cover image One Last Lie

One Last Lie

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-23507-7

Edgar finalist Doiron artfully blends a whodunit plot with superior characterizations in his top-notch 11th mystery featuring Mike Bowditch, who works for the Maine Warden Service (after 2019’s After Midnight). Bowditch rushes back home to Maine from Florida, where he was checking out the background of a prospective new warden, after getting a call from Ora Stevens, the wife of Bowditch’s longtime mentor and friend, Charley. Ora hasn’t seen or heard from Charley since he abruptly left home a few days earlier. The day before Charley departed, he got into an argument with a man at a roadside pop-up bazaar, because the man was selling an old game warden badge. Bowditch finds a note Charley left behind in which he expresses the fear he’s made “the worst mistake a man can make in this life,” one that potentially threatens his loved ones. These clues lead Bowditch to probe an incident in Charley’s past he hadn’t known about—Charley’s fatal shooting of a man suspected of murdering a warden who had gone undercover to bust a poaching ring. Doiron vividly portrays the Maine woods setting while maintaining taut suspense. This entry reinforces the author’s position in the front rank of regional thriller writers. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary. (June)