BAD LITTLE FALLS
Doiron once again makes excellent use of Maine’s unforgiving weather to set the stage for a compelling mystery, while underscoring his complicated hero’s troubled character. Elegant prose perfectly captures the feel of the location, and the diverse, realistic cast of characters enriches the narrative. Readers will shiver — both from the cold and in anticipation of the rather shocking conclusion.
Maine game warden Mike Bowditch, having thoroughly irked his superiors at his previous assignment, gets transferred to remote Washington County, an area ravaged by poverty, unemployment and brutal winters. When a notorious drug dealer goes missing in the middle of a blizzard, Bowditch leads the search for him. When the man turns up dead in a snowbank, state police are content to pin the blame on the friend who was with him. Bowditch, bewitched by the victim’s ex-girlfriend, continues to look elsewhere for answers, putting his heart and his job on the line again. (MINOTAUR, Aug., 320 pp., $24.99)