Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel

BOOK: Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel
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Also by John Verdon

Think of a Number

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2011 by John Verdon


All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.


CROWN and the Crown colophon are
registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Verdon, John.
Shut your eyes tight / by John Verdon.—1st ed.
p. cm.
1. Detectives—New York (State)—New York—Fiction. I. Title.
57 2011
813’.6—dc22     2010053589


eISBN: 978-0-307-71791-7


Jacket design by Superfantastic




For Naomi


Prologue: The Perfect Solution

The perfect solution

He stood in front of the mirror and smiled with deep satisfaction at his own smiling reflection. He could not at that moment have been more pleased with himself, with his life, with his intelligence—no, it was more than that, more than mere intelligence. His mental status could more accurately be described as a profound understanding of everything. That was precisely what it was—a profound understanding of everything, an understanding that went far beyond the normal range of human wisdom. He watched the smile on his face in the mirror stretching wider at the aptness of the phrase, which he had italicized in his mind as he thought it. Internally he could feel—literally feel—the power of his insight into all things human. Externally, the course of events was proof of it

First of all, to put it in the simplest terms, he had not been caught. Almost twenty-four hours had passed, almost to the minute now, and in that nearly complete revolution of the earth he had only grown safer. But that was predictable; he had taken care to ensure that there would be no trail to follow, no logic that could lead anyone to him. And in fact no one had come. No one had found him out. Therefore it was reasonable to conclude that his elimination of the presumptuous bitch had been a success in every way

Everything had gone according to plan, smoothly, conclusively—yes
, conclusively
was an excellent word for it. Everything occurred as anticipated, no stumbles, no surprises … except for that sound. Cartilage? Must have been. What else?

Such a minor thing, it made no sense that it would create such a lasting sensory impression. But perhaps the strength, the durability
of the impression was simply the natural product of his preternatural sensitivity. Acuteness had its price

Surely that snickety little crunch would one day be as faint in his memory as the image of all that blood, which was already beginning to fade. It was important to keep things in perspective, to remember that all things pass. Every ripple in the pond eventually subsides

Part One
The Mexican Gardener
Chapter 1
Life in the country

here was a stillness in the September-morning air that was like the stillness in the heart of a gliding submarine, engines extinguished to elude the enemy’s listening devices. The whole landscape was held motionless in the invisible grip of a vast calm, the calm before a storm, a calm as deep and unpredictable as the ocean.

It had been a strangely subdued summer, the semi-drought slowly draining the life out of the grass and trees. Now the leaves were fading from green to tan and had already begun to drop silently from the branches of the maples and beeches, offering little prospect of a colorful autumn.

Dave Gurney stood just inside the French doors of his farm-style kitchen, looking out over the garden and the mowed lawn that separated the big house from the overgrown pasture that sloped down to the pond and the old red barn. He was vaguely uncomfortable and unfocused, his attention drifting between the asparagus patch at the end of the garden and the small yellow bulldozer beside the barn. He sipped sourly at his morning coffee, which was losing its warmth in the dry air.

BOOK: Shut Your Eyes Tight (Dave Gurney, No. 2): A Novel
12.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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