I picked up this book on a whim in the new mystery section. I fully expected it to be another mass produced dectective/crime novel. One where you can read it and play with the dog at the same time and not miss anything. I was pleasantly surprised. Good story, ( 3 in 1 actually). Will definitely read some of his other works.
This book was a pleasure to read as is the rest of the series. It can also stand on its own as the author has done a great job of establishing/continuing each character's persona.
I don't know if Archer Mayor has ever faltered with his Joe Gunther series. 28 is a long run to keep hitting it out of the park. Familiarity does not breed contempt, only fondness.
Joe Gunther is mostly out of the picture in this book, he has to take his mother to a specialized facility in Missouri to help recover from a scary case of Lyme disease that has affected her brain.
Instead his three investigators for the Vermont Bureau of Investigations(VBI) end up on separate cases that start small but end having major concerns down the lane.
Sammy Martens lands a case involving the daughter of Joe's long-time girlfriend, Dr. Beverly Hillstrom, (no pressure there). Les Spinney is lucky enough to be contacted concerning the case of a dead hero state trooper. And well, Willy Kunkle takes three bloodied teeth found on an Amtrak track and ends up becoming the bête noire of Homeland Security. No surprise there. Maybe Joe Gunther is better off in the wilds of Missouri.
Mayor writes a tight story. I was equally engaged in the progress of each crime, not to mention the rehab of Joe's mother. Every crime seems different, but almost all crimes end as being one of the three main motives, money, sex, or revenge; these are no different as Mayor so deftly demonstrates. This is what makes a great crime story to me, an elaborate story still ending up as basic despite how these do blow up.
From the junked out river banks, to New England's rust belt cities waiting to be reinvented to the lush forests and mountains, Mayor is lavish in his description of this lesser known area of New England.
Gunther and his VBI team have gown over the years. They have changed and become more mature and more effective over the years. From by- the -book Spinney to maverick Kunkle to in -the -middle Martens we have seen the changes and influences they have had on one another over the years.
This book was a pleasure to read as is the rest of the series. Not a problem if you are starting with this or are an old fan, Mayor will catch you up on the characters.
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