cover image Stay Hidden

Stay Hidden

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-10238-6

The shooting of investigative journalist Ariel Evans on Maine’s Maquoit Island drives Doiron’s outstanding ninth novel featuring game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2017’s Knife Creek). Ariel apparently took a house on the island as part of her preparation for her next book—a reexamination of the 20-year-old case of Blake Markman, a Hollywood producer who was suspected of intentionally setting fire to his home with his wife inside, but who evaded criminal charges and now lives alone on a small island near Maquoit. Though the initial police report is that the victim, who was hanging up some laundry to dry, was mistaken for a deer by hunter Kenneth Crowley, who confessed to pulling the trigger in error, Mike later learns that Crowley only found the body and never confessed to anything. That the dead woman was having an affair with one of the locals provides a possible murder motive, but the case takes a bizarre turn when a woman turns up claiming to be Ariel. Doiron balances nuanced characterizations and intelligent plotting perfectly. Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (July)