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Three Can Keep a Secret (Joe Gunther Series #24)

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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  • Posted October 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The book had me hooked from the first page. The author does a gr

    The book had me hooked from the first page. The author does a great job setting the scene with Hurricane Irene baring down on the State of Vermont. The book is newest on the Joe Gunther series. I have not read any of the others yet but after reading this one I’m going to have to read the others. The book works as a stand-a-lone, I did not feel like I was missing any important information. I loved the major characters and would love to know more of their backstory which I assume would be in the earlier books. The author also does a great job showing the ups and downs of politics in a small state as well as the foolishness of some political decisions, and of course, political corruption. All of that was included with a hurricane, a missing mental patient, a coffin missing its body, and a couple of suspicious deaths. No wonder I couldn’t put the book down.

    The book begins as people all over Vermont are preparing for Hurricane Irene. During the hurricane an old grave is exposed with a coffin full of rocks instead of a body. As mental patients in a hospital are being moved to a higher floor because of flooding one of them wonders off. After the storm passes, Joe Gunther and his team begin investigating both cases. The missing mental patient was fifty years earlier “Governor for a Day.” As Joe investigates her background to learn more about her and where she might go he finds more questions than answers. His investigation leads him to a retired state politician who mysteriously dies before the investigators can question him. Two additional mysterious deaths follow. Joe realizes that he must solve the mystery of the woman’s past in order to find her and the reason behind the murders.

    Disclosure: I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Typical Mayor...good continuation of same characters

    I enjoyed catching up with the characters in this series. Good story line with tragedy of flood and politics mixed in. Joe, as usual is written strong, if aging.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    very good

    another fine addition to the series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This newest in the Joe Gunther series opens with the devastation

    This newest in the Joe Gunther series opens with the devastation in the author’s native Vermont which accompanied Hurricane Irene in the northeast US a few years back. One of the scenes to which Joe and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation squad are called is a small cemetery where several coffins at a 17-year-old gravesite were unearthed by the force of water, one of which was discovered to contain nothing but rocks, with no sign of any body ever having inhabited it. The cops believe it “might mean somebody faked his own death; might mean something more complicated.” This plot line unearths, as well, the first of the secrets hinted at by the title (from Ben Franklin’s well-known “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”).

    But some very corporeal bodies turn up soon after, not the victims of the storm, but from unclear circumstances, the causes of death undetermined but appearing not to be natural, in addition to a missing patient from a state mental facility in Waterbury which had been flooded, the latter being an elderly woman who called herself The Governor. In an unlikely coincidence, all of these people are found to be connected. All of which leads to more secrets waiting to be uncovered.

    Joe and the members of his team are, as always, wonderfully well-drawn, particularly Sammie Martens and Willy Kunkle, now the parents of a baby girl - - Willy, a former sniper in the military whose “arm had been destroyed by a bullet years ago, taken in the line of duty,” learning to live with discomfort, physical and psychic, “as a recovering alcoholic with a crippled left arm and an attitude problem. The tale spins out in clever plotlines, along with references to “the flooding and its impact and implications [not the least of which are political in nature]. There was little else being discussed anywhere in the state, and probably wouldn’t be for some time.” As one whose life was impacted greatly by Superstorm Sandy in late 2012, I could relate very well to that statement.

    Not a page-turner in the usual sense of the word, the novel proceeds at an appropriate pace for a police procedural, with a denouement which was totally unexpected by this reader, and what I felt was a wonderfully wrought ending. Another solid entry in the series, and one which is recommended.

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