cover image Wolf Lake

Wolf Lake

John Verdon. Counterpoint, $25 (375p) ISBN 978-1-61902-733-6

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). A former police colleague brings Dave back into his previous life by involving him in a bizarre and 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, committed suicide, the doctor was dubbed the “death whisperer” by the press and suspected, by the public and the New York state police, of 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. To the detective’s surprise, his wife, Madeleine, who has been ambivalent about his continuing to sleuth, agrees that he should take on the case. Verdon couples the continued nuanced exploration of Dave and Madeleine’s relationship with one of his most sophisticated solutions yet. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (July)