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Three Can Keep a Secret: A Joe Gunther Novel (Joe Gunther Series) Hardcover – October 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Gunther Series (Book 24)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 125002613X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250026132
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hurricane Irene and its devastating aftermath provide the backdrop for Mayor's enjoyable 24th Joe Gunther novel (after 2012's Paradise City). During the chaos of the storm, mental patient Carolyn Barber (aka the Governor) goes missing from the Vermont State Hospital. Shortly thereafter, a once-prominent politician is found dead in his retirement home under suspicious circumstances. Special agent Joe Gunther and his stalwart investigators at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation suspect a link between Barber's disappearance and the politician's death. Meanwhile, a coffin unearthed by the storm that's filled with stones instead of a body leads to a double missing-persons case. Joe and his team will stop at nothing to find a resolution to the cases, even if it means uncovering secrets best left in the dark. While the two different cases could be confusing to readers, Mayor handles each adeptly and shrewdly, bringing them to separate and startling conclusions. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Oct.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Hurricane Irene caused nearly every river and creek in Vermont to flood, taking lives, doing billions of dollars of damage, and leaving some towns cut off from outside aid for two weeks. But for Joe Gunther and his team of Vermont Bureau of Investigation detectives, Irene brings an unearthed coffin, filled with rocks instead of a cadaver; the suspicious death of a once-powerful state senator, who lived in a fabulously expensive retirement home; and a missing patient from the state’s mental hospital. The patient, known as The Governor because she had once been made “Governor for a Day” in a tone-deaf PR campaign, had been in the hospital for 40 years; Joe learns that she may have been imprisoned there and drugged daily because of something she saw decades ago. Settling in with a new Joe Gunther novel is like catching up with old friends. It’s a chance to check on Joe’s love life (looking up), Willy Kunkel’s socialization (Sammy Martens’ love, fatherhood, and even the case of the rock-filled coffin are mellowing the once reliably abrasive Willy). Even Joe’s former lover, Governor Gail Zigman, appears, navigating the partisan political minefield created by Irene’s destruction. This twenty-fourth entry in a wonderful series is very close to Mayor’s best. --Thomas Gaughan

More About the Author

Archer Mayor is the New York Times bestselling author of the police
procedural series featuring detective Joe Gunther. In addition to his writing,
Mayor is a death investigator for Vermont's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,
and a detective for the Windham County Sheriff's Office.

He is a past winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award
for Best Fiction--the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored.
He was cited for Excellence in the Arts by the State of Vermont.

Mayor has integrated his actual police experiences with intricately
detailed plot lines into novels that The New York Times has called "dazzling,"
and Booklist has said are "among the best cop stories being written today."
The result adds a depth, detail, and veracity to his characters and their
tribulations that has led The New York Times to call him "The boss man on procedures,"
and the Arizona Daily Star to write, "Few deliver such well-rounded novels of such consistent high quality."

Archer Mayor--who was brought up in the US, Canada and France--has
been variously employed as a scholarly editor, a researcher for TIME-LIFE Books,
a political advance-man, a theater photographer, a newspaper writer/editor,
a lab technician for Paris-Match Magazine in Paris, France, and a medical illustrator.
He is a graduate of Yale University. Before turning his hand to fiction, Archer wrote history books.

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed.
Chloeb02
It was really good, very suspenseful and filled with more than a few plot twists and turns.
Mrs. Wolf
This was still an okay book but it almost felt predictable.
Jess Cross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on October 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book!

Having gone to college in Vermont and lived there for five years, I found that the author depicting the life and area as if I was back in college and experiencing everything first hand.

The story opens as emergency personnel are getting ready for Hurricane Irene which promises to be one of those storms of a century.

If the reader is looking for something where characters are getting ready for an upcoming disaster, they will find it in "Three Can Keep a Secret."

As the first part of the story opens, we see the disaster readiness people going through their tasks as hurricane water builds up rapidly. Then, some people begin doing foolish things.

Water overflows over a cemetery exposing a coffin that didn't have a body, only rocks to try to fool officials.

A secondary story has the state hosptial begin to evacuate patients and one patient walking off on her own. This is a simple woman who knows things about the past and is a danger to some old time politicians.

The characters are very real and jump off the pages. It is as if the reader is immediately immersed in the history of the state and the storm's effect on the inhabitants.

The conclusion is excellent and something that the reader will long remember.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Leo Gunther gingerly closed the squeaky door of this beloved and battered Ford Mustang and glanced up at the low-hanging sky.
Hurricane Irene hits Vermont and hits it hard. The flooding has caused a casket to be uncovered but what’s inside is not a body; only rocks. The local mental health hospital is flooded. An elderly, long-term patient named Carolyn Barbar, “The Governor”, has disappeared. At a very up-scale senior and assisted care facility, one of the founders and residents, Gordon Marshall has been murdered. Joe Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation definitely have their hands full.
The story opens a strong sense of tension, very good descriptions of Vermont’s topography and a connection to Joe’s family. It also engages the reader to move forward.
Each of Mayor’s characters is distinct and individual. They are not super heroes, in that they are not flashy. Each character has a past, and varying levels of emotional baggage. In other words, they are very human. One of the most fascinating characters is Willie. For those who have been following the series, it is fascinating to see how he changes and progresses with each book. For those who have not, his story stands well on its one. That Mayor provides comprehensive backstories so as to include new readers, is something I very much appreciate.
Three are different teams following up on different threads, yet it is still a group that does work together as a team. Although there are multiple threads to the plot, each holds its own as complete and easy to follow. Even when they mesh, they very much make sense. There is even a very timely and effective side story having to do with backroom politics and just how ugly it can be.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim Cross on October 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best book in awhile in the great series. Although I am from New York side of Lake Champlain, I was glad to see that this book was entirely in Vermont. I especially liked the idea of tropical storm Irene being talked about .As we lived through it also and had as much damage as Vermont.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John St. Arnauld on November 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
His books are truly mysteries, most books by the 3rd chapter you will know how the book ends but not Archer Mayor books. I can't understand why he is not a nationally known author like D. Baldacci or J. Grisham or any other well know author. I love his books and have read everyone of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By raskls on November 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Three can Keep a Secret. But very few can write as well as Mr. Mayor.

I will admit that I only recently discovered Mr. Mayor's works. A few months back I read my first Joe Gunther novel, Red Herring. I was hooked.
This new novel I cant say is better or worse than Red Herrings. Both are GREAT!

To me, Mr. Mayor is a master story teller for several reasons. Basically, he does everything well.

He doesn't go above and beyond with descriptions. He writes just enough and describes just enough to give you a "feel" for the scene--weather, a room, an office--without slowing down the story.

He gives the perfect amount of background info on characters to where you feel for them and identify with them--but never lose sight of the story.

His plot twists and turns are good.

I find his writing easy to read, easy to follow and fast-moving. I finished this book in 3 sittings and although I've only read 2 of Mr. Mayor's works, I can say he is now of my top 5 authors.

I feel like I should write more but what can I say? Just read this book. You'll enjoy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maple 11 on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Archer Mayor's books are so informative about VT as well as good mysteries. Learned lots about the tunnels at the Waterbury State hospital in this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ethel M Boyd on November 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading almost all of Archer's books, this is the best Joe Gunther novel by far. Can't wait to read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dragon on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well researched, well written, authentic--deserving of an award! I have read all of the Joe Gunther novels and they just keep getting better.
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