TRACE  by Archer Mayor


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Can the Vermont Bureau of Investigation get along without Special Agent Joe Gunther (Presumption of Guilt, 2016, etc.)? Joe’s 28th case gives them a chance to find out.

The Green Mountain State is a beautiful place, but it’s not the best spot to recuperate from the Lyme encephalitis afflicting Joe’s mother. So Joe squires her to a specialized Missouri facility for state-of-the-art care. While he’s away, crime doesn’t accommodatingly cease. Jayla Robinson, on the run after nearly killing her seriously abusive boyfriend back in Albany, gets off a bus in Burlington and is promptly hit by a car driven by Rachel Reiling, the daughter of Joe’s girlfriend, state medical examiner Dr. Beverly Hillstrom. Dr. Tina Sackman brings to Special Agent Lester Spinney unwelcome new evidence that the traffic stop three years ago that led to the deaths of both Senior Trooper Ryan Paine and Kyle Kennedy, the driver he pulled over, was anything but a routine case of mutually assured destruction. And a 10-year-old girl brings three teeth she’s found along the railroad tracks to Sgt. Colin Guyette of the Windsor Police Department. As Joe sits by his mother’s bedside cheering her every improvement, Rachel plunges herself into danger back home by inviting Jayla to sleep on the couch in her place till she gets settled; Lester patiently interviews everyone he can imagine might throw some light on that 3-year-old shooting; those teeth lead the VBI on a winding path to an unusually inventive case of sabotage; and Joe returns just in time for a celebratory barbecue.

Solid, unspectacular work from all hands, including Mayor, who as usual forgoes high-concept mystery for the slow-burning pleasures of the multitrack regional procedural.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-11326-9
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2017


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