Thursday, July 10, 2014

Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron

The Mike Bowditch series has matured with each new volume. In this one, set in the autumn in the far north of Maine, Paul Doiron uses the real life battle going on over the eventual disposition of hundreds of thousands of acres of land currently owned by a private party and her desire to turn the area into a wilderness park where hunting, logging, and other current activities will be prohibited. It's a game warden's nightmare trying to walk the tightrope of emotions generated by both sides of the fight.
From the book cover:
On an unseasonably hot October morning, Bowditch is called to the scene of a bizarre crime: the corpses of seven moose have been found senselessly butchered on the estate of Elizabeth Morse, a wealthy animal rights activist who is buying up huge parcels of timberland to create a new national park. What at first seems like mindless slaughter, retribution by locals for the job losses Morse's plan is already causing in the region, becomes far more sinister when a shocking murder is discovered and Mike's investigation becomes a hunt to find a ruthless killer. In order to solve the controversial case, Bowditch risks losing everything he holds dear: his best friends, his career as a law enforcement officer, and the love of his life.
Bowdoin is now living alone in a run down trailer provided by the warden service. His friend Billy Cronk (a rather scurrilous dude given to trying to stay one step ahead of arrest) is somehow involved in this whole fiasco, testing his loyalties and making Mike's job more precarious then ever.  Bowditch is still a flawed character, but Doiron has managed to grow him into the hearts of readers of the series.  We're all now rooting for Mike to develop into the mature nature lover he show signs of becoming.

Doiron's bold and precise descriptions of the Maine woods add another dimension to these stories that keep readers coming back.  I wasn't sure after the first two, Poacher's Son, and  Trespasser, that I was overly thrilled with this character, but he's really grown on me.  This one is a definite winner, and the best yet in the series.  It's definitely worth a look.

Title: Massacre Pond
Author: Paul Doiron
Publisher:Minotaur Books (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Genre: Mystery, police procedural
Subject: murder and animal cruelty
Setting: North Maine Woods
Series: Mike Bowditch Mystery
Source: public library

1 comment:

  1. Such a strong storyteller. I have really liked the Mike Bowditch books too.


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