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Marked Man

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In Archer Mayor's Marked Man, the death of a local millionaire becomes suspicious when Joe Gunther learns that he was not who he claimed. A year ago, local philanthropist and millionaire Nathan Lyon died a natural death in his sprawling mansion, a 150,000 square foot converted mill, surrounded by his loving, attentive family. Or so it seemed at the time. Now Joe Gunther and In Archer Mayor's Marked Man, the death of a local millionaire becomes suspicious when Joe Gunther learns that he was not who he claimed. A year ago, local philanthropist and millionaire Nathan Lyon died a natural death in his sprawling mansion, a 150,000 square foot converted mill, surrounded by his loving, attentive family. Or so it seemed at the time. Now Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team has discovered that almost nothing about that story was true. Nathan Lyon was actually Nick Bianchi from Providence, Rhode Island. His money came from Mafia-tainted sources. And his family now seems to be dying themselves and their deaths are now revealed to be murders. As Gunther's team desperately works to uncover what is going on at The Mill, who is responsible and what they are trying to accomplish, Joe himself travels to Rhode Island to look into the original source of the money. While the police are doing their jobs, private investigator Sally Kravitz teams up with reporter Rachel Reiling to expose the truth behind this tangled and expanding web of duplicity, greed, and obsession. Having betrayed many, it's no surprise that Nathan Lyon was a marked man. But now Gunther has to figure out who, among the many, killed him, and stop them before their killing spree claims another.


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In Archer Mayor's Marked Man, the death of a local millionaire becomes suspicious when Joe Gunther learns that he was not who he claimed. A year ago, local philanthropist and millionaire Nathan Lyon died a natural death in his sprawling mansion, a 150,000 square foot converted mill, surrounded by his loving, attentive family. Or so it seemed at the time. Now Joe Gunther and In Archer Mayor's Marked Man, the death of a local millionaire becomes suspicious when Joe Gunther learns that he was not who he claimed. A year ago, local philanthropist and millionaire Nathan Lyon died a natural death in his sprawling mansion, a 150,000 square foot converted mill, surrounded by his loving, attentive family. Or so it seemed at the time. Now Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team has discovered that almost nothing about that story was true. Nathan Lyon was actually Nick Bianchi from Providence, Rhode Island. His money came from Mafia-tainted sources. And his family now seems to be dying themselves and their deaths are now revealed to be murders. As Gunther's team desperately works to uncover what is going on at The Mill, who is responsible and what they are trying to accomplish, Joe himself travels to Rhode Island to look into the original source of the money. While the police are doing their jobs, private investigator Sally Kravitz teams up with reporter Rachel Reiling to expose the truth behind this tangled and expanding web of duplicity, greed, and obsession. Having betrayed many, it's no surprise that Nathan Lyon was a marked man. But now Gunther has to figure out who, among the many, killed him, and stop them before their killing spree claims another.

30 review for Marked Man

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    A new Joe Gunther book is always a cause for celebration. I just love this team! Each member brings a different strength, but none so much as Willy. As Mayor writes “Willy Kunkle was a singularly intricate piece of work.” And this time, Mayor has created a particularly unique introduction. A med student is working on his cadaver when he realizes the old man didn't die of natural causes. Not with a broken hyoid bone and hemorrhaging in the strap muscles like that. And once that initial death begin A new Joe Gunther book is always a cause for celebration. I just love this team! Each member brings a different strength, but none so much as Willy. As Mayor writes “Willy Kunkle was a singularly intricate piece of work.” And this time, Mayor has created a particularly unique introduction. A med student is working on his cadaver when he realizes the old man didn't die of natural causes. Not with a broken hyoid bone and hemorrhaging in the strap muscles like that. And once that initial death begins to be investigated, others follow. It’s also a rare treat to have a police procedural series where everyone is ensconced in healthy relationships. Writing about Joe and Beverly, Mayor states “ they were a couple of life’s veterans, survivors of loss and sorrow, exposed through their jobs to more than an average portion of trauma and viciousness. They’d also known and trusted each other for decades. Their love was a settled, solid thing, as reliable as the cast iron woodworking tools he had in his next door shop.” Mayor created a convoluted mystery that kept me engaged with several different storylines that finally came together. The initial victim was despised by his entire family, giving us lots of possible suspects. Sally Kravitz again makes an appearance, investigating employee theft in one of the family businesses. And the third storyline involves an aging mob tagalong who’s agreement to do time in exchange for a “pension” was forgotten. I had no clue how it would play out and I can’t believe any reader would. But the ending worked really well. This is a series best read in order, as Mayor doesn’t waste a lot of time rehashing folks’ background. My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Abibliofob

    I found this author by coincidence a couple of years ago and I am so glad I did. Archer Mayor is a master at writing mysteries. Marked Man out September 28 is the latest book abourt Joe Gunther and his colleagues at VBI in Vermont. This time they get a case that is a little unusual, a suspicious death that apparently happened 9 month ago. At the same time we get to follow a man released from prison after surving time for a murder he didnt do forty years ago. He is looking for answers why he wasn I found this author by coincidence a couple of years ago and I am so glad I did. Archer Mayor is a master at writing mysteries. Marked Man out September 28 is the latest book abourt Joe Gunther and his colleagues at VBI in Vermont. This time they get a case that is a little unusual, a suspicious death that apparently happened 9 month ago. At the same time we get to follow a man released from prison after surving time for a murder he didnt do forty years ago. He is looking for answers why he wasn't compensated by the mob. Will the two mysteries connect and if so how? I really love the characters mr. Mayor has created in this series and the environment he knows so well. I strongly recommend all that you read these books and enjoy the wonderful Vermont scenery. I must thank @minotaur_books @macmillanusa and @this_is_edelweiss for letting me read this advance copy and @archermayorbooks for writing this stuff. Great work sir.

