cover image Widowmaker


Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-06370-0

At the outset of Edgar-finalist Doiron’s uneven seventh contemporary mystery featuring Maine game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2015’s The Precipice), Mike spies a Jeep parked across the road from his Sebago Lake home. Inside the vehicle is Amber Langstrom, a woman who claims that her son, Adam, is Mike’s half-brother. Adam, who served 18 months for statutory rape in a minimum security prison, recently missed a meeting with his parole officer, and Amber wants Mike to track him down. Mike initially refuses, but then an on-the-job near-death experience triggers a leave of absence, and he heads north to the Rangeley region, where Adam was last seen. Mike’s investigation takes him from the third-rate ski resort where his outlaw father, Jack, used to work to an off-the-books logging camp staffed with convicted sex offenders. A thrilling denouement and an affecting subplot about a condemned wolfdog don’t sufficiently compensate for a slow start and a mystery that fails to engage. [em]Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (June) [/em]