Intriguing plots, complex characters, and a vivid landscape are the foundation of Archer Mayor's award-winning New England thrillers. Now in this suspenseful new novel two investigations will lead Mayor's popular hero Joe Gunther to the shady realm of Internet chat rooms, where relationships are formed and broken, and nothing is as it seems.
News travels fast in the small state of Vermont. In this tight-knit society, police officers and investigators proudly maintain a kinship that transcends the boundaries of their jurisdictions. When an unidentified body is found in the peaceful town of Brattleboro, local police and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation both appear at the scene.
But before investigator Joe Gunther can begin to gather evidence of murder, a family emergency sends him to his hometown, where the lives of his mother and brother have suddenly been threatened. Gunther reaches out to a network of police officers who know him only by name and reputation as he attempts to discover the source of this imminent danger.
Meanwhile, his investigative team chases an elusive murderer who has no apparent ties to the victim. In a state that is more like a neighborhood community, secrets are difficult to keep, and it's sometimes impossible to know who can be trusted. Gunther soon finds himself opposing criminals more menacing than any he has ever encountered in order to save those he holds closest to his heart.
Relationships always drive Mayor's plots, but never more so than in this intricate, suspense-filled 18th Joe Gunther novel (after 2006's The Second Mouse). When Gunther's mother and brother are almost killed in a suspicious car accident, he helps Deputy Sheriff Rob Barrows narrow in on a local, lawless family with a grievance against the Gunthers. Meanwhile, the investigation of two similar but seemingly unrelated deaths leads Gunther's colleagues at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation to online chat rooms where older men pick up teen girls. Gunther's former lover, Gail Zigman, makes an appearance, but Lyn Silva, last seen in 2004's The Surrogate Thief, takes center stage as his new love interest. This book takes Gunther all over Vermont, offering occasional breaks from the tension with evocative descriptions of mountains and snow. Though Mayor is considered a regional writer, his books intelligently deal with subjects of national concern, and Gunther's crime-solving skills and personal charisma have broad appeal. (Oct.)
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Grand Central Publishing
October 30, 2008
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