Friday, August 31, 2018

FFB Review: Bad Little Falls: A Novel by Paul Doiron

After reminding you of The Poacher’s Son and Trespasser in recent weeks, I remind you today of the third book in the series, Bad Little Falls. Like any good series, or at least the ones I like, this series shows the passage of time and character development for Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch. The series also does something else for me as a person who has never been to Maine and can’t get around very well. Because of the author’s ability to bring the outdoors angle to his books alive for the reader, when Mike is going places and doing things I feel like I am right there with him. That talent shines through in the books as well as the recently published novella, Rabid: A Story.

For the rest of the reading suggestions today make sure you head over to Patti Abbott’s blog.

When you annoy the bosses once too many times and you work as a game warden for the State of Maine, you get sent to their version of Siberia. In this case, Warden Mike Bowditch has been sent to Washington County. The eastern most county in Maine is well known for poaching, drug abuse, high unemployment, and a host of other social ills. Not to mention the brutal winter working conditions. Bowditch is being punished and he knows it. Just about everything Bowditch has to deal with in his new assignment is made worse because his considerable reputation precedes him.

The biggest place in the county population wise is the county seat of Machias. The town barely has two thousand people. The small town, as well as the surrounding county, is a place where everyone knows everyone else, looks the other way, and pretends to know nothing. That includes ignoring the actions of a local drug dealer. A drug dealer that soon winds up dead with his friend severely injured by frost bite.

While others believe the friend killed the drug dealer during a snowstorm, Bowditch doesn’t think so. Any shred of credibility he had coming in was shot by his involvement in the case (never get romantically involved with a suspect is rule one no matter what agency you work for), so he is forced to go it alone to get to the truth.  It isn’t the first time and won’t be the last.

The series that began with The Poacher’s Son and continued with Trespasser just keeps getting better and better. This is a very complicated novel that continues to build on an excellent foundation while bringing further nuance and depth to the Bowditch character. Those efforts do not get in the way of the multiple storylines at work in this complex and multi-layered novel.  Bad Little Falls by Maine author Paul Doiron is very good and well worth your time.

Bad Little Falls: A Novel
Paul Doiron
Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Press)
August 2012
ISBN# 978-0-312-55848-2
Hardback (also available in e-book)
310 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012, 2018


Mathew Paust said...

You're selling me on Doiron, Kevin. I like the concept of a game warden detective.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

He's good and well worth your time.