  3. 5 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    It all started when a medical student preparing for his next laboratory assignment discovers that the cadaver he is working on didn’t die of natural causes. The student together with one of the teaching staff determine that the person died of strangulation. So begins the journey down the rabbit hole for Joe Gunther and his team at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. As Joe and his team conduct their investigation, they discover that the deceased was Nathan Lyon also known as, Nick Bianchi, a for It all started when a medical student preparing for his next laboratory assignment discovers that the cadaver he is working on didn’t die of natural causes. The student together with one of the teaching staff determine that the person died of strangulation. So begins the journey down the rabbit hole for Joe Gunther and his team at the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. As Joe and his team conduct their investigation, they discover that the deceased was Nathan Lyon also known as, Nick Bianchi, a former crime boss who died a year earlier. Thus any evidence of foul play has since been lost. Now it’s up to Joe and the team to unearth the forensic files, conduct interrogations of Nathan’s friends and relatives. But as soon as the team gets close to uncovering clues, two more family members end up dead. Accidents or murders? Joe and the team need to solve the mystery before anymore bodies turn up. Marked Man is the 32nd novel in the Joe Gunther series, but it is possible to read it as a standalone. However, I think that reading a few of the prior Gunther series would be beneficial in understanding the established characters. Especially since Marked Man has over a dozen different characters; and this reader had somewhat of a difficult time keeping track of who’s who without taking notes. I must say, however, that all the characters are well developed with unique personalities. The storyline is somewhat complex in that there are several narratives occuring at the same time and it’s not until the end that they all converge into an unexpected ending. Overall Marked Man is a remarkable read deserving of four stars. I received a digital ARC from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books through NetGalley. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Another well done mystery from Archer Mayor. The Joe Gunther series is probably one of the most consistent high quality series being written today, with a cast of interesting VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) members who all bring different strengths and personalities to the job. In the Marked Man, there is a murder discovered a year after the victim died, then followed by suspicious deaths in that man’s family. Now, that man was a somebody, Nathan Lyon, an eccentric billionaire, who lived i Another well done mystery from Archer Mayor. The Joe Gunther series is probably one of the most consistent high quality series being written today, with a cast of interesting VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) members who all bring different strengths and personalities to the job. In the Marked Man, there is a murder discovered a year after the victim died, then followed by suspicious deaths in that man’s family. Now, that man was a somebody, Nathan Lyon, an eccentric billionaire, who lived in a converted mill building in Brattleboro with his wife and his extended family. One year after Lyon’s death, supposedly of natural causes, having learned of the real manner of death, Gunther and his team have opened an investigation of the victim and all those surrounding him in an effort to make up for lost time. Among their finds: Nathan Lyon didn’t exist before his life in Brattleboro. So who was the victim exactly? Then there is another death in the family. As usual for me, I will stop there and leave it to the readers to learn more details. I recommend this book, and series, to any readers who enjoy police procedurals. The individual team members are well developed and each has their own style. It’s definitely possible to step into this series and pick up relationships that are important as enough background is provided. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erth

    If you have not read a Joe Gunther book before, you will have no problem with this book. Everything is explained without spoilers for the earlier books. One of the great pleasures of this series is following the lives of the team; I have a crush on Willy personally, but they are all interesting and fun to read about. A reader who enjoys mysteries and police procedurals cannot do better than a book about Joe Gunther and the VBI. This is the 32nd book of the series, so if you are new to these tales If you have not read a Joe Gunther book before, you will have no problem with this book. Everything is explained without spoilers for the earlier books. One of the great pleasures of this series is following the lives of the team; I have a crush on Willy personally, but they are all interesting and fun to read about. A reader who enjoys mysteries and police procedurals cannot do better than a book about Joe Gunther and the VBI. This is the 32nd book of the series, so if you are new to these tales, you have a lot of pleasure ahead of you and I am almost jealous. In the meantime, you have this excellent book in front of you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    3 no 7

