Cover Image: Fall Guy

Fall Guy

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Member Reviews

Given that this is a very long-running series (Fall Guy is the 33rd book in the Joe Gunther series), it wasn’t practical for me to start from the beginning, so I decided to jump in with this latest offering. It’s a police procedural set in Vermont and New Hampshire, featuring a team from the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation), led by Joe Gunther. In addition to Joe, there’s Willy, Lester and Sam (Samantha). They are called to the scene when a stolen car is found with a dead body in the trunk. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of convoluted, twisty connections, and eventually the team figures everything out. There are some rather tense moments involving someone in a bomb-vest near the end, but for the most part, it wasn’t a very exciting read. Also, beyond the core four-person team, there were a lot of characters to try to keep straight.

Warning: references to child pornography (not a big spoiler, as it is revealed pretty close to the beginning of the book) and sexual activity with minors (not graphic, just referenced).

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book, although I’m rather late to it. All opinions are my own.
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This was a fantastic plot! I have not read all of the books in this series and I would like to go back and start at the beginning. I love the characters.  
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was my first Joe Gunther novel by Archer Mayor and I don’t think it will be my last. Fall Guy is the 33rd installment in the long running series depicting the intricate workings of police investigating in Vermont. In this novel, a body is found in an abandon and stolen car that connects to several cases requiring a task force to solve. Joe, with the help of his trusted officers, find all the clues and get the answers to some outstanding questions. 

The writing is solid and sturdy just like the series (I assume) and is definitely a must read for anyone who’s a fan of detective novels. 

Thank you @minotaurbooks and @netgalley for this eARC in exchange for my honest feedback.
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This was the first book I read in the series and I would definitely consider reading more of them! I didn't feel lost while reading it, but sometimes I don't enjoy the whole detective chase thriller.
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In this 33rd in the police procedural series set in Vermont, the discovery of a murdered burglar uncovers a stolen cell phone relating to an unsolved cold case - the abduction of preteen Scooter Nelson years before.

Each member of Joe Gunther's team plays his or her part in following a myriad of leads relating to homicide, child molesting, kidnapping, domestic abuse, police corruption, and more. 

Of course, they slowly and steadily tie it all together and find their answers. This series is always worth a read.
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3.5 rounded up. I don’t know if I am getting grumpier and pickier or this series is hitting its lull after so many years. The book was good but I felt the ending was very abrupt. I also felt a little prickly about Knuckle abusing suspects. While I am not so naive to think this never happens anymore IRL it seems to me it probaly happens much less. And I don’t want to read about cops abusing suspects. This is a story of a theft that becomes a child abuse ring and then even murder. It didn’t feel smooth to me. 
I was given a copy by Netgalley in exchange for my review. Opinions are mine
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Archer Mayer is back with his 33rd Joe Gunther novel, Fall Guy. Mayer’s police procedural series is a cut above in its ability to present the many officers involved, with their many personalities and work styles, and have a cohesive, very believable story.

Fall Guy opens with the discovery of a small time thief, Don Kalfus, in the trunk of a stolen Mercedes. And also in the car, a phone with child porn, items that look to be stolen goods and an old flip phone that turns out to be connected to an old unsolved case. From this out of the ordinary beginning, Gunther will move around Vermont and then New Hampshire seeking answers to an ever growing list of questions. We readers even learn how interstate task forces work to join various police forces for hoped for seamless sharing and coordination.

This is a great series, highly recommended. I plan to go back and plug in the holes in my reading of Mayer’s books.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Rating 4/5
Plot 4/5 
Writing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

[I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book]

“Fall Guy” is the 33rd book in Archer Mayor’s Joe Gunther series. This book tells the story of a body that was found in the trunk of a stolen car which leads Joe Gunther and his team to crucial evidence in an infamous unsolved case from years ago. With this evidence, the case has become complicated and dangerous, leading Gunther’s team to be pulled back as they create an effective plan to capture a psychopath responsible for a history of misery, betrayal, and loss. 

This was an interesting mystery thriller novel! I don’t read many crime novels, but I enjoyed this one. The plot was intriguing and the case itself was interesting! From what I’ve read it seems this series is interconnected so there are aspects from the other books that fall into this one which I thought was cool! Overall, good read!
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This was the first Joe Gunther Book form Archer Mayor i have read and it was a pretty good read. It held your interest throughout to find out who was responsible for the murder of Don Kalfus whose body is found in the trunk of a luxury car that was stolen from a wealthy individual who has a story that may not add up. In my opinion the story only had one part that seemed a little far-fetched concerning the rigged second house. When you read this, you decide. Overall, a pretty good read.
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3.5 rounded to 4 stars

While I’ve read several Joe Gunther books, I definitely wouldn’t say that I’m familiar with the characters. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been slow to review this since I feel it’s going to sound a bit wishy-washy.

As the task force was divided up to try to solve the mystery of the abandoned car and the dead man in the trunk, I was delighted. Each team went in separate ways and gathered information, which I thought was an interesting plot idea. This meant that chapters were about each team’s investigation. Then occasionally they would all meet back to compare notes.

But here’s the rub. There were several characters, lots of acronyms used, and plenty of space to find myself lost. Who was who? The main character, which I assumed to be Joe Gunther, was on the outside looking in lots of the time. Various others were doing their investigations, sharing a little backstory, and then the team would meet back and compare notes. Interesting? Yes. Somewhat overwhelming with characters I wasn’t familiar with and no easily identified protagonist. Yes.

