Mysterious, Oct 2002, 23.95, 312 pp.
The NYPD informs Vermont Bureau of Investigation Detective Willy Kunkle that his ex-wife Mary died from an overdose of heroin in Manhattan. Willy drops everything to go to New York City to identify the body. However, instead of agreeing that an accident occurred, Willy concludes someone murdered his former spouse and persuades Detective Ward Ogden of his belief.
Willy investigates Mary's Manhattan life by starting with a visit to the old neighborhood where he grew up too. He thinks back on his time working as a cop for NYPD and his estranged relationship with his family while causing havoc with his inquiries. His lover Detective Sammie Martens and his boss Joe Gunther travel down from the Green Mountain State to help in the investigation that seemingly supports Kunkle's belief that Mary was murdered Willy intends to dispatch his own personal brand of justice.
THE SNIPER'S WIFE is a powerful police procedural not so much because of the three seemingly separate parallel investigations, but on account of the deep insight into what makes Willy what he is today. The story line places Willy in New York neighborhoods that never grace a novel yet they provide fathoms and intensity to the key protagonist so that the audience feels the beat of the locale grasping what Willy remembers from his days residing there. The murder mystery is well done with the investigations taking the audience from NYC to New Hampshire, but this strong novel belongs to Willy and the Big Apple as Archer Mayor shows his comfort level stretches way beyond the green hills of Vermont into the urban forest of the City.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner