Happy families, unhappy families, bloodthirsty families…suddenly Special Agent Joe Gunther is hip-deep in family business.
There’s nothing much new about a snowy night in Vermont, but on this one Joe Gunther’s mom and brother come close to killing themselves. “It was the car, not the road,” whispers Leo Gunther just before going into a coma. And since his brother is famously car crazy, car savvy and almost obsessively careful, his remark sets Joe thinking. And investigating. It’s not long before the notorious Griffis family casts its dark shadow. Years earlier, Joe had arrested young Andy Griffis, who went to prison and subsequently killed himself. His volatile brother, who swore vengeance, had access to Leo’s car and could have tinkered with it. Meanwhile, two mysteriously similar murders preoccupy the hard-pressed cops at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. Were the vics the Internet predators they appear to have been? If so, should the VBI be checking out the possibility of other vengeful families? “Family, family, family,” says a VBI colleague plaintively. “I mean, what do you get out of the whole deal?” The answer: “I guess we just do the best we can.”
After 18 installments (St. Albans Fire, 2005, etc.), Gunther’s adventures remain as consistently readable as anything in the genre.