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A minor Internal Affairs investigation leads detective Joe Gunther to the hard-luck town of Bellows Falls, Vermont. Soon, rumors of police corruption, drug dealing, spousal abuse, and murder spread through the streets. As Gunther struggles to separate fact from fiction, he uncovers a regional narcotics network and must take a calculated risk to expose the criminals.
A back-to-nature cult has almost taken over the town where Joe Gunther was raised. Returning for a visit Joe becomes involved in a sudden outbreak of violence, when five die in a house fire and a man is stabbed to death. A shrewd and shambling detective, Lieutenant Joe Gunther of the Brattleboro Police Department is dissatisfied with his life. Wanting some time to mull things over, Gunther wrangles a temporary assignment in the village of Gannet, where he spent long-gone summers with his uncle Buster, a great bear of a man who at seventy still runs the local garage. But Gunther finds his boyhood town has changed. Five years earlier, economically depressed Gannet sold half of its houses and land to a back-to-nature cult called the Order. Though secretive, its members have coexisted peaceably with the laconic locals--until the arrival of hot-tempered Bruce Wingate and his reticent wife, Ellie, searching for their daughter, whom they believe has disappeared into the cult's ranks. Suddenly, rural life explodes into violence. Within a week, five members of the Order die when their home is burned to the ground--and a citizen is stabbed to death.
Joe Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, gets the call that every law enforcer hates -- a fellow officer has been killed in the line of duty. Gunther is brought in not only to find the killer, but also to shut down a drug- running operation.
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.
The attack is swift, brutal, and devastating. The house of a Chinese restaurant owner is broken into. His daughter raped, he and his wife victimized. Police lieutenant Joe Gunther is plagued by questions. Where did the break-in team come from? Why did they choose this target? Is this just the beginning? The answers come as home invasion becomes town invasion. A ruthless Vietnamese gangster moves to control Brattleboro's small but thriving criminal element--using money, drugs, and murder--and then branches throughout the rest of Vermont. Gunther is suddenly on the trail of illegal aliens, money laundering, and murder-for-hire, all in the middle of a turf war between rival Asian crime rings so organized, so slippery, and so vicious, they make their Mafia counterparts look like aging barroom brawlers.
The body in a backwoods Vermont quarry has been stripped of all identifiers, except for dental work clearly done outside the U.S., and toes tattooed with Cyrillic lettering. From this enigmatic start, "The Disposable Man" has Joe Gunther entering a paranoid twilight constructed by aging members of the CIA and the Russian mafia, who are out to settle an old cold war dispute, ruthlessly manipulating all who stand in their way -- including Joe. Now, framed for a crime he didn't commit and pursued by the very legal system he's upheld all his life, alliances and betrayals build on one another until a final showdown ensues atop a remote Vermont mountain, as Gunther becomes a fugitive in order to clear his own name -- if he survives.
At four in the morning, Detective Lieutenant Joe Gunther learns that Gail, his long-time girlfriend who he had left just hours before, has been raped and beaten. Despite churning emotions and possible improprieties, Joe is allowed to investigate the case. Because of her high visibility, the attack on Gail is followed closely by the media, and Joe's objectivity is continually suspect. Contains some strong language.
"When heroin traffickers establish a vast and swift pipeline into nearly every corner of Vermont, Joe Gunther's Bureau of Investigations is called on to stem the tide. With pressure building from politicians and resentment burgeoning in the ranks of rival investigative units, Joe's team is forced to take wild risks and push a number of ethical envelopes in their attempt to bring the problem under control. Sammie Martens must go deep undercover as a drug dealer, Lester Spinney must investigate a loved one, and Joe must make some agonising choices as he works to reconcile a noble end with highly dubious means. With a ""War on Drugs"" in full swing within Vermont's borders for the firs time, Archer Mayor's beloved sleuths will be driven to their very limits as they struggle to rid their community of a plague of epic proportions."
