“Doiron's plot is heart-pounding, filled with startling twists and turns. The main characters, some lovable and others despicable, are all multidimensional. And the stylish prose is pitch-perfect, especially in its evocative descriptions of the beauty, and occasionally the ugliness, of coastal Maine in early spring. The story's slam-bang ending leaves Mike's life in tatters, and the reader anxious to know what the author has in store for him next.” Associated Press
“Doiron delivers another perfectly plotted mystery peopled with multidimensional characters, but, in addition, his writing has matured. His descriptions of Maine's midcoast are incredibly evocative of the sights, sounds, and smells of early spring, and the heart-pounding account of Mike's fourwheeling chase through the woods is a masterpiece of high-octane narrative. Suggest this series to fans of C. J. Box and Nevada Barr.” Booklist (starred review)
“Doiron serves up a tense thriller that stars a memorable main character and brings the rugged Maine landscape vividly to life. Highly recommended for lovers of mysteries, particularly those set outdoors or in New England. Fans of C.J. Box and Castle Freeman will not be disappointed.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Doiron's second thriller featuring Mike Bowditch makes effective use of Maine's ‘mud season,' that time when the weather is unpredictable and new life struggles to emerge from the snow, as a metaphor for Mike's internal struggle to put his life back on track. Doiron's sense of place, and of the people of Maine, adds lush nuance to this suspense-filled read. Well-paced, with an interesting array of elegantly rounded characters, this effort more than lives up to the promise of Doiron's debut.” RT Book Review (Top Pick, 4 ½ stars)
“A complex, heartfelt, altogether impressive piece of work.” Kirkus Reviews
“Compelling.” Publishers Weekly
“Engaging . . . Doiron is clearly a talented storyteller. . . . The book is hard to put down.” Portland Press Herald
“Doiron is an author to watch!” Indiebound
In Doiron's compelling sequel to his debut, The Poacher's Son, troubled 25-year-old Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden, is still coming to grips with the realization that his estranged father—now deceased—has become known as the state's most notorious murderer. Bowditch finds solace in his job, but when he investigates a car accident involving a deer on a remote stretch of road, the driver, 23-year-old Ashley Kim, from Cambridge, Mass., has disappeared. Later, in an empty house, he finds Kim's naked body, bound with sailor's rigging tape, with the word slut carved into her chest. As Bowditch becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the killer, he puts his already tenuous career in jeopardy as well as his equally tenuous relationship with his possibly pregnant girlfriend. Doiron complements this thriller's decidedly dark tone with introspective existential and spiritual musings and atmospheric imagery (houses in a fishing village "clung like barnacles" around a harbor). 15-city author tour. (June)
Classically trained actor Henry Leyva brings his considerable talents to the work with Down East accents, full-voiced characters, convincing females, and the taut presentation of violent action. Both the novel and the narration are excellent.
It's mud season in northern Maine, no longer winter but not yet spring, and the grisly murder of a young woman raises questions nobody wants answered. Is the man serving time in prison for an identical murder innocent? Is there a serial killer on the loose? Game warden Mike Bowditch has a nose for finding answers and a penchant for getting in trouble. In just his second year on the job, he must combat the wicked weather, those in law enforcement who respect neither his profession nor him, and his personal demons. With the help of his friend Charlie, a legendary and now retired game warden, Mike doggedly pursues the truth as spring begins to show itself. VERDICT Doiron (nominated this year for an Edgar Award for his first book about Mike Bowditch, The Poacher's Son) serves up a tense thriller that stars a memorable main character and brings the rugged Maine landscape vividly to life. Highly recommended for lovers of mysteries, particularly those set outdoors or in New England. Fans of C.J. Box and Castle Freeman will not be disappointed. [15-city tour in New England.]—Nancy Fontaine, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH
Seven years after a trial sent a police suspect up for murder, a disturbingly similar new killing reopens the case, dragging Maine game warden Mike Bowditch along for one hellacious ride.
Mike's nightmare begins with a call so routine he can't even respond to it. A passerby has phoned to say that a young woman's car has struck a deer out on Parker Point. Already busy responding to Hank Varnum's complaint that some lowlife on an all-terrain vehicle has vandalized his property, Mike passes on the call, but when Trooper Curt Hutchins has engine trouble, he ends up driving to the scene an hour later, only to find that both the deer and the driver have vanished. Sadly, it's not long before Mike finds the driver, Harvard Business School student Ashley Kim, raped and murdered in the Parker Point vacation home of her teacher, Prof. Hans Westergaard. Both before and after Mike contaminates it, everything about the crime scene reminds him of the seven-year-old murder of college student/waitress Nikki Donnatelli. And he's not the only one. Lou Bates, whose charismatic nephew Erland Jefferts was convicted of the earlier crime, is convinced that Mike can help clear him. Jill Westergaard is equally insistent that Mike can help find her missing husband. Since game wardens, especially if they've found dead bodies, aren't supposed to get involved in murder cases, Mike has quite a series of challenges ahead of him—not counting his stormy relationship with schoolteacher Sarah Harris and the self-destructive streak he showed in The Poacher's Son (2010).
If Mike's second appearance isn't quite up to his striking debut, it's still a complex, heartfelt, altogether impressive piece of work.