    Complicated family, hidden history, disguised murder “Marked Man” by Archer Mayor is part of the series featuring Special Agent Joe Gunther, Vermont Bureau of Investigation. Characters, both new and recurring, are described in detail within the context of the situation. Readers get to know the players through personal details and background information dropped in as part of the narrative. The story opens in an unusual way when a medical student at the University of Vermont finds something unfamil Complicated family, hidden history, disguised murder “Marked Man” by Archer Mayor is part of the series featuring Special Agent Joe Gunther, Vermont Bureau of Investigation. Characters, both new and recurring, are described in detail within the context of the situation. Readers get to know the players through personal details and background information dropped in as part of the narrative. The story opens in an unusual way when a medical student at the University of Vermont finds something unfamiliar, and suddenly the classroom cadaver ceases to be an instructional tool and instead becomes a case for the state medical examiner. Alternating points of view take readers back and forth among several seemingly separate stories told by different people with diverse perspectives. Gunther and team are investigating a rash of unexplained deaths. Members of a prominent family are dying one by one. Is someone from the outside killing off people or is the murderer a member of the messed-up family? The missing piece in this tangled and complicated mess is “why.” Other characters are investigating not only these tragic deaths but additional problematic activities as well. Is it possible that each of these events is a little sliver of the same case? It is almost as if people are working on a jigsaw puzzle made up of pieces from four different boxes; nothing really fits together. At first, the narrative seems disconnected with lots of balls being juggled in the air at one time while readers wonder which will fall first. This is far from the truth, and even the book’s title hints at the surprising and shocking connection. The story has a lot of family members with complex relationships, and I was tempted to make a family chart, but even that was complicated. Just reading about them made me understand why people wanted them dead. I received a review copy of “Marked Man” from Archer Mayor, Minotaur Books, and Macmillan Publishing. Each book in the “Joe Gunther Series” is strong, well organized, and stands on its own. Continuing characters wander in and out of complex plots giving readers an opportunity to know them as “real” people with strengths and weaknesses, mistakes and successes. The books do not have to be read in order, so those who might have missed a few in the series can easily go back and read them now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    304 pages 5 stars Joe, Special Agent for Vermont's Bureau of Investigation (VBI), Beverly Hillstrom, state medical examiner and Joe's girlfriend, Willy the one-armed detective, Sammie, his partner, and Lester are all back for this latest police investigation. Rachel Reiling, reporter, also returns for this book. Joe receives a telephone call from Beverly. She tells Joe that a medical student made a startling discovery in his cadaver class. The death is now suspicious. The man's name was Nathan Lyo 304 pages 5 stars Joe, Special Agent for Vermont's Bureau of Investigation (VBI), Beverly Hillstrom, state medical examiner and Joe's girlfriend, Willy the one-armed detective, Sammie, his partner, and Lester are all back for this latest police investigation. Rachel Reiling, reporter, also returns for this book. Joe receives a telephone call from Beverly. She tells Joe that a medical student made a startling discovery in his cadaver class. The death is now suspicious. The man's name was Nathan Lyon an eighty-two year old from Joe's hometown. Sammie and Lester go to interview Nathan's widow and family. At the same time, private investigator Sally Kravitz gets a related case. Someone is stealing from the food business in the same huge building where all of the Lyons live. Compiling all the information given by those interviewed, the reader finds Nathan Lyon was a monster: controlling and vicious. As one interviewee called him, “...a spider spinning his web.” As the investigation continues, the police learn Nathan's real identity. Then more bodies turn up. All in the Lyon family and all living at the compound. The team reaches out to other police agencies. They look into Nathan's past now that they know who he really is. It all comes together in the end. In Archer Mayor's usual style, this book is very well written and plotted. I enjoyed meeting up with the old gang again. I really like Joe, Willy and the others. They are all such different people, yet they work together very well. I had no problem keeping the cops and the suspects straightened out. Having read all of Mr. Archer's previous novels, I was very familiar with the usual characters. So, all I had to do was keep the suspects and various other witnesses in order. This is a bang up read and I truly enjoyed it. I usually don't read books with organized crime involved in them, but this novel had me hooked. Next please, Mr. Mayor! I want to thank St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for forwarding to me a copy of this most wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer S

    Agatha Christie meets the Rhode Island mob in the latest Joe Gunther book. A mill in Brattleboro has been converted to house the psychotic family patriarch and his children and step-children, along with their business enterprises. But he is now dead and then others start dying. Joe, Willy, Lester, Sam - and Rachel and Sally - have to puzzle through the complexities of this one. Thank goodness for DNA evidence. 3.5 stars, rounded up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I'm a huge fan of Archie Mayor as I used to live in Brattleboro (the setting for most of his books) and I probably find it easier than most to follow his stories since I can often visualize exactly where his characters are. I enjoyed this one more than the last few, but as others have said, it does include quite a number of characters and I had to check myself a few times to make sure I had it right. I liked how the story intersected with goings on in Providence--that added a new element. All in I'm a huge fan of Archie Mayor as I used to live in Brattleboro (the setting for most of his books) and I probably find it easier than most to follow his stories since I can often visualize exactly where his characters are. I enjoyed this one more than the last few, but as others have said, it does include quite a number of characters and I had to check myself a few times to make sure I had it right. I liked how the story intersected with goings on in Providence--that added a new element. All in all, I was quite satisfied with this latest book. I think readers are going to want to read a few of his earlier works before tackling this one so that they can get a good taste of his characters and settings.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rob1109