"Towering high above Vermont ski country, Mt. Mansfield's arctic crags have doomed many a soul - but none more hideously than the man found stone-cold dead and frozen stiff, wedged into the mountain ice." "This, Gunther's first assignment as head of the new Vermont Bureau of Investigation, is a tough one. Initially, Gunther presumes the body to be that of a lost hiker trapped by cold and snow - until the frigid carcass reveals a puncture wound to the heart. Not to mention two feet and an arm amputated with razor-sharp precision." "The mummified corpse is dressed to kill, but in outdated clothes. A frosty Canadian driver's license, which had expired in 1947, identifies him as Jean Deschamps of Sherbrooke, Quebec. Who maimed and murdered him? And how did he end up preserved on a mountaintop for over fifty years?" "Searching for the truth lands Gunther in a viper's nest of ancient secrets, international gang wars, and dynastic intrigue."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Vermont police detective Joe Gunther faces a twisted and far-reaching case involving the murder of a trucker, the death of a blackmailing hooker, and the threat of deadly toxins. The man lies dead in the middle of the railroad tracks, head and hands amputated by an onrushing freight train. Dressed in tattered clothes, he looks like a vagrant. Yet Gunther is suspicious. Why would a bum in dirty rags wear crisp white underwear?
Open Season is Archer Mayor's debut novel that first introduced Joe Gunther. Why did that staid old lady blow his head off with a shotgun? Jamie's atomized neck was enough to make even the most hardened cop wince. Obviously a setup, thinks Detective Joe Gunther, but the crime soon takes on even more shocking dimension. Gunther investigates the murder of a juror by another juror from a three-year-old case.
Joe Gunther puts a murder investigation on hold to help his girlfriend solve her father's mysterious death. Torn between his conscience and his heart, Gunther finds that betrayal and loyalty are often a matter of viewpoint.
The young girl who brought Brattleboro police lieutenant Joe Gunther an old, abandoned bird nest knew it was no ordinary nest, and upon examination, Joe wasn't about to argue. Interwoven with the straw, sticks, and grass was a thick hank of human hair. But who and where was the victim? What was the cause of death? No one in the girl's neighborhood had seen or heard anything unusual the previous summer. Then, on the floor of a nearby doghouse, and scattered throughout the woods and fields by wild animals, Gunther finds more--bone fragments, a piece of jaw, and a single glittering gold tooth, engraved with a mysterious symbol. While this last discovery allows Joe to finally identify the victim, he is still left with more questions than answers, along with the haunting suspicion that more is yet to come. And in short order, a series of seemingly unrelated events quickly follows suit: an activist vanishes into the night without a trace...a homeless man meets a horrible death, racked by unexplainable seizures... a hateful old lady with only months left to live is strangled in a nursing home. Pursuing all these as separate cases, Gunther still cannot ignore the tenuous connections he thinks link them all together. Searching for the truth takes Joe from the dingy lives of Brattleboro's lowlife to the imposing mansions of its leading citizens-- and into a maelstrom of corporate greed, personal betrayal, and cold-hearted murder. The key to it all lies buried in the mind of a shell-shocked World War II vet, a so-called ragman still reliving the 1940s. Gunther must find a way to unlock the ragman's memory and expose the killer... before disaster strikes again.
The third outing for Vermont cop Joe Gunther. A murdered stockbroker sets a sticky case into motion for Lt. Gunther. Three bodies later, Gunther must unravel a sinister puzzle involving drugs, a naive young police officer, and someone bent on revenge.
Intriguing plots, complex characters, and a landscape come to life are mainstays of Archer Mayor's New England thrillers. With a gift for vivid writing, he has made "an honorable art form of the regional mystery," according to the New York Times Book Review. Now in a suspenseful new novel, Mayor's popular sleuth Joe Gunther faces one of the most baffling cases of his career.A legend among Vermont cops, Joe Gunther has solved more local whodunits than a whole squad of detectives. But his latest case takes him and his team off their Brattleboro home turf, forty-two miles west, to chip-on-its-shoulder, blue-collar Bennington.On the edge of town, Gunther encounters the lifeless body of Michelle Fisher. Her corpse, pale and seemingly at peace, offers him no clues about who she was or how she died. There are no signs of violence, no disorder. Snapshots and postcards show a woman who laughed hard and lived harder. Yet diaries reveal a rootless life marred by depression and drink. Suicide seems a reasonable conclusion, but Gunther suspects foul play. The house is for sale, after all, and Michelle was its only tenant-one who resisted all efforts to have her evicted. The unsavory landlord is a prime suspect, but is safely equipped with an impressively air-tight alibi.Now to uncover the truth about the fate of this discarded, all but forgotten woman, Gunther must follow a confusing trail of half leads and mounting crimes. He draws near to a violent and careless trio of criminals, whose leader is hell-bent on making the career move of a lifetime-and willing to step on anyone who might get in his way.
