Wednesday, August 15, 2018

At camp: "The Catch" by Archer Mayor

At Camp: The Catch by Archer Mayor, 2009 (paperback edition),

I stopped reading the Joe Gunther series a few years ago. I had really, really enjoyed the series until I read one novel that was a total dog. It made no damn sense. I am pretty sure that novel was The Marble Mask.

Anyhoo, my wife was weeding fiction in her library and pulled a couple Mayor paperbacks and asked if I wanted them. I said "Sure" and took one up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the first of two Scout Camps this summer. I went along on the backpacking portion of the trip and since the hike lasted three days I brought along a book. I did not have many opportunities to read but I did get some reading done.

Most important is that I really ended up enjoying this novel. Being reintroduced to characters that I rhad not read about in over 10 years was a pleasure.

To recap the series. Joe Gunther was a Police Officer in Brattleboro, VT. The population of Brattleboro is only 11,600 people but Gunther had plenty of murders to solve. Later in the series Gunther joined a new statewide agency that helps investigate serious crime. Serious crimes like the murder of a Deputy on a rural road.

Deputy Sleuter was a hard charger who wanted to arrest his way into a Federal agency. He pulls aside a speeding car late one night and the stop is taped by his cruiser's camera. After coming back to his cruiser to use the radio the camera records the offending driver's passenger car door open, the passenger sneaking out, and Sleuter is shot by an off camera person.

Gunther is called in and brings his team along. Gunther's long-time Brattleboro colleagues Willy and Sammy. They have names from the cruiser's video and start investigating. Travels to Boston end in a shooting and links to murder and drugs in Maine get Gunther hooked up with the DEA and Maine's state DEA.

Things happen. Gunther has turned timeless. Gunther was originally written as a veteran of the Korean War in the first novel in 1988. Now Gunther is indeterminately "older" and has a younger bartening girlfriend whose recent jailbird brother introduces Gunther to some of Maine's crime scene.

We follow a few bad guy drug dealers and killers around. We follow Willy around as he insults and snarls at every one he meets. Sammy tempers Willy's behavior. Gunther gets tired of all the investigative dead ends.

Fun stuff. I liked it.

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