Dave Gurney Books

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Dave Gurney is the lead protagonist of the “Dave Gurney” series of novels by American novelist John Verdon. The first novel that featured Gurney was the 2010 published “Think of a Number” that instantly became a bestselling title. The series of novels are best classified as crime thrillers.

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Order of Dave Gurney Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Think of a Number ( By: John Verdon) 2010 Description / Buy
2 Shut Your Eyes Tight ( By: John Verdon) 2011 Description / Buy
3 Let the Devil Sleep ( By: John Verdon) 2012 Description / Buy
4 Peter Pan Must Die ( By: John Verdon) 2013 Description / Buy
5 Wolf Lake ( By: John Verdon) 2016 Description / Buy
6 White River Burning ( By: John Verdon) 2018 Description / Buy
7 On Harrow Hill (By: John Verdon) 2021 Description / Buy
8 The Viper (By: John Verdon) 2023 Description / Buy
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Dave Gurney is New Yorker from the Bronx that is also a former NYPD detective. Before he became a detective he had gone to Fordham University though he never had to put his college studies into use, as he immediately went into law enforcement. He had a knack for unraveling the most complex and bizarre of mysteries, which had made him a pop hero to millions of New York residents. He lives in Upstate New York with his wife on a beautiful home bordering Delaware County.

“Think of a Number” the first novel of the series is an extraordinary suspense debut. New York residents have been receiving mysterious letters asking them to picture and guess a number only to find the letter writer correctly predicted the number. Dave Gurney the retired police detective find the oddities interesting but soon the puzzle becomes an intriguing puzzle as they result into a huge serial killer investigation. It seems the killer with a penchant for warnings, threats, and rhymes can also disappear into thin air. Gurney who consults on the case soon finds several breakthroughs that leave his fellow police officers in awe.

But even as he matches the clairvoyant killer he is dealing with the tragedy of his past and a marriage on the rocks. He starts to think that maybe he has finally met his match. What follows is a whirlwind of destruction and menace as Gurney feels the guilty memories come back to haunt him. It is a brilliant story that shows just why John Verdon made his name as one of the best crime fiction authors in such a short time.


The series has received many accolades and awards over the years. The fourth novel of the series has been the recipient of a Starred Review from Booklist and was nominated for a Shamus Book Award and a Best American Detective Novel at the Nero Awards.


White River Burning: The sixth novel of the series is a timely and provocative book that has Dave Gurney solve an intriguing puzzle amid racial strife and murder. White River is experiencing one of the worst periods of racial tension ever since a black motorist was shot by a white police officer. Looting, arson, and demonstrations are on the rise in the racially polarized city when a local police officer is shot by an unknown man. Dave Gurney is called in to investigate only for his contract to be terminated just as he had uncovered peculiar aspects of the murders. Obsessed with solving the puzzle, he won’t let go of the case even as he face intense opposition for unknown fanatics sending threats from the shadows. He soon learns never to take anything in White River at face value.

Shut Your Eyes Tight: The second novel of the series is one of the best novels of the series with its spell binding images of intransigence and poignant humanity. Dave Gurney is called in by a team of arrogant murderers that believe he could never find any trace of their evil doings. He believes every case always leaves clues and this should not be any different except that it is. A newly married bride just got decapitated moments to hearing her congratulatory toast. A series of revelations in quick succession make for a monstrously bizarre case. Gurney is facing one of the darkest criminal masterminds he has ever had to face that cause him to question the very assumptions he had about himself.

Peter Pan Must Die: Another novel deemed one of the best in the series is “Peter Pan Must Die” the fourth novel of the series. The twisty and sensational novel has Dave Gurney put his investigative genius in trying to resolve a deplorable murder that has local police baffled and clutching at straws.


Many fans of the “Dave Gurney” series of novels also like the “Stevens and Windermere” series of novels by Owen Laukkanen. The leads of the series are veteran agent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Kirk Steven who works to resolve a range of cases alongside a young special agent of the FBI Carla Windermere in Twin Cities Minnesota.

“Dave Gurney” fans also enjoy the “Mac McKenzie” series of novels by David Housewright. These are light detective thrillers about Mac McKenzie a former bland police officer that becomes smart talking sleuth in St Paul Minnesota.

What Is The Next Book in The Dave Gurney Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Dave Gurney Series. The newest book is The Viper and was released on July, 18th 2023.


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