Recently Archer Mayor was a very informative guest on a Sunday night chat hosted at The Writer’s Chatroom  http://www.writerschatroom.com/  Along with learning that his previous publisher had put the first twelve Joe Gunther series books out of print so Mr. Mayor had to form his own publishing company to get them back out on the market, I learned that that I hadn’t read this one when it came out last year. A number of other readers were on hold for it at the local library, so it took awhile before finally arriving. As always, it was worth wait.

 

Deputy Sheriff Brian Sleuter pulls over a speeding car on an isolated stretch of Vermont road cognizant of the always present danger from such a stop. Despite taking the usual precautions and following procedure, within minutes, he is gunned down while sitting inside his patrol car. Called into investigate the murder and apprehend the person or persons responsible, Joe Gunther and the fellow members of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation have a solid lead. Thanks to the dash camera footage, they can see the moments prior to the officer’s shocking death.

 

Over in Maine, Alan Brudey is the son of a Maine Lobsterman who has no desire to follow in dear old Dad’s footsteps. Having just killed Mathew Mroz in a plan to take control of the local drug flow he has no intention of working the water chasing the dwindling supply of lobsters. He plans to work the people instead who need drugs and supply them and build a business in the time honored way of all small businessmen. The product is different, but the business process is the same and he has plans for exponential growth.

 

Before long both storylines merge as Joe Gunther’s hunt for the killer and his accomplice take the team to Maine. In a story that constantly shifts back and forth between storylines, there is little time for character development and instead is all about the chase of the suspects. This deep in the series, one doesn’t expect any character development and one doesn’t get any. One does expect more complexity in terms of plot and character interaction in an Archer mayor novel and unfortunately that also is not contained here.

 

This is a straight up fast moving mystery where you know Joe Gunther and his group will catch the bad guys. The only question is how and where. The result, while certainly not his best ever in the series, is another strong one. While it dims in comparison to many of his other novels, it certainly is much better than a lot of books out there by other authors who get much more of the media attention.

 

The Catch: A Joe Gunther Novel

Archer Mayor

http://www.archermayor.com

St. Martin’s Minotaur

http://minotaurbooks.com

October 2008

ISBN# 0-312-38191-3

Hardback

275 Pages

  

This material was provided to me by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Library System.

  

Kevin R. Tipple © 2009

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