Cover image for The sniper's wife
Title:
The sniper's wife
Author:
Mayor, Archer.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
viii, 312 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780892967674
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"The call to Detective Willy Kunkle came from the NYPD. Willy's ex-wife, Mary, had been found dead in her New York apartment and he was asked to provide the next-of-kin ID. Although he hadn't been in touch with Mary since their divorce, Willy knew he was the only one left to vouch for her remains." "Now, years after fleeing the city, Willy returns laden with misgivings that are deepened all the more by seeing Mary's pathetic corpse on a gurney. With a fresh puncture mark in her arm and heroin still in the syringe, the police think she overdosed. But while the evidence is compelling, Willy's instincts tell him something is missing." "Driven by his loss, his doubts, and a blossoming guilt, Willy defies the authorities in an increasingly dangerous search for answers along New York's mean streets. Pulled deeper and deeper into a past before Vermont, before the drunken abuse he inflicted on Mary, before his abandonment of his family and friends, Willy encounters his ghosts from Vietnam where he was known as "the sniper," a lethal loner who struck without mercy." "From gutted slums to the town houses of Brooklyn Heights, Willy Kunkle will plummet through the dark shadows of his past, confront his demons... and live up to his menacing nickname."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Author Notes

Archer Mayor lives in Newfane, Vermont.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this surprising change of pace for Mayor's Joe Gunther series, the setting moves from rural Vermont to some of New York's meanest streets, and the protagonist switches from the easygoing Gunther to one of his detectives, loose cannon Willy Kunkle. When Kunkle is asked to identify his ex-wife's body in Manhattan, he embarks on what quickly becomes a journey of self-discovery, with the tightly wound former Vietnam sniper forced to confront not only his wartime experiences and postwar alcoholism but also some even darker secrets from his childhood. It's all part of proving that his ex-wife did not die of an accidental drug overdose but was murdered. Tagging along for support but forced to keep to the background are Gunther and Sammie Martens, also a cop and the woman in Kunkle's troubled life. Mayor, a master of the slow-paced, relationship-driven small-town mystery, proves equally capable here of tightening his grip around the neck of the hard-boiled novel--but without losing his feel for the subtlety of human interaction. --Bill Ott


Publisher's Weekly Review

This intricate, first-rate thriller delves into the troubled past of Mayor's most complex character, Detective Willy Kunkle, of Joe Gunther's Vermont Bureau of Investigation. When Kunkle learns that his ex-wife Mary overdosed on heroin in Manhattan, he hastens there to identify her body. Suspecting murder, he convinces Ward Ogden, a high-ranking NYPD detective, to reopen the case. In tracing Mary's life in New York, Kunkle revisits his own Manhattan childhood, membership in the NYPD, the trauma of Vietnam and strained relations with his dysfunctional family. When he's arrested during a raid on an illegal club, Joe and Detective Sammie Martens, Kunkle's lover, come to New York, and the two country cops prove they're as astute as their city counterparts. As the plot becomes more convoluted but never confusing Kunkle's quest for Mary's killer parallels Ogden's and Joe's. A harrowing chase through New England leads them all to the defunct Portsmouth Naval Prison in New Hampshire and a heart-stopping finale. Mayor's understanding of human behavior makes his tortured protagonist an unforgettable character. His powers of description not confined to Vermont, the author imbues well-known and obscure New York neighborhoods with a sparkling sense of place. A riveting plot and exceptional writing will surely enhance Mayor's reputation. (Oct. 22) FYI: Mayor's last Joe Gunther mystery was Tucker Peak (Forecasts, Oct. 15, 2001). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved