, and devising the intricate plots of the Gurney novels.

Praise for Wolf Lake

"Fans of classic fair play who appreciate well–developed characterizations in their whodunits will relish Verdon's richly atmospheric fifth mystery featuring retired NYPD homicide detective Dave Gurney (after 2014's Peter Pan Must Die. . .) Verdon couples the continued nuanced exploration of Dave and Madeleine's relationship with one of his most sophisticated solutions yet."—Publishers Weekly Starred and boxed review

"At the center of the natural and emotional turbulence, Gurney remains steady, methodical, and scientific as he pulls together the case's disparate strands. . . [T]he notion of shared nightmares holds the reader start to finish."—Kirkus

"Wolf Lake is a perfect thriller, one that revels in the darkest of places, in worlds both real and imagined. There are monsters in this book, certainly, but they live and breathe and look like us, which makes them all the more frightening. A complex, engrossing mystery, Wolf Lake will challenge what you believe to be true about the banality of evil and the lengths men will go to for the things they most want to hide." —Tod Goldberg, author of Gangsterland, Finalist for the Hammett Prize

Praise for Peter Pan Must Die:

Winner of the 2015 Nero Award and a nominee for a Shamus Award

PW's Ten Best Mysteries of 2014

"Verdon's fourth Dave Gurney thriller (after Let the Devil Sleep) weaves a sophisticated and edgy web of suspense that mystery aficionados will love to help unravel. A taut plot filled with clever intrigue and unexpected twists will tantalize readers until its dramatic and startling conclusion." —Library Journal, Starred Review

"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

"Verdon hit the ground running with his debut novel and he hasn't lost a step through three more fine thrillers. Verdon's novels, now read in twenty languages, feature serpentine plots, heightening suspense, skillfully developed characters, and a rich sense of place. . .Peter Pan may well be the creepiest fictional psychopath of the year. Mix in bent cops, gangsters, politics, big money, lies, and hints of incest, and you have a wonderfully compelling page–turner." —Booklist, Starred Review

"A taut, fascinating tale." —Kirkus Reviews

"The denouement in Peter Pan Must Die is one of the most unusual in crime fiction, and yet it's perfectly logical. Verdon's cleverness shines again." —Miami Herald

"One of the truly great puzzle mysteries of the year." —Bookreporter

"After four books, we still love following the life and evolution of Dave Gurney. Verdon's portrayal of the protagonist is brilliant ... 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

Praise for novel #1 Think of a Number

"Verdon is masterly at keeping Gurney a step ahead of the reader." —New York Times

"As incredible as it seems, a relatively new author with no law enforcement background has created a protagonist with insight and skills that rival the best crime solvers of all time."
New York Journal of Books

"John Verdon has done something remarkable in his debut thriller, Think of a Number. He has successfully juggled every storytelling ball, character, atmosphere, prose, pace, and plot with the skill and assuredness of a veteran novelist at the top of his game. The writing is haunting and quotable, the twists expertly placed and infinitely plausible, the conjured locations vivid and memorable, the characters full of depth and promise. You can read the book as a game of cat and mouse, a ride of chilling suspense, or a literary repast, since it provides all in abundance. . .Verdon's protagonist Dave Gurney is one for the ages, and readers everywhere will surely clamor to see this man again." —David Baldacci

"Verdon's superb debut novel is a riveting thriller with a wonderfully baffling crime. . .crime fans of almost every persuasion will love it. An outstanding debut." —Booklist, Starred Review

"[An] inventive and entertaining first thriller. The hard–edged characters and gritty plot recall Chandler's 'mean streets,' but the ornate puzzles laid before Verdon's detective might have challenged the 'little grey cells' of Hercule Poirot." —Washington Post

"Verdon is masterly at keeping Gurney [his protagonist] a step ahead of the reader [and] the murder itself is a pretty crafty piece of legerdemain....[The novel features] the kind of head–scratching setup that would get Sherlock Holmes off his cocaine [and] Gurney has the same precision, logic, and thirst for clarity." —New York Times?

"Verdon's deftly written, erudite debut is an exquisitely plotted novel of suspense." —Portland Oregonian?

