From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Mayor's fine 19th Joe Gunther novel (after 2007's Chat
), Vermont deputy sheriff Brian Sleuter gets shot in the temple while making a routine traffic stop near the Canadian border. The video camera on Sleuter's cruiser taped the murder, so it appears to be a simple case, but Mayor never makes things simple. Since the pair that Sleuter stopped have a drug history, Joe Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, coordinates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Boston. In a smash-bang arrest attempt, one suspect is killed, the other escapes. Joe follows him to Maine, where a drug distributor was recently murdered, drawing Joe and his staff into a fight for control of the New England drug trade and a vengeful family feud. The plot meanders and relies on coincidence more than usual in this superior regional series, but a surprise resolution to the cop killing and an unexpected final catch, one of many in the story, will leave fans feeling fully satisfied. 30-city author tour. (Oct.)
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In (relatively) placid Vermont, a cop killing is a once-in-a-decade crime, and in the nineteenth installment of Mayor’s superb series, Joe Gunther, the top cop in the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, has one on his hands. At the same time, in picturesque Rockland, Maine, a drug kingpin is gunned down. A changing of the criminal guard appears to be under way, and Joe finds himself in a task force with feds and Maine police who specialize in drug crimes. There’s a link between Joe’s murder suspect and the drug dealing in Maine, but Joe wonders if he is fully serving Vermont’s interests. Throughout this series, Mayor has focused on societal concerns. This time it’s the illegal use of prescription drugs that knows no borders. One result is that most of the book takes place in Maine, and that might disappoint some of Mayor’s ardent fans. His elegant, even lyrical prose about his home state is less evident here than in previous novels. Even so, a new Joe Gunther is always good news. --Thomas Gaughan