    I’ve read and reviewed well over 400 novels on Goodreads but this one is perhaps the most painful. I’d been a fan of Archer Mayor for many years. I’d recommended his novels to several friends. No, his stories don’t change your life. They’re not the type of books that days later you’re thinking about. However, they’re enjoyable, they pass some time and hey, isn’t that what a book is supposed to do. I always felt a connection to Joe, Willy, Lester and Sammie. I felt like I knew them personally and I’ve read and reviewed well over 400 novels on Goodreads but this one is perhaps the most painful. I’d been a fan of Archer Mayor for many years. I’d recommended his novels to several friends. No, his stories don’t change your life. They’re not the type of books that days later you’re thinking about. However, they’re enjoyable, they pass some time and hey, isn’t that what a book is supposed to do. I always felt a connection to Joe, Willy, Lester and Sammie. I felt like I knew them personally and that I, too, had a vested interest in nabbing the bad guy. I’ve read close to 20 of Mr. Mayor’s novels and although I didn’t love each and every one of then, his novels were pretty much always a lock for at least 4 stars. Three years ago I read ‘Trace’ and could not in good conscience rate it more than 2 stars. I was surprised. I figured it was a one off. Hey, not every song by The Beatles is Let It Be. After that, I read ‘Bury the Lead’ and was generous in rating that 2 stars. (I even commented in my review at the time that I was simply rating it 2 stars and not 1 due to the fact I’m a fan of Mr. Mayor.) I decided to ‘take a break’ from his books for a while. Last year I read ‘The Orphans Guilt.’ Correction: I TRIED reading The Orphans Guilt but after 200 pages, I gave up. This was the first time I was unable to read a book by Mr. Mayor. Tonight, I decided to give him one more chance to keep me as a fan. Sadly, it didn’t work out. I sat down with low expectations. I was reading simply to pass the time. However, I couldn’t even get through the first chapter! Mr. Mayor’s books no longer read like novels or even procedurals but rather like textbooks. His writing is dry, he is overly wordy and overly descriptive, his dialogue—something I thought he was very skilled at—no longer rings true. And even those characters I used to identify with—Joe, Willy, Sammie and Lester---have become boring, bland and one dimensional. I tried reading Marked Man but gave up after 15 minutes and only 6 pages. (I’m not a slow reader but the fact took a quarter of an hour to muddle my way through 6 measly pages tells you everything you need to know about his writing style and his wordiness.) He needs to remember that books are supposed to be enjoyed, not something to endure and suffer through. We live in a fast-paced world nowadays with many distractions. If you don’t like this book, there are plenty of other options. I couldn’t help but laugh when in the first chapter we’re introduced to 2 mafia guys. Their names? Fredo and Vito! Really??? Really, Mr. Mayor??? Tell me, did anyone read that and not think of ‘The Godfather’? This simply shows that either Mr. Mayor is out of touch or simply is just ‘phoning it in.’ I hate to end my review this way but I seriously think it’s time for Mr. Mayor to step away from writing for a while or at least come up with new characters. I keep giving him chances to win me back but this was his last chance.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    First off- I've been a huge fan of this series but know that this latest installment, more than most of the earlier ones, can be read as a standalone because, to my disappointment, it relies less on the characters of the VBI and more on a tangled and somewhat confusing series of murders within one family. Whew. That's not to say that I didn't gulp this down. Nathan Lyons was a wealthy, mysterious, and controlling man who more or less forced his entire family to move their own families and their First off- I've been a huge fan of this series but know that this latest installment, more than most of the earlier ones, can be read as a standalone because, to my disappointment, it relies less on the characters of the VBI and more on a tangled and somewhat confusing series of murders within one family. Whew. That's not to say that I didn't gulp this down. Nathan Lyons was a wealthy, mysterious, and controlling man who more or less forced his entire family to move their own families and their businesses into a renovated mill. When a medical student dissecting his neck as part of an anatomy class discovers that he was actually murdered, Joe Gunther and the VBI are called in. And then more bad things happen. At the same time, Eddie (the Mouse) has just been released from prison for the long ago murder of a mob kid and he's out to find out the truth about that hit. You know the two stories will link up but how? Usually the Gunther books have a heavy (and welcome) dose of Vermont- this does not, and the beloved VBI officers (Willie, Sam, Lester) are less important than usual (they do the interviews, sure but..). The central mystery of who killed Nathan takes twists (what a dysfunctional family) and you will be forgiven if you like me find yourself rereading the last chapter to see if you missed something. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A must read for Mayor fans, a good entry for new readers. I'm looking forward to the next one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shoshana

    Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series is just the best. When I finish his latest book I always look forward to the next. "Marked Man" is the most recent book, and it is wonderful; well worth waiting for. (Can you tell I'm a big fan?) I don't like spoilers so I won't give any. You can get the outline of the story from the blurb. It is pretty convoluted, with a number of strands feeding into the main story. Personally. I found the Rhode Island aspects of the story most beguiling because I used to live Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series is just the best. When I finish his latest book I always look forward to the next. "Marked Man" is the most recent book, and it is wonderful; well worth waiting for. (Can you tell I'm a big fan?) I don't like spoilers so I won't give any. You can get the outline of the story from the blurb. It is pretty convoluted, with a number of strands feeding into the main story. Personally. I found the Rhode Island aspects of the story most beguiling because I used to live there. YMMV! If you have not read a Joe Gunther book before you will have no problem with this book. Everything is explained without spoilers for the earlier books. One of the great pleasures of this series is following the lives of the team; I have a crush on Willy personally, but they are all interesting and fun to read about. A reader who enjoys mysteries and police procedurals cannot do better than a book about Joe Gunther and the VBI. This is the 32nd book of the series, so if you are new to these tales, you have a lot of pleasure ahead of you and I am almost jealous. In the meantime, you have this excellent book in front of you. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Saleeby

