Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Review of "Trespasser" [83]

Trespasser by Paul Doiron
Minotaur Books, ISBN 978-0312558475
June 21, 2011, 320 pages

The Maine woods are huge and when something bad happens, the men and woman who are charged to respond are sometimes spread a little thin. So when a call comes in that a woman has hit a deer and wrecked her car, it is no surprise that game warden Mike Bowditch is tied up with another call, a case of ATV riders trespassing and destroying property. But Mike responds, even when he is told that the state police are sending a trooper. When he gets there the scene he finds is a bit of a mystery. No deer...no woman with the wrecked car...just some blood on the road. He thinks he should search the woods, but the trooper dismisses him, saying he will handle it. And it is not like Mike doesn't have a lot of other things on his plate but what happened to this woman nags at Mike and when she is found dead, murdered in a neighboring house, Mike can't help but feel that if he had pursued the matter more forcefully, he might have saved her.

As usual, Mike gets pulled into the matter deeper and deeper. It seems there are a number of similarities between this murder and one that occurred in the same area years ago and for which a man is serving life in prison. Could an innocent man have been convicted..and why does everyone seem to want to stop Mike from finding out the truth?

This is the second Mike Bowditch book, after Mr. Doiron's excellent The Poacher's Son and as usual, I had to wonder of the author had it in him to turn out another great book. Oh, the fear! So many fail. But good new! He did.

Mike is a great character, one that in a way makes me break my rule about hating stupid characters. Mike is not stupid, but as even he will admit, sometimes he does some things he should not do. Yep, even stupid things. It doesn't make him too popular with his bosses, even if he gets results. And it often does not go over too big with his girlfriend Sarah, who has a secret of her own, but it makes for great reading.

And of course there is the setting, in this case mid-coast Maine. Have I mentioned that I like Maine? Yes, I think I may have and Mr. Doiron, who is also  the editor of DownEast magazine, does a great job of taking me back there as I was reading. While it is spring, mud season, between that and the constant fog and a peek into some of the poverty that populates rural Maine, there is a rather dark feel to this book which is a very good thing. It is a murder mystery after all.
Pull on your boots, because it is mud season in Maine, and things are getting deep!
A good plot, complicated enough to keep you guessing yet all clearly worked out by the end, good characters and a good setting all make for a very good read.

As I said, this is the second book in the series and while you could read this as a standalone, I do really think you will enjoy this one better if you read The Poacher's Son first and get to understand the background of Mike and Sarah, Mike's mentor Charley and his wife and Mike's personal history that has brought him to this point.
I think if you do, you will join me in anxiously awaiting the third book, hopefully in the not too distant future.
There will be a third, won't there Mr. Doiron?


  1. Ooh, this sounds so good! Thanks for bringing the author and this series to my attention. I shall scout out the first one.

  2. I read this too, although I don't think my review has posted yet. But I *was* a little disappointed with the second book. I did love the first, and I do like the character of Mike however.

  3. I'm thinking this one may go onto my NOOK. can't wait to read #2, and was glad to hear it lived up to its press.

  4. This review reminds me that I've still got Poacher's Son sitting on the TBR shelves. *sigh*


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