Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive---his own father. A sterling debut of literary suspense. Taut and engrossing, it represents the first in a series featuring Mike Bowditch.
Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive---his own father.
Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father, Jack, a hard-drinking womanizer who makes his living poaching illegal game. An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: They are searching for the man who killed a beloved local cop the night before---and his father is their prime suspect. Jack has escaped from police custody, and only Mike believes that his tormented father might not be guilty.
Now, alienated from the woman he loves, shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past. He knows firsthand Jacks brutality, but is the man capable of murder? Desperate and alone, Mike strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive. There they meet a beautiful woman who claims to be Jacks mistress but who seems to be guarding a more dangerous secret. The only way for Mike to save his father now is to find the real killer---which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.
When I was nine years old, my father took me deep into the Maine woods to see an old prisoner of war camp. My mom had just announced she was leaving him, this time for good. In a few weeks, she said, the two of us were chucking this sorry, redneck life and moving in with her sister down in Portland. The road trip to the wild country around Spencer Lake was my dad’s idea. I guess he saw it as his last chance to win me over to his way of thinking. God knows he didn’t really want custody of me. I’d just get in the way of his whiskey and his women. But it mattered to him that I saw his side of things.
And so, one rainy morning, we drove off into the mountains in search of the past.
It was a grueling drive. The logging road was muddy and deeply rutted from the heavy trucks carrying timber out of the clear cuts, and it was all my dad’s tired old Ford could do to climb Bear Hill. Pausing at the top, we looked out across the Moose River valley to the ...
The Poacher's Son is stocked with excitement and trepidation. Peering over the shoulder of Mike Bowditch as he combs through the eerie silence of the North Woods is pure nail-biting fun. Paul Doiron expertly takes hundreds of miles of largely uninhabited terrain and pares them down to a veritable base camp providing readers with easy access to both the thrill of the story and the breathtaking beauty of Maine's northern exposure. Loaded with unexpected twists, The Poacher's Son takes you to the edge and leaves you begging for more.
(Reviewed by Megan Shaffer).
Full Review (729 words).
"The woods. The state. Everything. More and more people keep coming up here, up to Maine, and they don't understand what's special about this place... They have these distorted ideas about nature... and I didn't want to live that way. I thought that if I joined the Warden Service maybe I wouldn't have to, and maybe I could help a few people see things differently."
Mike Bowditch's profession as a Maine game warden figures prominently in The Poacher's Son. Other than conjuring up images of khakis, boots, and badges, the job of game warden is a relatively obscure and likely misunderstood one. Essentially, game wardens are wilderness police officers, and enforcing the law in an outdoor environment requires great physical ...
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