It’s a chilly winter’s day when Joe Gunther, Field Commander of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, is summoned to a scene. A vehicle, reported stolen several days ago from New Hampshire, has been found – with a dead body stuffed inside the trunk. In the vehicle itself is a bunch of junk – low end items invariably stolen from a multitude of places. Of the six phones removed from the vehicle, one is quickly found to have child pornography. Another, inextricably, links to a missing persons case from several years ago – one that was never solved.
As Joe and his team document the scene, Beverly Hillstrom, the Chief Medical Examiner and Joe’s significant other, arrives on scene to collect the body. A quick on scene examination reveals a blow to the head as a likely source of death. A quick identification is made via a biometric scanner, complete with rap sheet and next of kin. The phones and random property appear to belong to various individuals, with each individual item needing follow up, as they look for a relationship, if any, to the vehicle owner – or the deceased.
A task force is formed with all the usual players we’ve come to know and love; the team splitting up to start unraveling the clues they’ve discovered, including the rescue of a young child from exploitation. Attempts to re-create the last week of travel via the stolen vehicle’s GPS reveal a multitude of stops, seemingly random, but all must be visited – with every destination seemingly provoking more questions than answers. Joe and his team must pull out all the stops to get to the bottom of this one – and do so with a very unexpected and a bit abrupt, but very satisfying ending!
As a former New Englander, I love the rich storytelling Archer Mayor provides, in his detailed and colorful descriptions of the Vermont/New Hampshire area. I can easily visualize the towns and geography he describes, making me more than a bit homesick for those days of my youth! I adore the Joe Gunther character and his merry group of investigators, and I know with each book release that I need to settle in for a nice long uninterrupted read. This one was no exception! Another great read from one of the greats!!
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books in exchange for an objective review. Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!