Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron

Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series is a well-researched and rousing set of tales about the Maine warden service. This is the third in the series, and we've now been treated to a view of the Maine woods and wild-life (human and animal) in summer, in autumn hunting season, and now in the dead of winter. We've been to different parts of the state, and met many different characters. And Mike Bowditch still doesn't seem to be able to get control of his temper, his impulsiveness, his rebellion and his propensity for doing exactly what he shouldn't be doing.

The story starts as Mike tries to find a missing man in a snowstorm.  He's been sent to the northern wilds of Maine because he's really ticked off his superiors.  Supposedly this assignment will give him a chance for redemption.The snow scenes in this one are awesome. The tale is well laid out, and the reader has several different red herrings to knock down before figuring out exactly what the mystery is, who the real bad guys are and then who dunnit.

Doiron gives us raw footage, real life, and an anti-hero who is beginning to wear a little thin, at least for this reader. I really almost abandoned this one in the middle when Mike kept making really stupid choices. But I wanted to see how he would handle having his entire life sprayed by a skunk, so I muddled through, and ended up able to label it an enjoyable read. IMHO, it's not pulitzer material, but it certainly has more action, more twists, and more scenery than many of today's mysteries. The sense of place is undoubtedly one of the best features and readers will come away with a good sense of how hard life is in rural Maine in the winter.

I haven't heard whether there are more to come in this series. If there are, let's hope that Warden Bowditch grows up a bit.

Title: Little Bad Falls
Author: Paul Doiron
Publisher/format: MacMillan audio (2012)
Narrator: Henry Leyva
Subject: life of a warden in Maine winter
Setting: Washington County Maine
Series: Mike Bowditch
Why did I read this book now? I enjoyed the first two in the series and wanted to continue it.
Source: public library download


  1. At first I thought I wouldn't like it but I ended up loving this story. Hope there is more to come.

  2. Thank you for the review, Tina. There is a fourth novel coming in 2013, and I think you'll find Mike has taken a real step forward in terms of his personal and professional life.

    1. So glad to hear it Paul. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Mike as he grows in his job.

  3. Tutu, I have really enjoyed all of these as well. So excited to see that Paul Doiron stopped by and that there is another novel in the works.

  4. The third already and I haven't read the first yet? Whew! I need to get with the program here. If my watery eyes will just go away (words appear to be doing the breast stroke when I read), I'll thoroughly enjoy catching up with my reading. Finished with chemo now, starting radiation.

  5. even thought the author did not acknowledge MY review (maybe it is a Maine I like this one and this whole series a lot.
    Love the setting..and I do think Mike is growing up..a bit..slowly...


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