"Mostly what makes this work is the intricate fabric that debut novelist Verdon weaves, as complications twist into what seems to be an impossible knot." —Chicago Sun–Times

"Good writing and good storytelling often aren't the same thing. Verdon combines them masterfully...Here's hoping Verdon has what it takes to churn out more books like this." —Newark Star Ledger

"Verdon's brought back crimes of impossibility, starting with the titular parlor game trifle and escalating until we're deep into serial murder territory. 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. When you're finished, you may not trust silly parlor games ever again." —Salon

"Savor the sense of loss that haunts this strong debut." —Houston Chronicle

"John Verdon has. . .created an incredible crime novel which could give Steig Larsson a run for his well–earned money. . .All of the characters are incredibly well developed. . .The descriptions of scenes make you feel like you are there, and the plot is brilliant." —The Herald–Dispatch (West Virginia)

"Will hook just about any reader. . .An astoundingly addictive work filled with real life characters that jump off the page into a daring and skillful plot, this book will leave you stumped and hungry for more. . .Think of a Number excels in its interweaving of wonderful characterization and psychological Insight. . .[Verdon] has created a book for all readers, not just those who revel in the thriller genre." —New York Journal of Books

"The mystery is brilliantly executed. . .If you read only one thriller this year, make it Think of a Number." —Bookloons

"Think of a number between one and ten. . .Now multiply that by zero. Which is how many times you'll put this book down." —Mystery Scene

"The numbers game gets a murderous spin in Verdon's deft, literate debut."––Publishers Weekly

"Verdon's superb debut novel is a riveting thriller with a wonderfully baffling crime. Think of a Number is a 10, and crime fans of almost every persuasion will love it. An outstanding debut."— Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (Starred Review)

"Addictive and thoroughly engrossing. . .In Think of a Number, Verdon plays deliciously on our deepest, most primal fears, portraying a killer who seems to see right into people's minds. Few readers will be able to resist the lure of watching an unstoppable detective track an uncatchable killer. This tale will grab hold of you like a steel jaw trap." —Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Vanished

"Verdon's premise is clever and his police work convincing, which right there might be enough; but the real joy of this book is its characters. Each one, no matter how minor, is unique and beautifully observed. Think of a Number had me from the opening pages and carried me right along." —S.J. Rozan, Edgar–winning author of The Shanghai Moon

"Spectacular and mind–bending, Think of a Number is the best thriller I've read in a long, long time. John Verdon's writing is so polished, so nuanced, it makes me envious that I didn't write this terrific novel." —Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Ice Cold

"With its edge–of–the–chair suspense, memorable characters that jump off the pages, and elegant and deft writing, John Verdon's Think of a Number is a stunning debut." —Faye Kellerman, New York Times bestseller author of The Forgotten

"Think of a Number is truly unputdownable. Rarely have I read a debut novel that has gripped me as this one has from the first page to the last. This book doesn't just entertain – it engages you and draws you immediately into the lives of the characters, who are as real as real can be. John Verdon has written a flawless novel about flawed people and he's written it beautifully. I hope we see a lot more of John Verdon and his smart protagonist, Dave Gurney, in years to come." —Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestseller author of The General's Daughter

"John Verdon's Think of a Number is one of the finest thrillers I've read in years. I devoured it. Consistently intelligent, fast–paced, filled with clever twists and psychological insight, and characters that come alive on every page, it entertains from the opening set–piece, right through the tension–filled ending. In a genre frequently and sadly known for delivering more of the same old familiar stuff, Think of a Number stands out as original and exciting. If there were a line–up of upcoming mystery–thriller suspects, I have little doubt that just about every witness would pick out Think of a Number." —John Katzenbach, New York Times bestselling author of Hart's War

"John Verdon's Think of a Number is simply one of the best thrillers I've read in a lifetime of thriller reading —eloquent, heart–rending, deeply suspenseful on many levels, and relentlessly intelligent. The characters live and breathe, the plot is diabolically clever and airtight, and the prose is sublime. Absolutely not to be missed! At one stroke, Verdon establishes himself as a bright star in the thriller firmament." —John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of A Plague of Secrets

"Just when you think the serial killer thriller has been done to death, someone comes along and revives it! Think of a Number is written with pace, style, and intelligence. It has rounded characters, teasing puzzles, and lots of tension. The number I'm thinking of is 1!" —Reginald Hill, author of Ruling Passion and winner of the Crime Writer's Association Dagger Award for Lifetime Achievement

"Think of a Number is a subtle and intelligent thriller of the first order. With his gripping premise, well–drawn characters, and relentless escalation of suspense, John Verdon has penned an exciting debut. Don't miss it." —Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Die For You

"Think of a Number is a dark, disturbing, and completely compelling debut. It's got menacing puzzles you won't be able to figure out, a villain who will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and a wonderful main character in retired homicide cop Dave Gurney. The pages turn themselves." —Spencer Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of Dog On It

"I loved this book. It's at once familiar to thriller readers and something incredibly new. It's a puzzle mystery and a police procedural and a cautionary tale about loss and love—the book literally has something for everyone, with a conclusion so eerily perfect it could have been scripted by Hitchcock himself. This is a thriller that will rewrite the rules of the genre." —Will Lavender, New York Times bestselling author of Obediance

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