In Paul Doiron' riveting follow-up to his Edgar Awardnominated novel, The Poacher's Son, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch's quest to find a missing woman leads him through a forest of lies in search of a killer who may have gotten away with murder once before.
While on patrol one foggy March evening, Bowditch receives a call for help. A woman has reportedly struck a deer on a lonely coast road. When the game warden arrives on the scene, he finds blood in the road - but both the driver and the deer have vanished. And the state trooper assigned to the accident appears strangely unconcerned.
The details of the disappearance seem eerily familiar. Seven years earlier, a jury convicted lobsterman Erland Jefferts of the rape and murder of a wealthy college student and sentenced him to life in prison. For all but his most fanatical defenders, justice was served. But when the missing woman is found brutalized in a manner that suggests Jefferts may have been framed, Bowditch receives an ominous warning from state prosecutors to stop asking questions.
For Bowditch, whose own life was recently shattered by a horrific act of violence, doing nothing is not an option. His clandestine investigation reopens old wounds between Maine locals and rich summer residents and puts both his own life and that of the woman he loves in jeopardy. As he closes in on his quarry, he suddenly discovers how dangerous his opponents are, and how far they will go to prevent him from bringing a killer to justice.
"Starred Review. Doiron delivers another perfectly plotted mystery peopled with multidimensional characters, but, in addition, his writing has matured." - 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." - Library Journal
"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
"A complex, heartfelt, altogether impressive piece of work." - Kirkus Reviews
"Compelling." - Publishers Weekly
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Rated of 5
Great mix of Plot, Character Development, and Atmosphere
Most mysteries seem to either have a great story with stereotypical characters or good characters but a weak plot. This book reads like a novel, not like most mysteries. I haven't read Paul Doiron's first book, "The Poacher's Son", but I ordered it as soon as I finished this book.
Mike Bowditch is a young game warden in Maine, who is called to an accident site in which a woman collided with a deer--- only to find no woman and no deer, only an empty car. The state trooper who shows up a short time later is convinced that the woman got a ride from someone she called, that someone else came and took the deer for food, and that everything is fine. Somehow Mike has the (correct) feeling that this wasn't the case.
Doiron does an excellent job of populating the book with a variety of real people (or at least they feel real) living in rural Maine. With just a few sentences he seems to give each character an identity and just enough back story to make everyone come alive without bogging down the mystery. The story moves, and related story lines such as the other cases that Bowditch is handling, his family history, and his relationship with his girlfriend all are covered without ever feeling like the book is going off into tangents or dragging on. This is a very well written, tightly constructed book that I very much enjoyed.
I often get bored of mysteries about two thirds of the way through, but this book held my attention to the very end. I'd definitely recommend it.
Paul Doiron is the editor-in-chief of Down East: The Magazine of Maine. A native of Maine, he attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English, and he holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. Paul is a Registered Maine Guide and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine with his wife, Kristen Lindquist.
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