Monday, December 31, 2018

Taut, Tense Game Warden Mystery Launches Intriguing Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Mike Bowditch is a 24-year-old game warden who likes solitude and avoiding unnecessary complications.  His father, Jack, is a definite complication.  A poacher and trapper, Jack is a "saloon-brawling logger with a rap sheet of misdemeanors and the public persona of a Tasmanian devil" (53) who finds himself in constant trouble with the law.  Still, Mike can't contain his shock when he's informed that his father is the prime suspect in the murder of a beloved police officer.  No one understands Jack's volatile nature better than his son, but Mike still can't believe his father is capable of murder.  In order to clear his name, Mike will have to find the real killer.  

Putting his job and his reputation on the line, Mike travels deep into the Maine wilderness in search of his missing father.  With only a retired warden pilot on his side, he feels almost helpless.  Determined to find the truth, Mike soldiers on, risking more and more as the investigation goes on.  Can he prove his father innocent?  Or will he just destroy everything he's worked so hard for in the pursuit of an impossible outcome?

The Poacher's Son, a debut novel by Paul Doiron and the first in a series, is a taut, atmospheric thriller featuring a brave, likable hero.  Taut and compelling, the plot twists and turns, keeping the reader constantly on edge.  Although it's a grim tale, The Poacher's Son is engrossing enough to make me want to read more in this intriguing series.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of the Glacier Mystery series by Christine Carbo [The Wild Inside; Mortal Fall; and The Weight of Night] as well as books by C.J. Box and Nevada Barr)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, blood/gore, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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