Date: October 2003
it at Amazon
solid entry in Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series focuses on the
illegal drug trade. The title refers to the name Gunther and his
fellow law enforcement officers give their initiative to, yet again,
declare war on drugs, this time in the state of Vermont. Even the
supposedly pristine Green Mountain state, it seems, is sullied with
this pervasive problem.
writing is clean and brisk, wasting no words, pulling no punches.
There's a nice mix of politics, social message, and personalities
here, but what makes the novel easy to read is the decidedly stronger
emphasis on the characters rather than the more abstract political
and social themes. Mayor also takes pleasure in describing various
aspects of his home state-what downtown Brattleboro looks like,
for example, or even the well-known local chocolatiers Tom and Sally
who sell chocolate cow patties, of all things.
plus is the author making it clear that not all bad guys are all
bad, not all good guys are all good. We all have our weaknesses
and that, in fact, is the strong underlying theme of this novel.
Whether it's a young female cop out to prove her mettle going undercover,
an older male cop intensely concerned with his teenage son's behavior,
or a surprisingly refined drug dealer, the author gives these characters
a solid presence based on their doubts, their fears, their hopes.
is a nice leisurely read-smooth, fun, satisfying.