"Archer Mayor's Vermont police procedurals are the best thing going..." --New York Times Book Review
Across Brattleboro, Vermont, rich people (some with dark secrets) are waking up in their high security, alarm-equipped homes to find a Post-it note stuck to their bedside tables reading, "You're it." There is little sign of disturbance anywhere, nothing stolen (that anyone admits,) and only a bit of expensive food eaten as a signature. The Press loves the story and dubs the burglar the Tag Man.
But who is he? And what's he actually doing? In fact, he's quickly running for his life, for what he discovers in one of these houses appears to be proof of a heinous string of murders. But is it? Joe Gunther, struggling to recover from a devastating personal loss, leads his VBI team to untangle the many conflicting pieces of evidence, while the burglar himself struggles for survival in the no-man's-land between the police and the villains. With no one knowing what to believe, or who to trust, with Tag Man running for his life in a way he never imagined possible, as no one knows who's watching as they sleep, or who truly did what, the Tag Man is critically acclaimed author Archer Mayor at his very finest.
Mayor's 22nd Joe Gunther procedural (after 2010's Red Herring) offers strong ensemble play from Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, and VBI staffers Willy Kunkle, Sammie Martens, and Lester Spinney as well as their Brattleboro police colleague, Ron Klesczewski. The action centers on the person known as "Tag Man," who breaks into supposedly secure, occupied houses, explores them, takes nothing of value, but leaves a Post-it as his calling card. The Tag Man enjoys the challenge and the risk, until he makes a grisly discovery and is identified by one of his victims, who sends a hit man after him. Gunther, though on medical leave following a grievous personal loss, volunteers to help Klesczewski unmask the Tag Man. Multiple games of cat-and-mouse ensue as the Tag Man tries to elude both police and a determined killer. Vermont's history and geography again serve Mayor well in this deadly and highly entertaining entry.