    What a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive... This book had some many twists and turns, once you think you figured one out then bam, you find out that your guess is all wrong. Archer Mayor, did a wonderful job of taking 1 murder? wait 2 murders? 3 murders? maybe 4 murders along family secrets, mob secrets, adultery and tying it up in a neat little bow. Joe Gunther and is investigating team have a unique way of interviewing and chasing leads; this allows the reader to enjoy the plot What a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive... This book had some many twists and turns, once you think you figured one out then bam, you find out that your guess is all wrong. Archer Mayor, did a wonderful job of taking 1 murder? wait 2 murders? 3 murders? maybe 4 murders along family secrets, mob secrets, adultery and tying it up in a neat little bow. Joe Gunther and is investigating team have a unique way of interviewing and chasing leads; this allows the reader to enjoy the plot twists and turns as they figure out the "who done it" to each of the mysteries. I really enjoyed all the characters and learning about each character as well as, the lies, secrets and actions of each on. Even the investigative characters had interesting backgrounds!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Archer Mayor keeps up his strong work. Many other authors struggle with a series this long but reading a Joe Gunther book is like putting a warm blanket over you. There is a past mystery and a present mystery that we work through. The family dynamics of the victims family are fascinating and a bit horrifying. Fun ride. I was given a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review

  15. 5 out of 5

    Herzog

    Well done, as always. Mayor trends a bit away from the regular crew - very little of Sam, Beverly, Lester or even Rachel and Sally. Nevertheless, he weaves an intricate (maybe too intricate) tale of murder in a wealthy family with a shady background that takes us to Rhode Island and the mob.

  16. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: June 15, 2021 Publication date: September 28, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and rec Date reviewed/posted: June 15, 2021 Publication date: September 28, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. In Archer Mayor's Marked Man, the death of a local millionaire becomes suspicious when Joe Gunther learns that he was not who he claimed. A year ago, local philanthropist and millionaire Nathan Lyon died a natural death in his sprawling mansion, a 150,000 square foot converted mill, surrounded by his loving, attentive family. Or so it seemed at the time. Now Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team has discovered that almost nothing about that story was true. Nathan Lyon was actually Nick Bianchi from Providence, Rhode Island. His money came from Mafia-tainted sources. And his family now seems to be dying themselves and their deaths are now revealed to be murders. As Gunther's team desperately works to uncover what is going on at The Mill, who is responsible and what they are trying to accomplish, Joe himself travels to Rhode Island to look into the original source of the money. While the police are doing their jobs, private investigator Sally Kravitz teams up with reporter Rachel Reiling to expose the truth behind this tangled and expanding web of duplicity, greed, and obsession. Having betrayed many, it's no surprise that Nathan Lyon was a marked man. But now Gunther has to figure out who, among the many, killed him, and stop them before their killing spree claims another. How have I not read the previous 31 books in this series?? We have them on the shelves but I have never picked them up --- that will have to change. I love Rhode Island and the mere idea of that converted mill/mega-mansion on the cover of the book makes me wish that it was real and that I could see it on #zillowgonewild and take a vicarious tour via photos on Instagram. I did not need to have read the previous books to understand or enjoy the series as the writing was strong and the characters enjoyable. I will recommend this book and all the previous ones to friends, family, patrons, book clubs, and people reading books in the park as we do … I have had some of my best conversations about books down by the Thames! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it (because RI is the Ocean State) 🐠🐠🐠🐠🐠

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    The new Joe Gunther novel MARKED MAN from author Archer Mayor starts out in an understated manner. A lone medical student is working on a cadaver when he notices something amiss and soon Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team (Willy Kunkle, Samantha Martens and Lester Spinney) find themselves investigating a year old murder that was deemed a natural death. But it won't be easy, to say the least. The crime "scene" is a year old and in the midst of huge complex that houses the vict The new Joe Gunther novel MARKED MAN from author Archer Mayor starts out in an understated manner. A lone medical student is working on a cadaver when he notices something amiss and soon Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team (Willy Kunkle, Samantha Martens and Lester Spinney) find themselves investigating a year old murder that was deemed a natural death. But it won't be easy, to say the least. The crime "scene" is a year old and in the midst of huge complex that houses the victim's entire family. And though Nathan Lyon is dead, the iron grip he had on those in his orbit remains strong so there are suspects aplenty. And if that isn't enough, it would appear that Nathan Lyon wasn't who he said he was...even his name isn't real. As the story unfolds, the team learns that the victim was originally from Providence, Rhode Island. He had ties to a time when the mob held strong in the city. Joe Gunther has to take a trip to Providence to get a feel for the man Lyon was in order to determine if the murder had any ties to the past. Meanwhile, Willy, Sam and Lester are trying to track down the alibis for the family members. But as they do, more bodies start dropping. Someone is going to extraordinary lengths to keep the family secrets buried. Joe and his team have to figure out the whodunit before even more people wind up dead. When the story focuses on this aspect of the story, the narrative is propelled along quite nicely but there's two separate subplots to deal with as well. While both eventually tie into the main story, I felt that they could've done without them. The first deals with reporter Rachel Reiling and P.I. Sally Kravitz working separate threads of their own that involve the dead man and his family. Their work, both solo and together, helps illuminate more about Nathan Lyon but it almost felt like it was done so the characters could be included in the story. The second subplot was just flat out annoying. The readers are taken along for a ride as two old-school mob foot soldiers are out to avenge one of them being set up for a fall with promised recompense in the future nowhere to be found. There was no way to sympathize with the characters and each chapter that featured them until the very end was just a distraction from the main plotline. I did appreciate the rather understated way the story ended. It demonstrated that kind of New England pragmatism that shows characters there to do their work and simply get on with things. While I did enjoy the main plot of the book, the unfortunate subplot digressions of MARKED MAN made parts of the book a bit of a slog to get through at times.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    Let me begin by saying that this is the FIRST book in the series that I have read. And sadly, for being the thirty-second book in a series, I felt that the main group characters felt very one-dimensional and under developed. I didn't feel like I had missed anything by not reading any of the other books either, which was very surprising. Sadly, for me this book was just too much. There were too many characters thrown into the pot to be able to keep track of them (much less care about them). In fa Let me begin by saying that this is the FIRST book in the series that I have read. And sadly, for being the thirty-second book in a series, I felt that the main group characters felt very one-dimensional and under developed. I didn't feel like I had missed anything by not reading any of the other books either, which was very surprising. Sadly, for me this book was just too much. There were too many characters thrown into the pot to be able to keep track of them (much less care about them). In fact, I think the author even got confused as they bounce back and forth between Gene having been Monica's son that she gave up for adoption, then saying that Nathan was just a "donor" to Gene's mother. If the author can't keep their own characters straight, how am I as the reader? There were also too many story-lines, which I'm sure intersected at some point, and possibly even in a creative way, but after three days of trying to get through this story, I just couldn't force myself to pick it up anymore. I think a lot of this has to do with the overly lengthy descriptions we are given. In some areas, it felt more like I was reading from a history book than one meant to be entertaining, here is a passage from the story that I picked at random for an example, "As suggestive as that was of nineteenth-century sweatshops factories, spewing pollution and working women and children to death, the reality today was mostly modern American Bland - shopping malls, commercial strips, auto graveyards, and converted factories, closing around pockets of sedate, middle-class neighborhoods that stuck like barnacles to the river's banks". There were a lot of instances of the author going on those long-winded tangents about the area, taking up page after page of things that (for me at least) seemed completely unrelated to the story or the characters. In fact, I found myself skimming a lot of these passages in an attempt to get back to the story itself, but in the end had to give up for the sake of my sanity. My best advice? If you're a long-time fan of the series, give it a shot. If you're looking for a fast-paced police procedural? You might want to skip this one. DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melody Morris

