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Proof Positive: A Joe Gunther Novel    by Archer Mayor order for
Proof Positive
by Archer Mayor
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've long enjoyed Archer Mayor's Vermont police procedurals, though I have to admit to missing a few along the way. Proof Positive is the twenty-fifth in the series starring Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team. Prickly one-armed Willy Kunkle has a strong role here too, as does his wife Sammie.

This time they're up against ruthless assassins, who follow the orders of a politician with an old secret to protect. One target is Ben Kendall, a troubled hoarder who returned from Vietnam with PTSD and a bullet in his head. He's the cousin of Joe's romantic interest, medical examiner Beverly Hillstrom, who had helped him move to Dummerston, Vermont. Kendall's death was ruled accidental - but was it really?

There are links to a torture/murder case in Philadelphia - the victim was Kendall's ex-wife. And more deaths follow. As Philly cops and Joe chase the hunters (unsuccessfully), Willy and Sam question the hunted. Unfortunately, Beverly's daughter Rachel had used Ben Kendall's old combat photos in her college art project, which soon makes her a target too. And Willy is not happy about the trap Joe plans to set for the killers.

Joe eventually has to go far back in time to learn what is behind it all - and he finds 'a stone-cold killer' who has the means to keep on ordering hits to protect his interests. It looks like he will get away with it too, till Willy saves the day, not once but twice. This is one of the most reliable police procedural series around and Proof Positive definitely one of the better episodes. Don't miss it!

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