cover image Massacre Pond

Massacre Pond

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-03393-2

The people of Washington County, Maine, are in an uproar in Doiron’s fourth novel starring game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2012’s Bad Little Falls), the best yet in the series. Hippie-turned-millionaire Betty Morse has spent some of her fortune to buy 100,000 acres of woodland that she intends to give to the federal government for a national park. Morse now has a long list of enemies, including hunters and forest-product workers whose lives and finances would be adversely affected. The first manifestation of the hostile reaction to Morse’s purchase may be the shooting of five moose on her property. The state of the carcasses suggests that whoever gunned down the animals didn’t do so for their meat. Bowditch is first on the scene of the moose slaughter, but his unpopularity with his superiors soon relegates him to spectator status, even as the violence escalates. An unusual lead investigator, thoughtful plotting, and lyrical prose add up to a winner. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (July)