My favorite type of story is one that deals with a character who is a fish out of water, so to speak. Think of Babe Levy in William Goldman’s MARATHON MAN, for example. Right behind that would be the crab-in-a-barrel story: the crustacean that is smarter than his buds figures out how to crawl up the side of the barrel to go up and over, only to be dragged back down into the world it knows.
THINK OF A NUMBER by John Verdon is closer to the latter type of story, with Dave Gurney starring as the crab. Gurney, newly retired from his position as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator, has moved out of the ci