So, I liked the structure, but at the same time, it felt a bit hard for an occasional reader of the Joe Gunther series to keep on top of the fast-moving story with twists and turns and characters.

Bottom line: What made this enjoyable, at the same time felt distracting, if that makes sense?

My Concerns
I think I shook that bottle up and tried to clear the water above.

My other concern is that it does involve child pornography, which is a topic some will want to be aware of before starting the book.

Final Thoughts
I definitely would recommend this, especially if you are familiar with the characters who are in the series. And even though I had to pay close attention I did still enjoy the thrill of the chase, as they say. The story was interesting and had lots of moving parts.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy.
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I think maybe I should have researched this book a bit before getting into it. It was a little too dark for me, dealing with some disturbing issues. It also was hard to understand at times. I'm sure if you like darker police books this will be the one for you, however it was not for me.
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Do you love a series that let’s you live with the characters for quite a while ? Get to know them, accompany them and look forward to each next installment ?
I love the Joe Gunther series by Archer Mayor and look forward to every new installment coming out - Fall Guy - out this week and book 33 in the series was no different. I was excited about it from the moment I saw it announced and it did not disappoint. 
The overarching storylines surrounding the main investigating officers were continued and the case at hand was compelling and left me wondering about all the things you could track about me with my phone’s location data …
I adore this series because it is set in Vermont and takes me places that are well captured and portrayed and that I know well. This one is set along the Vermont New Hampshire border and Brattleboro,Vt and Keene, NH another places where we spent time this summer…
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I think one the most amazing things about Archer Mayor’s newest book, Fall Guy, isn’t just that Archer has now been writing about Joe Gunther for over three decades, but that I still get excited about each new release. He just never disappoints and I always look forward to seeing with Joe and his team are up to. This time around it all starts with a dead body and a bunch of cell phones found in the trunk of a stolen car. IDing the body isn’t difficult, but trying to find out why he was killed is a bit more complicated…especially when some of the evidence points in the direction of an old child abduction case. (Don’t worry there isn’t a need to have read the previous books in the series…though I wholeheartedly recommend doing so for anyone new to Archer Mayor.) This is a fantastic story with plenty of twists that will keep you flipping pages all night long. For fans of police procedurals it really doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks so much to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review an eARC of Fall Guy.
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I read, I think in the New York Times, that Archer Mayor is going to take a hiatus in writing books because he wants to devote more time to his primary job as Medical Examiner of Vermont.  Sigh, this is sad news for his legions of fans, including me, however good it is for the people of Vermont.

I don't like spoilers so I won't give any.  This is the thirty-third book in the Joe Gunther series, and like its preceding books it is well-written and keeps the reader interested.  If this is your first acquaintance with Joe and his VBI team, I think you will be able to follow everything.  I liked that this book concentrated on Joe and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation instead of more extraneous characters.

Every year for some time I have looked forward to a new Archer Mayor.  I am sorry that next year we will be bereft of that pleasure.  In the meantime, this is an excellent book, and so worth reading.  Archer Mayor, I salute you!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
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Book 33 in the Joe Gunter mysteries, Fall Guy was packed full of action and suspense.  This is my first book by this author and I'm loving it.  I love a good mystery of "who did it" and being able to find out those answers.  When Joe arrives at the site where there is a stolen Mercedes with a dead guy in the truck, the mystery begins, and Joe must find those answers out.  The book was fast paced and well written.  I enjoyed the plot and the characters, and I believe I just found a new series I want to enjoy more of.
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This book didn't WOW me, but it was decent. It was difficult for me to keep track of which characters were which, because there were quite a few of them and then rotated through their names and their nicknames. 

It's been a few days since I finished reading and for the life of me I cannot remember who actually ended up being the murderer. There was police cover-up and tons of lies and deceit, but it just isn't a book that has stuck with me.

It was enjoyable to read in the moment. It only took me a few hours while I was the passenger on a long car ride and it kept me awake and mostly interested. I think if you've read the others in the series it might be easier to follow and keep up with.
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Joe is called in to investigate a stolen car with a body in the trunk. The further he goes into the investigation the more twisted it becomes. Now, he is in the middle of an famous unsolved child abduction case.

I have not read any of this series and how I have missed it…I have no idea. It was a pretty dang good book. And I always love a quest. And this book is all about the quest to find the killer. I love Joe Gunter. He is smart and he has some pretty good side kick characters!

Ok y’all, this is number 33 in a series. So, once again, I ask, how many is too many? Inquiring minds want to know your thoughts!?!? I guess if the books keep selling just keep writing.

Need a good detective mystery novel…THIS IS IT!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
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I really enjoyed reading this book.  From the moment that I started I was hooked and could not get enough.  It moves along at a great pace, has interesting characters that you want to know and a story that keeps you reading till the last page.  This book needs to be read, no doubt about it,
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A dead body in the trunk of a stolen car leaves the experienced detective, Joe Gunther, scrambling for clues. At first, the evidence seems to only be from a burglary spree. But then the evidence leads them back to an infamous cold case, and the team is thrust into a complicated and dangerous situation. I didn't love this mystery. It was complex, and I never knew where it would go next. But it was also really slow-paced and focused on the tiny details of police practice. I enjoy realistic mysteries, but I could have done without all of the acronyms (for example, ICAC, TFO, CSST, and NESPIN are all in the first chapter). Maybe I would have liked the story better if I had read any of the other Joe Gunther books and already had a connection to the story. But I struggled to connect to the book's characters, and it made it hard to stay interested during the slower parts of the story. Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me.
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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.
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