cover image Red Herring: A Joe Gunther Novel

Red Herring: A Joe Gunther Novel

Archer Mayor, Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-38193-6

A single drop of unexplained blood at each of three murder scenes perplexes Joe Gunther in Mayor's engrossing 21st novel to feature the Vermont Bureau of Investigation police detective (after 2009's The Price of Malice). The three victims—two middle-aged women and a young man who had a bright future—led apparently unblemished lives in rural Vermont. Gunther and his team take a detour to the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island for lessons in cutting-edge forensics. Meanwhile, the gubernatorial race of Gail Zigman, Gunther's former girlfriend, spotlights the politics surrounding how the VBI was established and affects his current relationship with bar owner Lyn Silva. As usual, Mayor skillfully combines a gripping police procedural with a view of smalltown life balanced by bits of humor applied at just the right time. The suspense builds toward an ending that reveals a surprising motive and a chillingly realistic villain. Author tour. (Oct.)