Before you read this short book review, you ought to realize one thing: I am a huge Paul Doiron fan.
With that said, if you choose to dismiss what will be a glowing recommendation for his latest novel, “Bad Little Falls,” it will be your loss. When the book hits stores on Aug. 7, do yourself a favor: Be in line to scoop up a copy of your own.
Doiron, the editor & chief of Down East magazine, is clearly mining a fertile vein in this, his third Mike Bowditch thriller. Bowditch, the main character, is a Maine game warden with all kinds of personal flaws. Some, he recognizes and battles. Others, he ignores (to his own peril). The Maine woods are full of tales … full of mysteries … full of trouble for Bowditch to stumble into.
And in “Bad Little Falls,” Bowditch (and Doiron) are at their best.
I’m not a huge fan of detailing key plot points in book reviews. That’s why, I suppose, I’m a columnist, and not a reviewer.
Reading a good book is a solo journey well spent, I figure. We whip through the first pages, eager to find out what will happen next. We begin to love some characters, hate others. We shiver when our protagonists are cold, sweat when they’re hot. Then, toward the end, we slow our pace, knowing that when we finish, the story will never be the same again.
The story won’t be fresh. It won’t be new. We will know the ending … and will eagerly await the author’s next effort.
Set deep in the Maine woods, in the dead of winter, Bowditch (as he often does) happens upon a crime that isn’t what it seems. As he digs deeper, he runs into all kinds of interesting Maine characters. Some are friends. Some are foes. And he’s never quite sure which is which. All of which, of course, serve to ratchet the tension level page by page, chapter by chapter.
Doiron doesn’t really need my praise here. He gets enough of that when his books are nominated for Anthony and Edgar awards (which they have been).
His previous novels, “The Poacher’s Son” and “Trespasser,” have been best-sellers.
I’m certain that “Little Bad Falls” will follow suit.
So what are you doing Aug. 7?
I think a trip to your local bookstore might be in order.