cover image Bad Little Falls

Bad Little Falls

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-55848-2

The excellent third novel from Edgar-finalist Dorion featuring game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2011’s Trespasser) finds Bowditch in Maine’s equivalent of Siberia, depressed Washington County, to which he was transferred after he became an embarrassment to the powers-that-be by shooting a murderer in self-defense. Bowditch’s strict approach to enforcing licensing regulations soon earns him the enmity of some locals, one of whom affixes a coyote’s pelt to his door as a warning. One winter night, while driving home through a blizzard, the warden receives a call from the man at whose house he just had dinner, veterinarian Doc Larrabee, who needs his help with a person suffering from a severe case of frostbite. Larrabee reports that the victim of the cold, who appeared at a neighbor’s house, managed to communicate, despite his grave condition, that he had a companion. The search for that missing companion involves Bowditch in a murder case with some truly wicked twists. Dorion matches strong characters with effective prose and subtle characterizations. Fans of Steve Hamilton’s Alex McKnight series, likewise set in a remote region close to Canada, will find a lot to like. Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (Aug.)