cover image The Orphan’s Guilt: A Joe Gunther Novel

The Orphan’s Guilt: A Joe Gunther Novel

Archer Mayer. Minotaur, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-22414-9

Bestseller Mayer’s solid 31st Joe Gunther novel (after 2019’s Bomber’s Moon) begins with a DUI arrest along a Vermont road. The case of John Rust, a repeat offender, appears to be open and shut, until his lawyer, hotshot Brattleboro defense attorney Scott Jezek, angles for a way to appeal to the jury’s sympathy. Jezek hires PI Sally Kravitz to check out the death of John’s invalid brother, Peter, to whom he was devoted, on the day of John’s arrest. Peter’s death was apparently the result of complications of a childhood brain injury, but Kravitz comes up with evidence suggesting it was murder as she uncovers the troubling truth behind Peter’s condition and John’s drinking. Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, and his team step in to investigate. Meanwhile, someone has come a long way to finish his business with the Rust brothers, and he has little to lose after so many years. Mayer expertly intertwines murder with a view of life off the beaten path. This long-running series continues to impress. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Sept.)