Let the Devil Sleep – John Verdon

This is another in the author’s successful Dave Gurney series, featuring a retired NYPD detective who (one way or another) is dragged back into police work, when the guys still doing the job aren’t up to scratch.

The story here is about a young student – Kim – given her media break when her study project is taken on by a major TV company. Her project is to look at a decade old series of shootings attributed to The Good Shepherd, a serial killer who escaped detection and just stopped. Kim’s mother Connie asks Dave Gurney to babysit her daughter as a favor. But reawakening interest in those killings triggers more murder and mayhem, and Gurney moves from being a sitter to a target.

Of the three books, this is the one I ‘solved’ the easiest. But the plot is still a good one, and the action fairly cracks on. Gurney’s relationship with his wife – who is less than happy about him being back in the police world – is still the weakest part of the book. And, I’m not convinced Gurney is anything wonderful as a character. He is competently drawn, but there is no spark or connection.

There’s an attempt in the book to offer some sage observations about the state of TV and the media, but they lack freshness and are weakly done. ┬áHe should not have bothered.

While the story is good enough to be interesting, and there is sufficient drama and action, there are some aspects that jarred. For example, Kim,’s Professor sets her up with this TV deal, and leaves the innocent young thing to fend for herself in agreeing a contract. Convenient, but not credible. (I mean, how can you have an American business deal without lawyers!) ┬áThere are other aspects which I won’t mention as they would disclose some plot twist.

I was looking for the author to sharpen his skill, but on the basis of this third book in the series, it has not happened. So, I repeat my previous opinion that this is good, but not great, and there is nothing here that makes the work stand out from the crowd of good authors working in the field.

Score: 7/10.