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by Archer Mayor
Warner Books, May 1995
320 pages
ISBN: 0446404144

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

For the last fifteen years, a town constable from a small village in Vermont has written a critically acclaimed series featuring Brattleboro, VT police lieutenant Joe Gunther. Archer Mayor uses all of his lifeís experiences in the creation of this series bringing in quality work in a good police procedural. He has maintained a strong reader following with his award-nominated books and has shown no signs of slowing down. Open Season is the authorís first book in a long-running series. If this book does not impress you as a great first novel, no mystery novel will ever will.

In this debut story, someone is maliciously targeting a group of people for having done their civic duty. A man in a black ski mask has created some situations in which some of the jurors have been assaulted and one has died due to a verbal harassment done to a different juror. The only thing these people did was convict a man for the brutal rape and murder of a Kimberly Harris. It was an open-and-shut case and the police have not given the case a second thought after all these years. Lt. Joe Gunther was not involved in the original case but he is having his own doubts. Why would someone terrorize members of a jury in a case that has been closed for several years? Was the wrong man convicted for the crime? Gunther will be forced to find out the truth to these questions and in the same time try to save his life. Someone wants to learn the truth and he is willing to do anything to find out. The book is taut with suspense and there will be some twists in the original case that will catch readers off guard.

Open Season is a powerhouse of a first novel with a well structure plot and excellent character development that will proceed as the series goes on. It is a shame that it took so long for Archer Mayor to gain the recognition he so duly deserves. Joe Gunther is an ordinary man trying to find out the truth and the author does not need to go overboard in trying to come up with a gimmick. The characters are real and not flat. We learn about them and wish to learn more. This is only the first published adventure in Brattleboro. It will not be the last. This author shows a lot of promise and with over twelve novels under his belt, it cannot be denied. He is an author that should not be missed.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, December 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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