Review of Fall Guy by Archer Mayor – coming soon

The case that doesn’t stop metastasizing…

One of the things I love about police procedurals is the way that the detectives typically don’t get to concentrate on one case at a time.   This seems to me to be a lot like real life.  After all, who among us is lucky enough to get to think about just one problem at a time very often?   And Fall Guy, which is the latest entry in Archer Mayor’s excellent Joe Gunther procedural series, is a great example of this complexity.  

At first, Fall Guy seems as if it’s just going to be about the body that was found in the trunk of the allegedly stolen Mercedes.   But the Mercedes is also full of a bunch of tech toys, cell phones, booze, silverware, and jewelry.  And some money.   Which all looks as if someone was a thief.  Was it the dead man?  Or the owner of the car?  Or someone else? 

Even worse, one of the phones has some child porn on it, and another turns out to have belonged to a pre-teen who went missing years ago.  Add in that the car’s owner isn’t telling the truth about how it got stolen, the owner’s wife has some secrets of her own, and more than a few other people also seem to be up to things they shouldn’t be, and there’s a real mess brewing.   Oh yeah, and jurisdictional issues pop up too, since some of the action is in Vermont and some in New Hampshire…

All-in-all, though, author Archer Mayor makes it pretty easy for readers to keep track of what’s going on as Gunther and his team carefully sort out the various bits, using a combination of high-tech gizmos and old-fashioned leg work.   And the way that one new discovery logically leads to another, and then to another, makes this a difficult book to put down.  On a personal note, I found it more than a little scary to realize how much information a mobile phone can contain – as highlighted by the way that team members Lester and Sam are able to accurately recreate and do a drive-through of the movement of the victim’s phone in the days before his death.   It’s enough to make me re-think what I keep on my own cell phone!   But in the end, of course, the various threads get resolved, with a few plot twists adding some nice surprises along the way.  

If you like police procedurals, you’ll enjoy Fall Guy.  I definitely did.  And finally, my thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the advance review copy.  

Buy (coming 9/27) : Amazon US | Amazon Canada | Kobo US | Kobo Canada

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