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Joe Gunther is sent to the neighboring town of Bellows Falls to investigate harassment allegations against a fellow officer. But as Gunther doggedly pursues the truth, what begins as a seemingly open-and-shut case starts to look more and more like a frame job, and he soon finds himself feeling around the edges of a statewide drug distribution network.
As always, Vermont itself is a major character in Mayor’s writing, with Bellows Falls standing in for any number of slowly decaying, once-proud mill towns.
“Mayor creates the kind of characters who have always had to fight for survival…It is when these people are viewed collectively—as Bellows Falls in the flesh—that we can really see the value of their lives.”
New York Times Book Review
“Forget the cheddar cheese and maple syrup—visitors to Archer Mayor’s Vermont get a close-up view of rural New England’s dark side.”
Amazon.com, editorial review
“Mayor delivers another superb combination of case, characters, and local color and brings it all to life without a wasted word.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“With near-elegiac descriptions of the majestic alongside the seamy…A growing body of fans will want this latest entry.”
“Tiny, seemingly placid Vermont is the real star of the book. Whether with just a line (e.g., Bellows Falls “is a parking lot for the down and out,”) or three beautifully crafted paragraphs that offer a capsule social and economic history of the town, Mayor makes the place come alive for readers from Seattle to Key West.”
“Once again Mayor does it all—domestic abuse, forensics, a statewide drug ring, family counseling—while balancing the whole triple-decker mess on the Bouches’ troubled marriage.”