    Marked Man – Archer Mayor A medical student is laboring over his patient in the anatomy lab, when he makes an unexpected discovery – a broken hyoid bone in a patient who supposedly died of natural causes. A trip to the medical examiners office results in a reclassification of Nathan Lyon’s death to suspicious, likely consistent with a strangulation. Special Agent Joe Gunther of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation catches the case and begins with the deceased’s family where he finds an unusual liv Marked Man – Archer Mayor A medical student is laboring over his patient in the anatomy lab, when he makes an unexpected discovery – a broken hyoid bone in a patient who supposedly died of natural causes. A trip to the medical examiners office results in a reclassification of Nathan Lyon’s death to suspicious, likely consistent with a strangulation. Special Agent Joe Gunther of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation catches the case and begins with the deceased’s family where he finds an unusual living arrangement, containing all of Nathan’s diverse, extended family living in a luxurious, spacious, renovated old mill. The set-up of each of the characters in the family was intriguing – like a logic problem, or a Clue game. It took me quite a while to remember who each of the family members were, and how they were related, and why. Meanwhile, a couple of old mob thugs appear, Eddie & Fredo, looking to right an old wrong. Eddie has just been released from prison after a multi-year stint for taking the blame for a murder he did not commit, with the promise that the mob would reward him for his sacrifice. Eddie now is trying to collect on that promise, but most of the players are dead. But that will not stop him from trying… As the investigation commences, and Joe and his team, along with other familiar faces including Willy, Sally Kravitz and Bev’s daughter Rachel, try to piece together the lives and occupations of the famed Mill residents. As Joe digs deeper into Nathan’s life, he discovers a past identity, and thanks to DNA technology, the ripple effects that gone events are causing in the present, resulting in murder… I always love re-visiting some of my old New England haunts in Archer Mayor’s series, and it is always a delight to see his beloved characters grace my pages again. While I had a bit of difficulty keeping my characters straight at times, and I often scratched my head trying to figure out where the storyline was going, it all finally comes together, making this a very satisfying read! I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an objective review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Darius Ostrowski

