cover image Almost Midnight

Almost Midnight

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-10241-6

At the start of Edgar-finalist Doiron’s solid 10th mystery featuring game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2018’s Stay Hidden), Mike visits the Maine State Prison at the behest of his best friend, Billy Cronk, who’s incarcerated there for killing a man who ambushed him and Mike four years earlier. Billy is prone to paranoia, so when he asks Mike to secretly (and illegally) investigate corrections officer Dawn Richie without providing a reason, Mike refuses. Soon afterward, Billy is hospitalized after an attack on Richie that he helped thwart. Mike fears Billy is caught up in something criminal and intends to dig further, but then he learns that someone has shot Shadow, a wolf-dog that Mike rescued before it escaped and paired off with Maine’s last wild wolf. Despite a tendency to reduce secondary characters to stereotypes, Doiron writes with eloquence, authority, and passion about Maine’s wilderness and its creatures. The twin story lines intrigue, and though the delay in integrating them gives the plot a disjointed feel, the conclusion is an emotionally satisfying, adrenaline-fueled sprint. Fans of C.J. Box will find much to admire. [em]Author tour. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary. (July) [/em]