Presumption of Guilt
A Joe Gunther Mystery by Archer Mayor
Review: While demolishing the recently decommissioned Yankee Vermont nuclear power plant in Brattleboro, Vermont workmen jack-hammering a slab of concrete from the forty-year-old building discover a part of a human hand—a curved finger bleached white and encircled by a thin gold ring, in Presumption of Guilt, the 27th mystery in this series by Archer Mayor.
Joe Gunther of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI) and his team are assigned the case. They have the resources to investigate very old cold cases, whether it is missing persons or murders. After more careful removal of concrete from the slab the full skeleton was found. It was subsequently identified to be the body of roofer Hank Mitchell, a man who had been reported missing forty years ago. It was believed by his wife and friends at the time that Hank had just packed up, left his family and headed out west to join the free love movement of the ’70s. Forensic evidence proved that Hank was murdered and buried in the fresh cement. This was now a four decade old cold case of homicide. Joe reviews the news of the day to ask who would benefit from Hank’s death. Was the New York mafia money laundering? Dope suppliers to that region? Shortly after Gunther’s team began their extensive investigation, Hank’s old partner in their roofing business was murdered. Why now? Gunther believes it has to have a connection with Hank’s murder, but what? Next a young police officer, the son of a member of Joe’s team, Lester Spinney, is kidnapped. This could be a warning for the VBI to drop the case. The death of Hank’s old business partner and the kidnapping of VBI investigator Lester Spinney’s son suggest that Hank’s killer is still alive. After all these years the truth behind this cold case still had the power to kill. It is up to Gunther and his team to find the killer and close the file on the case.
This is a strong series overall, and this entry in it doesn’t disappoint. It is a story of a past history murder and how it dovetails in modern history. Joe’s relationship with Beverly, the M.E. adds a little humor and romance to this extremely interesting and thrilling novel. Highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Presumption of Guilt.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Presumption of Guilt for this review.
Review Copyright © 2018 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Company She Kept
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), September 2015
ISBN-13: 9781250064677; ISBN-10: 1250064678
Location(s) referenced in Presumption of Guilt: Vermont
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Presumption of Guilt by Archer Mayor — A Joe Gunther Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: September 2016
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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