Abraham Fuller died of a gunshot wound that took twenty years to do the job. A hermit in rural Vermont, he'd kept to himself, but when the old damage finally causes a fatal aneurysm, Detective Joe Gunther decides to learn more about Abraham Fuller--and whomever wanted him dead. Gunther's crew combs Fuller's cabin and garden and discovers a skeleton with a stainless steel knee joint. Moreover, medical analysis proves the body is a murder victim. Does the skeleton have anything to do with Gunther's murder case? His investigation takes him on a trail that leads to Chicago and to people who desperately want to hide their pasts. The trail may lead him to the solution of a murder--or to a fresh, new corpse ... his own.
The call to Detective Willy Kunkle came from the NYPD. Willy's ex-wife, Mary, had been found dead in her New York apartment and he was asked to provide the next-of-kin ID. Although he hadn't been in touch with Mary since their divorce, Willy knew he was the only one left to vouch for her remains. Now, years after fleeing the city, Willy returns laden with misgivings that are deepened all the more by seeing Mary's pathetic corpse on a gurney. With a fresh puncture mark in her arm and heroin still in the syringe, the police think she overdosed. But while the evidence is compelling, Willy's instincts tell him something is missing. Driven by his loss, his doubts, and a blossoming guilt, Willy defies the authorities in an increasingly dangerous search for answers along New York's mean streets. Pulled deeper and deeper into a past before Vermont, before the drunken abuse he inflicted on Mary, before his abandonment of his family and friends, Willy encounters his ghosts from Vietnam where he was known as "the sniper," a lethal loner who struck without mercy. From gutted slums to the town houses of Brooklyn Heights, Willy Kunkle will plummet through the dark shadows of his past, confront his demons... and live up to his menacing nickname.
Brattleboro is the epitome of scenic Vermont. Quaint in its architecture and plainspoken in its politics, it dominates the state's southeast corner as both an employment hub and an election year powerhouse-all while looking like a genteel, postindustrial New England mill town. And yet there is darkness here, too, and nobody knows it better than Joe Gunther. Over the years he has battled drug pushers and corporate swindlers, grappled with environmental conspirators, and foiled gangs and home invaders. But while usually successful in his fight for the town's future, Gunther hasn't always come out on top... Thirty years earlier store owner Klaus Ober-feldt was robbed and beaten senseless. When Klaus died six months later, a case of assault and battery became first degree murder. The guilty man eventually appeared to be a well-known, small-time crook, but enough time had elapsed for him to vanish. Gunther, distracted by his wife's losing struggle with cancer in the same hospital where Klaus was slipping from life, did something that would plague him for the rest of his career: He let the case go cold, burying it in the past along with his private sorrows. Now serendipitously reopened, the Ober-feldt investigation forces Gunther to revisit ancient history and open old wounds. Torn between righting the past and confronting his demons, the veteran cop faces the most personal and dangerous case of his career. For somewhere on the idyllic Brattleboro streets stalks a long-lost murderer who never quite disappeared-and with Joe's renewed interest, now has good reason to kill again...
An overworked sheriff and a string of condo burglaries at a luxurious upstate ski resort have Lt. Joe Gunther and the newly-minted Vermont Bureau of Investigation digging deep for clues. But it doesn't take long for Joe to find the most likely thief missing -- and his girlfriend dead. As the complications mount, from drug dealing to environmental terrorism to attempted murder, Joe and his team go undercover to infiltrate the closed society of a one-company town, populated by bored millionaires and supported by a small legion of resort employees, not all of whom are what they seem.
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