cover image Hatchet Island

Hatchet Island

Paul Doiron. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-23513-8

Edgar finalist Doiron’s exceptional 13th mystery featuring Maine game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2021’s Dead by Dawn) takes Bowditch and his significant other, biologist Stacey Stevens, to Baker Island after Stacey receives a request for help from her college roommate and former colleague, Kendra Ballard, who’s been working on the island as the project manager for the Maine Seabird Initiative’s restoration efforts there. Kendra is worried about her boss, Maeve McLeary, who hasn’t been heard from for several days. That disturbing silence comes shortly after Maeve incurred the wrath of local lobstermen by successfully backing a proposal to close part of the Gulf of Maine to their boats to protect endangered whales. The restoration project has since been receiving anonymous threats, and someone shot up its observation blinds. Kendra’s fears of violence prove justified as Bowditch soon has two murders on the island to solve, which may be connected to a young man’s recent death by suicide. The author is especially good at conveying the island’s creepy atmosphere, and the taut plot features numerous shocking twists while further developing an already complex lead. Doiron is writing at the top of his game. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary. (June)