Cover image for Gatekeeper
Mayor, Archer.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press/Warner Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
296 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
East Aurora Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Kenmore Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Anna M. Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Called in to counter heroin trafficking in Vermont, Joe Gunther's investigation team is pressured by political forces to take high risks including dangerous undercover work and the investigation of a loved one.

Author Notes

Archer Mayor lives in Newfane, Vermont.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A cop spends his off-hours on surveillance outside a dope house, staking out his own teenage son inside. Another cop feels compelled to enter a search-and-save campaign when her niece, strung out on heroin, is shot in an attempted robbery at a convenience store. In scenes like these, where the lines between dopers and coppers are smudged by family ties, Mayor delivers a powerful portrayal of how far-reaching the effects of addiction are. This explosive antiprocedural uncovers the near impossibility of the war against drugs, as it shows both the flood of drugs and how police are often rendered helpless by departmental politics and fears for the safety of their loved ones. Mayor adds shock value by setting the heroin invasion in bucolic Vermont, an invasion announced by the hanging of a street dealer from a railroad trestle. Joe Gunther, special agent with the newly created Vermont Bureau of Investigations, and the cops who work for him are given an impossible, politically motivated assignment: eliminate heroin from the state. As one of their female agents embarks on an extended buy-bust campaign, and as other cops confront drugs within their own families, Gunther is faced with dilemma after dilemma as his own officers' lives are pitted against those of drug users. A wrenching, no-easy-answers look at current narcotics tactics, set off by intriguing characters. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like The Sniper's Wife (2002), Mayor's 14th Joe Gunther mystery uses third-person narrative to offer multiple points of view, notably that of impetuous detective Sammie Martens, but it may disappoint readers expecting the previous novel's brilliance. When a Rutland drug dealer is found murdered, the governor pressures the Vermont Bureau of Investigation to join various other police and anti-drug agencies in an effort to eliminate drug trafficking in the state. This unwieldy group is one-upped by Martens when she goes undercover as Greta Novak, a hard-charging drug distributor wannabe. She convinces the head of the Holyoke, Mass., network who controls drugs in Vermont that she can organize business-like distribution in Rutland. Her success comes too quickly; by the book's end she discovers she's been tricked by the very people she was deceiving. Mayor emphasizes the pervasiveness of narcotics in Vermont with two subplots: Gunther's long-time lover, Gail Zigman, discovers her niece is a heroin addict who's been robbing convenience stores to support her habit; VBI detective Lester Spinney learns that his hard work and love for his family doesn't prevent his teenage son from experimenting with drugs. With his skill at evoking place and character, Mayor is always fun to read. But with a flat, albeit realistic, ending and repetitious descriptions of the state's law enforcement system, this is not one of his best. (Oct. 29) Forecast: Mayor got a national author tour on The Sniper's Wife, but for this one he's only doing a regional New England tour. The theme of drug trafficking in bucolic Vermont may lure new readers, but this won't be the book to break him out. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Google Preview