cover image Let the Devil Sleep

Let the Devil Sleep

John Verdon. Crown, $26 (464p) ISBN 978-0-307-71792-4

Verdon, who rejuvenated the impossible crime in his 2010 debut, Think of a Number, shows there’s much more that can be done with the serial killer plot in his breakneck, knockout third Dave Gurney whodunit (after 2011’s Shut Your Eyes Tight). Retired detective Gurney, dubbed “the NYPD Supercop” by the media for his phenomenal homicide clearance rate, once again can’t resist the opportunity to match wits with a brilliant murderer—in this case, the self-named “the Good Shepherd,” the subject of a reality TV project that a journalist asks his help on. Never identified, the Good Shepherd struck six times in the Syracuse area a decade earlier, targeting drivers of black Mercedes as part of his crusade against the wealthy. Gurney takes an iconoclastic approach to the cold case while tackling other, possibly unrelated investigations. 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. Agent: Molly Friedrich, the Friedrich Agency. (July)