cover image Wolf Lake

Wolf Lake

John Verdon, read by Christopher Lane. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12.5 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-5226-3648-9

In Verdon’s richly atmospheric fifth mystery featuring retired NYPD homicide detective Dave Gurney, a former police colleague brings Dave back into his previous life by involving him in a baffling case. Ethan Gall, the owner of Wolf Lake Lodge in the Adirondacks, hired renowned psychologist Richard Hammond to provide on-site hypnotic therapy at the lodge. After four of Hammond’s patients, including Gall, commit suicide, the New York state police start to suspect the doctor is talking patients into killing themselves. Despite the seriousness of his situation, Hammond refuses to hire an attorney or seek any other help. His sister, Jane, however, asks Dave to work for her to clear her brother’s name. Both the police and Hammond are uncooperative. Complicating Gurney’s sleuthing is his wife, the usually stalwart Madeleine, who is haunted by the memory of a personal tragedy that occurred in the area years ago. In reading this suspenseful and witty novel, Lane conveys the perfect mixture of strength and irony. Early on, he presents the conversations of Dave and Madeleine in an amusing, bantering Thin Man–like mood. But as Madeline’s past grows more disturbing, Lane smartly adds a chill to their terse communication. His take on other characters is equally effective, particularly Gurney’s partner, Jack Hardwick, whose comments, croaky and gruff, are full of cynical hard-boiled humor. A Counterpoint hardcover. (July)