cover image The Bone Orchard

The Bone Orchard

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-03488-5

Having quit the Maine Warden Service for various personal reasons, Mike Bowditch barely ekes out a living as a fishing guide, showing off Maine’s North Woods to tourists, in Edgar finalist Doiron’s excellent fifth series installment (after 2013’s Massacre Pond). Though he still spends most of his time outdoors, Mike is acutely aware that he no longer has the authority to arrest lawbreakers, nor does he have the respect of his former colleagues. Mike realizes just how much of an outsider he is when his mentor and former boss, Sgt. Kathy Frost, kills Jimmy Gammon, a distraught Afghan war veteran and former military policeman, in self-defense. Later, a gunman seriously wounds Kathy outside her farmhouse. Despite his lack of authority, Mike joins the investigation into Kathy’s shooting, sorting through the list of suspects, who include members of Gammon’s politically connected family, his former platoon mates, and Kathy’s vengeful neighbor. Or was Kathy’s alcoholic brother with a gambling problem the real target? Thoughtful plotting and strong characters raise this above the crime novel pack. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (July)