    “Marked Man” by Archer Mayor marks the second book (after last year’s “The Orphan’s Guilt”) in my return to the Joe Gunther mystery series, having taken a break after the first 13. And I continue to be glad to be back! This one starts with a medical student realizing that his cadaver didn’t die a natural death, which turns a routine death of an older patriarch into a murder case for Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation. The victim, millionaire Nathan Lyon, was a local eccentric who mov “Marked Man” by Archer Mayor marks the second book (after last year’s “The Orphan’s Guilt”) in my return to the Joe Gunther mystery series, having taken a break after the first 13. And I continue to be glad to be back! This one starts with a medical student realizing that his cadaver didn’t die a natural death, which turns a routine death of an older patriarch into a murder case for Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation. The victim, millionaire Nathan Lyon, was a local eccentric who moved his entire extended family into an old, converted mill, where he proceeded to rule over them with an iron fist. The question isn’t really who wanted him dead (that was everybody), but who was the one who finally got up the courage to do the deed. We meet the not-too-bereaved wife along with an assortment of sons, half-brothers, daughters-in-laws, and who knows what else. Once the team starts digging into the past, we find out that the complicated relationships are even way more confusing than originally thought (you might actually need a family tree diagram!). We also have a parallel story of a low-level mob enforcer who just got out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He is on the trail of finding out who actually committed the crime, since all that was promised to him didn’t come true. Along with his cousin, he travels the murky past of the Rhode Island mob scene, on a collision course with the Nathan Lyon investigation. Mr. Mayor does a fine job of weaving the stories together, merging the past history with today’s crimes. We also have some supporting roles for old favorites Sally Kravitz and Rachel Reiling, adding some color to the tale. Joe’s VBI colleagues don’t have much to do in this episode outside of routine work, but it’s still nice to have them around. Although the family machinations are a bit far-fetched and confusing, it’s still a nice return to old friends. I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from St. Martin's Press / Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    There aren't many mystery series that can still deliver a great read with the 32nd book in the series. Archer Mayor is one of those rare authors and it was a pleasure to escape into the world of Joe Gunther and the members of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. While it works fine as a stand alone, treat yourself and read them all in order. This starts out with a medical student and his medical school team's cadaver. Having started with the man's back and done all the required classroom work the There aren't many mystery series that can still deliver a great read with the 32nd book in the series. Archer Mayor is one of those rare authors and it was a pleasure to escape into the world of Joe Gunther and the members of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. While it works fine as a stand alone, treat yourself and read them all in order. This starts out with a medical student and his medical school team's cadaver. Having started with the man's back and done all the required classroom work there it's time to turned him over and work from the front. Therein lies the surprise - what had been ruled a natural death nine months ago turns out to be anything but - with a broken hyoid bone. The cadaver fondly referred to as Wilber was a murder victim. Not only that, the name on his death certificate, Nathan Lyon, wasn't his real name, either. He was Nick Bianchi and he had been in The Mob, big time. Time to call on Joe Gunther and his team. Their list of suspects would fill a small phone book and the killer has turned to Nick's family for some more killings. With an investigation that has many threads to follow, this is a well constructed complex puzzle. There are lots of characters to keep track of but it follows very well. One of the many things I like about this series is the subtle sense of humor - like this...."Hyoids, like karaoke singers, can be of unreliable quality." Add to that a fine cast of recurring characters and it's no surprise that this series continues to be, at least for this reader, a must read.My thanks to the publisher St. Martin's/Minotaur and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    RIchard Long

    Marked Man by Archer Mayor -- 4 Stars Publisher: St. Martin’s Press ISBN: 9781250224163 There were so many characters, plots, lies, twists, and time changes that I needed notes to keep track of them all. Despite that, I enjoyed the story. Nathan who had old mob connections was a master manipulator who brought together his extended family and over decades twisted their lives through lies and extortion. The characters had personalities that were complex and flawed in so many ways. The investigating Marked Man by Archer Mayor -- 4 Stars Publisher: St. Martin’s Press ISBN: 9781250224163 There were so many characters, plots, lies, twists, and time changes that I needed notes to keep track of them all. Despite that, I enjoyed the story. Nathan who had old mob connections was a master manipulator who brought together his extended family and over decades twisted their lives through lies and extortion. The characters had personalities that were complex and flawed in so many ways. The investigating team intelligently pieced together the facts of current and past crimes bring them to a surprising conclusion. Although there are more than thirty books in the Joe Gunther series, this is the first I have read. I thank Netgalley for introducing me to Archer Mayor’s books. I will read more of them. Reviewer: Nancy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Martin

    This is a brand new book in the latest Joe Gunther series. Joe is now a senior law enforcement officer who allows his subordinates to handle most of the legwork. But, he is confronted with a dilemma. An elderly millionaire dies in Brattleboro and months after his death a medical student working on his cadaver at the University determines that he was murdered. This takes Gunther and the fictional VBI into high gear and in time they learn that the millionaire was not what he seemed to be. He was a This is a brand new book in the latest Joe Gunther series. Joe is now a senior law enforcement officer who allows his subordinates to handle most of the legwork. But, he is confronted with a dilemma. An elderly millionaire dies in Brattleboro and months after his death a medical student working on his cadaver at the University determines that he was murdered. This takes Gunther and the fictional VBI into high gear and in time they learn that the millionaire was not what he seemed to be. He was a member of the old Rhode Island Mafia who escaped to Vermont under a pseudonym to live a quiet life causing complete dysfunction in his already maligned family. Mayor is up to the challenge and has delivered a book that easily segues between rural Vermont and very urbanized Providence. A good read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. VBI special agent Joe Gunther and his team are back after a med student practicing on a corpse (donated for science) finds a broken hyoid bone. The deceased is millionaire Nathan Lyon, who lived with his entire family in a warehouse compound. The investigation into what really happened to Nathan begins, and more people end up dying...accidents? Murder? I liked the story and how it all tied together, but there were SO MANY characters. It was reall I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. VBI special agent Joe Gunther and his team are back after a med student practicing on a corpse (donated for science) finds a broken hyoid bone. The deceased is millionaire Nathan Lyon, who lived with his entire family in a warehouse compound. The investigation into what really happened to Nathan begins, and more people end up dying...accidents? Murder? I liked the story and how it all tied together, but there were SO MANY characters. It was really hard to keep them all straight. I had to go back a few times to figure out who they were talking about. Between the mob characters and the Lyon family....just too much to keep track of with the limited info we're given. Ok story, but not my favorite Gunther novel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    I received this book as a first reads winner. Although this is the latest of the Joe Gunther series, Joe Gunther rarely appears. The setting is an old mill which has been lavishly refurbished into apartments in which all the residents are related and whose lives are controlled by the patriarch of the family. As deaths begin to occur, the Vermont Bureau of Investigation is called into the case. This is the first book in the series that I have read and while it was an interesting read, I am not te I received this book as a first reads winner. Although this is the latest of the Joe Gunther series, Joe Gunther rarely appears. The setting is an old mill which has been lavishly refurbished into apartments in which all the residents are related and whose lives are controlled by the patriarch of the family. As deaths begin to occur, the Vermont Bureau of Investigation is called into the case. This is the first book in the series that I have read and while it was an interesting read, I am not terribly anxious to seek out more. However, I think I will look for one of the earliest books in the series to see if I might like those more. This would make for a good tv show as the pace is somewhat slow.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linda Frances

