Paul Doiron made a big splash with his Edgar Award-nominated first novel, “The Poacher’s Son,” which introduced Maine game warden Mike Bowditch and his extraordinary talent for tracking animals and people through the worst weather that Maine can dish up. When he’s reassigned to the eponymous “Bad Little Falls,” a remote town near the Canadian border where drug abuse, unemployment, poverty, violence, and poaching are rampant, his reputation for disregarding orders precedes him and it looks as if his career has dead-ended. To him, it’s the equivalent of “being exiled to Siberia.”
The story has a strong sense of place and makes palpable the raw power that weather and water can wield. The plot is driven by the elusive possibility that this time Bowditch can redeem his career while saving Jamie and her son. Shelve this book beside the works of Steve Hamilton and William Kent Kruger, stories of strong but not macho men living in godforsaken places, bruised by past relationships, and trying to get it right this time.