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Anthony- and Edgar-award nominated author Paul Doiron delivers another “masterpiece of high-octane narrative” (Booklist) with Bad Little Falls, his newest harrowing thriller, about the hunt for a murderer at the height of a major snowstorm.
Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile, transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is called to the rustic cabin of a terrified couple. A raving and half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm. But what starts as a rescue mission in the wilderness soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was his own friend who killed him.
Bowditch isn’t so sure, but his vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman with a dark past and a troubled young son. The boy seems to know something about what really happened in the blizzard, but he is keeping his secrets locked in a cryptic notebook, and Mike fears for the safety of the strange child. Meanwhile, an anonymous tormentor has decided to make the new warden’s life a living hell.
Alone and outgunned, Bowditch turns for assistance to his old friend, the legendary bush pilot Charley Stevens. But in this snowbound landscape - where smugglers wage blood feuds by night - help seems very far away indeed. If Bowditch is going to catch a killer, he must survive on his own wits and discover strength he never knew he possessed.
"Bad Little Falls", is an outstanding mystery set in a small town in the wilds of Downeast Maine. It revolves around a recurring character named Mike Bowditch, a registered Maine Guide (like the author, Paul Doiron), and a Maine Game Warden, and a member of the state's law enforcement, who, through the previous novel, has been reassigned to one of the remotest areas of the state, and perhaps, the U.S.
It starts in the middle of a severe winter, as if there any other kind there, as the sleeping town of Machias, the shire town of Washington County, discovers the activities of certain insomniac and dangerously troubled members of it's tiny community.
The writing is descriptive and heartfelt. The area residents are by and large, desperately poor, and easily taken advantage of. There are some very bad people here as well, and Mike Bowditch, a fish out of water (again, as detailed in Doiron's first novel, "The Poacher's Son"), though a big fish taken to a small pond, falls in to protect a single mother and her odd son from several human predators. It's a cracking good mystery, and read masterfully by Henry Leyva, who performs the unique Downeast accent with grace and respect, as well as Rene Auberjonois, to this listener's ear. I live nearby, down near Acadia National Park, and it's an incredibly complex drawl, but Leyva couldn't have sounded so authentic without Mr. Doiron's careful ear for the language of this far-flung area.
I highly recommend this, and look forward to another chapter in the life of Mike Bowditch, as he explores his new bailiwick.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Mike Bowditch is a Maine Game warden who constantly finds himself in conflict with his superiors. Being the infamous son of a dangerous man, now deceased--THE POACHER'S SON---does not help Mike's reputation. He has just recently been relegated to the "Down East" northernmost section of Maine, where people are dirt poor, mostly uneducated, and surrounded with illegal drug trade from Canada. Drugs and alcohol are a way of life for many of these folks, and a national floundering economy isn't helping matters.
Mike is called out on a cold winter's blustery day because a half frozen man has shown up on a couples' door step, claiming that his friend is missing in the snow. The friend is found dead, and presumed murdered. Once again, the police should takes things over at this point, but friends and other relationships keep Mike in the center of everything. He even becomes involved with the half frozen man's beautiful sister and her strange 12 year old son. Actually, this unusually lone boy's copious journals plays a very important roll in the story, with excerpts written into this book.
Descriptions of characters and scenery bring the reader right into the century of the story. So much so, that on the hottest day of the year in my area, I was left feeling cold as descriptions of snow drifts, ice ponds, and frost bit filled these pages. Mike's life and experiences with nature and the people of Maine grows more interesting with each further adventure. Good, evil, and the intermingling of the failings of mankind in day to day life should make for many more tales in this series.
The accents were superbe with this audio version. Truly added to the enjoyment of this book!!!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The third in the Maine game warden series, Mike Bowditch. In this one, Mike meets the McDonald’s employee of the month while ordering breakfast and is quite attracted to her. He sets out to get to know her better. In the meantime, the veterinarian, who acts as a doctor when necessary, calls upon him to go to the house of another couple where someone has been pulled in who is in advanced stages of hypothermia. He and the vet do what they can to save the boy but find out in the meantime that he and his friend were dealing drugs, and that he probably killed his friend. He also finds out that the girl he’s attracted to, Jamie, has secrets and connections to the people selling drugs, and that the injured man is her brother. She has a little boy who is troubled and keeps his secrets in his journal. Also, most people aren’t too happy with game wardens and Bowditch faces hostility and unfriendliness. This book proceeds with Bowditch’s life. He is impulsive, well-intentioned but takes risks that he shouldn’t. I’m becoming more impatient with this character. I don’t know for sure if I’ll read the next book in the series when it comes out.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Another great novel by Paul Doiron. As a current resident of Maine who has witnessed first hand the seedy underbelly that lurks beneath the Lobsters and Vacation Land veneer I can say he has captured it perfectly.
When I listened to the first book in this series I was excited to have found a new author I could love. Then I listened to the second book and now this one and there seems to be a trend happening in each book. Instead of a competent warden who is passionate about protecting the environment Warden Bowdish is coming off as an incompetent detective wannabe who is more interested in shunning his superiors and doing his own thing. It doesn't set a very good example of the warden service. And as usual, a woman always seems to be a large part of his problems. For once it would be nice to listen to a great environmental story that doesn't involve some disfunctional relationship and an irresponsible law enforcement officer. C.J. Box is a great example of how these types of books can be both informative and entertaining.
If you like serials, this is a good solid series to buy. Well worth the time. I love the lead character and the narrator, although he doesn't really have the Maine accent it's close enough. Worth a read.
Love the sense of place in this series. The reader in the second and third books sounds like he's from New Jersey not Maine but that may be a good thing. Most folks probably couldn't make it thru the book if he had a real Maine accent (I've lived on the border of Maine and New Hampshire for the last 37 years). The reader does nicely capture the spirit of the character and his often near fatal flaw. Not your typical hero but not much about the real Maine is what people expect.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Paul Doiron writes a pretty good story using the atmosphere of the Maine wilderness and the 'quirky' characters who live there. <br/><br/>I really enjoyed his first two books ('The Poacher's Son', 'Trespasser'), which were better than Bad Little Falls. Still, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a "C.J. Box" type of mystery. <br/><br/>Overall, I found this novel to be a bit too much like his first two books, and I hope that Doiron can find some new ground with Mike Bowditch in his next novel.
Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Doiron? Why or why not?
Yes, I do enjoy the Mike Bowditch series. Paul Doiron has a talent for accurately describing the Maine wilderness and the readers do a very good job of bringing his characters to life.
What does Henry Leyva bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Henry Leyva gives a very good performance in reading this book. He brings a lot of energy and realism to the characters. Mr. Leyva actually lifted the overall quality of this story, in my opinion.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Not sure. I might wait for a few friends to recommend it. I think his previous book (Trespasser) would make a very good movie.
Any additional comments?
This series reminds me a lot of the C.J. Box and Steve Hamilton series of books. If you like Paul Doiron, then I highly recommend the Joe Pickett series by Box.
Inaccurate descriptions/depictions of Maine warden service & law enforcement procedures. Inaccurate pronunciation of area towns and river: St. Stephens and Narraguagus River in particular.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
it has been a while since I read the first two books in this series but I remember them as being engaging and having full characterisation that engendered empathy. This book was disappointing. it did not live up to the previous ones.