Doiron’s second thriller featuring Mike Bowditch makes effective use of Maine’s “mud season,” that time when the weather is unpredictable and new life struggles to emerge from the snow, as a metaphor for Mike’s internal struggle to put his life back on track. Doiron’s sense of place, and of the people of Maine, adds lush nuance to this suspense-filled read. Well-paced, with an interesting array of elegantly rounded characters, this effort more than lives up to the promise of Doiron’s debut.
Game warden Mike Bowditch is trying to repair both his career and his relationship with longtime girlfriend Sarah when he gets a call to respond to a car-deer accident on a lonely stretch of road. When he arrives, he finds the car, but both the deer and the driver are missing. When her body is discovered elsewhere in his district, Mike is warned to stay out of the case by his superiors, but cannot help investigating when he recognizes the similarities between this murder and a notorious one from the recent past. (MINOTAUR, Jun., 320 pp., $24.99)