Ginny's Reviews > The Price of Malice

The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor
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's review
Feb 05, 10

liked it
Read from February 03 to 04, 2010

20th in the series of Joe Gunther murder mysteries. This book picks up where "Catch", leaves off. Joe Gunther's girlfriend Lyn has returned home to Gloucester to her mom and younger brother, after learning that her dad and older brother may not have been "lost at sea" as they thought, but perhaps certain dealings had gotten them killed. Back in Brattleboro, the VBI is on a case. A body is discovered, and by all accounts the male victim was a lowlife child molester that would not be missed. But what was he doing in an apartment that he did not live in but mysteriously had a key to? This story has Joe hopscotching between Brattleboro, Gloucester, and all over Maine, trying to solve the local murder and keep track of Lyn, who is running down the mystery of her dad and brother's disappearance on her own.
I liked the story showing the slow steady progress of an investigation, relying on good old-fashioned legwork, witness interviews, and DNA evidence. I was not impressed with two things: Willy Kunkle seemed to almost become a characture of himself when he goes all "cowboy" and decides on his own to take down the main suspect, putting Sammie in harm's way. Also not impressed with Lyn's total lack of common sense, even under the emotional strain of dealing with her formerly addicted brother, her almost catatonic mother, and the mysterious disappearance of her older brother and father. Until now her character seemed so intelligent, strong, and smart enough to have her own business--a real survivor against all odds Tough, able to handle a gun (as seen in "Chat"), could not understand her poor choice of going off half-cocked onto a boat with a possible killer.
The story is mostly resolved by the end of the book, but left one wondering about what was actually on that computer chip that was worth two lives, we never do find out.

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