cover image Scent of Evil

Scent of Evil

Archer Mayor. Mysterious Press, $18.95 (360pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-471-0

Introspective and deliberate in his methods, Lt. Joe Gunther of the Brattleboro, Vt., police is a reliable since they're practically synonyms focal point in a mystery that includes graphic emergency medical scenes, adrenalin-producing car chases and lots of cat-and-mouse suspense. After the body of Charlie Jardine, a local stockbroker with a sleazy reputation, is found buried in an embankment near a busy street, Patrolman John Woll, whose wife was seeing the victim, becomes the prime suspect. Gunther isn't convinced that Woll is guilty, however, and his doubts grow stronger when small-time drug dealer Milly Crawford is shot dead before Gunther can get a warrant to search his place for a tie-in with drug-user Jardine. Gunther suspects and then locates a bug in his office, and so must trace its source in the midst of the murder investigation's demands. With enough twists and turns to keep the reader on chair's edge, Mayor's ( Borderline ) action-packed tale includes interesting local history as seen by Gunther, an observant, appealing guide. Author tour. (June)