Review: Plot of 'Bad Little Falls' is riveting

Associated Press Published: August 6, 2012

"Bad Little Falls" (Minotaur Books), by Paul Doiron

Maine game warden Mike Bowditch should have learned by now that he needs to mind his own business.

His inability to do so in "The Poacher's Son" (2010) and "Trespasser" (2011) has left both his personal and his professional life in tatters. His superiors, and just about everyone else in Maine law enforcement, consider him a hotheaded, arrogant loose cannon. The woman he loves has left him, taking their baby son with her. And, as his new adventure, "Bad Little Falls," opens, he's been banished to an assignment in Down East, Maine.

"All that was left to me," he says, "was to accept my fate and do my job with as much dignity as I could muster."

But because of Mike's inherent curiosity, nose for trouble and passion for justice, there's no way that's going to happen.

As the tale opens, a man half-dead with frostbite shows up at the door of a remote cottage at the height of a fierce blizzard. Then the man's running buddy is found frozen in a nearby snowbank. Authorities soon discover that he had been beaten and deliberately suffocated.

Mike's duties as game warden don't include investigating murders, and his boss warns him to butt out. But as the story unfolds, he falls hard for the comely sister of the surviving victim and is drawn into the life of her son, a strange boy who writes bizarre passages, some of them in code, in a secret journal.

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