In Paul Doiron's riveting follow-up to his Edgar Award nominated novel, The Poacher's Son, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch's quest to find a missing woman leads him through a forest of lies in search of a killer who may have gotten away with murder once before.
While on patrol one foggy March evening, Bowditch receives a call for help. A woman has reportedly struck a deer on a lonely coast road. When the game warden arrives on the scene, he finds blood in the road—but both the driver and the deer have vanished. And the state trooper assigned to the accident seems strangely unconcerned.
The details of the disappearance seem eerily familiar. Seven years earlier, a jury convicted lobsterman Erland Jefferts of the rape and murder of a wealthy college student and sentenced him to life in prison. For all but his most fanatical defenders, justice was served. But when the missing woman is found brutalized in a manner that suggests Jefferts might have been framed, Bowditch receives an ominous warning from state prosecutors to stop asking questions.
For Mike Bowditch, whose own life was recently shattered by a horrific act of violence, doing nothing is not an option. His clandestine investigation reopens old wounds between Maine locals and rich summer residents and puts both his own life, and that of the woman he loves, in jeopardy. As he closes in on his quarry, he suddenly discovers how dangerous his opponents are and how far they will go to prevent him from bringing a killer to justice.
Booklist (Starred Review): "While Trespasser initially may seem to lack some of the emotional punch of Poacher’s Son, it certainly makes up for it with both its realistic portrayal of life after traumatic events and its truly nail-biting finale. Doiron, editor of Down East magazine, delivers another perfectly plotted mystery peopled with multidimensional characters, but, in addition, his writing has matured. His descriptions of Maine’s midcoast are incredibly evocative of the sights, sounds, and smells of early spring, and the heart-pounding account of Mike’s four-wheeling chase through the woods is a masterpiece of high-octane narrative."
Library Journal (Starred Review): "It’s mud season in northern Maine, no longer winter but not yet spring, and the grisly murder of a young woman raises questions nobody wants answered. Is the man serving time in prison for an identical murder innocent? Is there a serial killer on the loose? Game warden Mike Bowditch has a nose for finding answers and a penchant for getting in trouble. In just his second year on the job, he must combat the wicked weather, those in law enforcement who respect neither his profession nor him, and his personal demons. With the help of his friend Charlie, a legendary and now retired game warden, Mike doggedly pursues the truth as spring begins to show itself. VERDICT Doiron (nominated this year for an Edgar Award for his first book about Mike Bowditch, The Poacher’s Son) serves up a tense thriller that stars a memorable main character and brings the rugged Maine landscape vividly to life. Highly recommended for lovers of mysteries, particularly those set outdoors or in New England. Fans of C.J. Box and Castle Freeman will not be disappointed."
RT Book Reviews (4.5 Stars & Top Pick): Doiron’s second thriller featuring Mike Bowditch makes effective use of Maine’s ‘mud season,’ that time when the weather is unpredictable and new life struggles to emerge from the snow, as a metaphor for Mike’s internal struggle to put his life back on track. Doiron’s sense of place, and of the people of Maine, adds lush nuance to this suspense-filled read. Well-paced, with an interesting array of elegantly rounded characters, this effort more than lives up to the promise of Doiron’s debut."
Publisher's Weekly: "In Doiron's compelling sequel to his debut, The Poacher's Son, troubled 25-year-old Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden, is still coming to grips with the realization that his estranged father--now deceased--has become known as the state's most notorious murderer. Bowditch finds solace in his job, but when he investigates a car accident involving a deer on a remote stretch of road, the driver, 23-year-old Ashley Kim, from Cambridge, Mass., has disappeared. Later, in an empty house, he finds Kim's naked body, bound with sailor's rigging tape, with the word slut carved into her chest. As Bowditch becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the killer, he puts his already tenuous career in jeopardy as well as his equally tenuous relationship with his possibly pregnant girlfriend. Doiron complements this thriller's decidedly dark tone with introspective existential and spiritual musings and atmospheric imagery (houses in a fishing village "clung like barnacles" around a harbor)."
Kirkus Reviews: "A complex, heartfelt, altogether impressive piece of work."