    3 1/2 stars, rounded up because it's by one of my favorite authors. I used to rate all the books in this series 5 stars, but the last few have been difficult for me. I'm not crazy about mafia themes, so that was one negative for me. A bigger issue is that I liked it a lot better when the VBI team investigated and solved the murders without the help of the very immature seeming young women. I thoroughly enjoy the 4 original characters, but not these new two. I'm sure he's using them to try to attr 3 1/2 stars, rounded up because it's by one of my favorite authors. I used to rate all the books in this series 5 stars, but the last few have been difficult for me. I'm not crazy about mafia themes, so that was one negative for me. A bigger issue is that I liked it a lot better when the VBI team investigated and solved the murders without the help of the very immature seeming young women. I thoroughly enjoy the 4 original characters, but not these new two. I'm sure he's using them to try to attract a younger audience, but we older readers might find it hard to continue to be loyal. It's very unusual for me to figure out whodunit in a Mayor book, but I did for this one, at least for the first murder. On a positive note, I enjoyed learning a lot about Rhode Island.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mike Stafford

    The marvelous Mr. Mayor marches on with book #32 in his acclaimed 'Joe Gunther' series! MARKED MAN is as good as we've come to expect from Archer Mayor. His adroit use of convergent storylines is a highlight here. Readers cannot help but like the scenes which are akin to Goodfellas in 'Road To Vermont.' As always, Mayor excels in terms of giving the evergrowing cast of characters their moments in the spotlight. And, that's a good thing in a book where there are no shortage of suspects. MARKED MA The marvelous Mr. Mayor marches on with book #32 in his acclaimed 'Joe Gunther' series! MARKED MAN is as good as we've come to expect from Archer Mayor. His adroit use of convergent storylines is a highlight here. Readers cannot help but like the scenes which are akin to Goodfellas in 'Road To Vermont.' As always, Mayor excels in terms of giving the evergrowing cast of characters their moments in the spotlight. And, that's a good thing in a book where there are no shortage of suspects. MARKED MAN is cunningly crafted by a writer at the top of his game. Thank you to St. Martin's and NetGalley for the advanced reading copy! #MarkedMan #NetGalley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I usually love these Archer Mayor books, but I found this one dismal and confusing. I find it hard to read books with so many characters and bizarre relationships. If you count the number of characters, some of whom have more than one name, this certainly stymied me. The story of an unexpected discovery of homicide started out a an interesting story, but I found my head spinning from plots and subplots about TOO MANY characters and names. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this nove I usually love these Archer Mayor books, but I found this one dismal and confusing. I find it hard to read books with so many characters and bizarre relationships. If you count the number of characters, some of whom have more than one name, this certainly stymied me. The story of an unexpected discovery of homicide started out a an interesting story, but I found my head spinning from plots and subplots about TOO MANY characters and names. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this novel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ricki

    A new way to start by finding that a donated cadaver was actually murdered (not sure how the body got donated because neither the family nor the deceased was all that altruistic). Again the two younger characters -Sally (PI) & Rachael (reporter) are included in the book but are not a part of the VBI. They were introduced in an earlier book and seem to be part of the framework of the novel that are unnecessary as what they add to the plot line can be found by the more than capable VBI characters. A new way to start by finding that a donated cadaver was actually murdered (not sure how the body got donated because neither the family nor the deceased was all that altruistic). Again the two younger characters -Sally (PI) & Rachael (reporter) are included in the book but are not a part of the VBI. They were introduced in an earlier book and seem to be part of the framework of the novel that are unnecessary as what they add to the plot line can be found by the more than capable VBI characters. Is there one murder or many? Read to find out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I have read many of the books in the Joe Gunther series but not all 32. This one, so far, was my least favorite. The author mentions in his acknowledgments at the front of the book that the "book is bursting with characters" and he was so right. While I realize there were multiple stories that then came together, there were too many people for me to keep track of and many had similar names - Monica, Michelle within the same storyline. Overall, it is a good mystery and interesting how the multipl I have read many of the books in the Joe Gunther series but not all 32. This one, so far, was my least favorite. The author mentions in his acknowledgments at the front of the book that the "book is bursting with characters" and he was so right. While I realize there were multiple stories that then came together, there were too many people for me to keep track of and many had similar names - Monica, Michelle within the same storyline. Overall, it is a good mystery and interesting how the multiple stories wind up fitting together.

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