The Dark Root by Archer Mayor takes Joe Gunther into the world of Asian crime. It starts out with a home invasion that has links back to a past crime and from their Lieutenant Gunther must find his suspects who travel illegally between the United States and Canada, where he has no authority. As he continues on the case Gunther suspects the ensuing violence is more than just regular gang violence.
Archer Mayor’s writing style has definitely improved since his first books and this book flows a lot more. This book covers a fair amount of time and handles serious issues. Archer Mayor handles these well by finding ways to handle the time. While some of the other books were impersonal Archer Mayor deals with feelings in this book and portrays them as they would appear to readers, the outsiders.
Lt. Jow Gunther, Brattleboro Police Department is on the case again. When a local stock broker with ties to the drug world is killedmany questions are asked and few answers are present. One of the few leads Lt. Gunter has points him in the direction of a fellow officer’s wife, then to the officer. Lt. Gunther isn’t convinced that the officer really committed the murder and after a second murder he is convinced his co-worker is not the offender. The chase for the unknown murderer leads Gunther and his squad of detectives on a hunt through Brattleboro, from low rent apartments to their own police headquarters.
In his third book Archer Mayor has improved his writing skills. My previous issues with his writing don’t start appearing until midway through the book. This book lacks some of the creative medical realism that his first two books contained due to the lack of his brother’s help. It still brings the reader into the hunt for the criminal though.