The Company She Kept: A Joe Gunther Novel by Archer Mayor
First Sentence: “Pull over, Doug. I want to get a shot of this.”
body of a Vermont State Senator, with the word “dyke” carved in her
chest, is found hanging from a cliff retaining net along the interstate.
A close friend and ally of Governor Gail Zigman, she requests that Joe
Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation take the lead on the
case. Although this could be a hate crime, Joe and his team aren’t so
Mayor’s use of imagery provides a wonderful sense of
place…”Several homes sported thin plumes of woodsmoke from the chimneys,
making Doug think of feather quills protruding from toy-sized
inkwells.” Not only does the pastoral beauty quickly desert us, but
shocks us by the subsequent events.
Mayor is very good at
introducing readers to each of the principal characters, providing us
with a sense of who they are and how they relate to one another,
including equating Willie to the perpetually pessimistic Eeyore from
A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh.” Nothing creates a clearer image. We are
also delighted by Joe’s new housemate, Gilbert. That Joe and his team
work well as a team, makes them interesting both individually and as a
unit. Even though who have been following the series for years will find
new insights into Joe, and enjoy watching the relationship between
Willie and Sam grow.
Having a strong, distinct voice is so
critical for an author and Mayor more than achieves that goal. …”That
central hall told the take of the house—wood panels, stained-glass
windows, both soaring overhead to a vaulted, coffered ceiling and an
enormous chandelier—suspended like a relic caught between the Middle
Ages and “Downtown Abbey.”
No matter one’s personal views, Mayor
skillfully addresses the roll sex and sexuality has in today’s politics.
It is no longer a private issue, but a public one. And yet…”a
disclosure like hers should have by now become irrelevant as right- or
left-handedness. The ending did seem very abrupt and rather
unsatisfying, in spite of the poetic justice.
“The Company She Kept” is a character-driven mystery, with an excellent plot twist, and a
case solved by teamwork and following the clues.
THE COMPANY SHE KEPT (Pol Proc-Joe Gunther-Vermont-Contemp) - VG Mayor, Archer – 26th in series Minotaur Books – Sept 2015
I am a reader and reviewer of mysteries; a compulsive hooker--the crochet kind, not the street kind--and one who never leaves home without my camera. I can be reached at:
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