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Massacre Pond: A Novel (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) Hardcover – July 16, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Mike Bowditch is somehow still employed as a Maine game warden after his last escapade featuring an ill-advised affair with a suspect’s sister and an investigative coup that humiliated his superiors (Bad Little Falls, 2012). Now matured a bit and trying to play by warden service rules, Bowditch is coasting through an uneventful hunting season until his friend Billy Cronk reports something’s “wicked bad” at controversial Moosehorn Lodge. Elizabeth Morse is campaigning to preserve Maine’s wilderness and has forbidden logging and hunting on the thousands of acres she’s recently acquired. Morse, who has been threatened repeatedly, is reviled by those who believe her mission threatens Maine’s outdoorsman culture and the locals’ ability to feed their families. When Bowditch arrives, he finds five moose calculatingly slaughtered. Before the wardens narrow the immense list of suspects, a human murder is added to the animal casualties. Bowditch’s past insubordination has secured his banishment to the investigation’s fringes, but when Billy becomes the main suspect, he can’t let things lie. This series follows Bowditch from the start of his warden career, and his evolution creates a constantly fresh perspective, nicely paired with solid procedural details and an outdoors education. Massacre Pond, arguably the best yet, boasts fair-minded exploration of Maine’s conflicting environmental and economic interests and marks a turning point for Bowditch, who questions his fit with a career that constantly requires suppressing his instincts. --Christine Tran

Review

Bad Little Falls is a jewel of a book.  Doiron has gotten it all magnificently right: a hell of a good mystery, beautifully drawn landscape and characters so evocatively written they follow you off the page.  Buy this.  The guy can write.” —Nevada Barr, New York Times bestselling author of Rope

“Doiron’s third Bowditch entry is riveting and honest, with full-depth characters and a landscape that isn’t cutting any slack. Readers of Nevada Barr and C. J. Box will enjoy this similar tale, with the added surprise of a refreshing hero whose youth and inexperience Doiron skillfully twists into an asset.” —Booklist

“A high-stakes, high-tension yarn in which you keep wishing everything would turn out fine for the deeply flawed, deeply sympathetic hero.” —Kirkus

“Excellent . . . a murder case with some truly wicked twists. Dorion matches strong characters with effective prose and subtle characterizations. Fans of Steve Hamilton’s Alex McKnight series, likewise set in a remote region close to Canada, will find a lot to like.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Mike Bowditch Mysteries (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1St Edition edition (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250033934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250033932
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Doiron is an award-winning journalist and the author of the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels, including The Poacher's Son, which won the the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and a Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and the Maine Literary Award for "Best Fiction of 2010." PopMatters named it to its Best Fiction of 2010 list.

His second book in the Mike Bowditch series, Trespasser, won the Maine Literary Award for crime fiction, was an American Booksellers Association Indie Bestseller and has been called a "masterpiece of high-octane narrative" by Booklist.

His third novel in the series, Bad Little Falls, was a Bookscan Bestseller and was a finalist for the RT Reviewers Choice Award and the Maine Literary Award.

The fourth Mike Bowditch book, Massacre Pond, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist and was an Indie Next Pick and Indie Favorite.

A native of Maine, Paul attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English, and he holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He is Editor Emeritus of "Down East: The Magazine of Maine," having served as Editor in Chief from 2005 to 2013. He is also a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine.

Customer Reviews

All I can say is, if you finish the book wanting more or looking forward to the next one...now that's a great read!
Michael J. Molloy
Massacre Pond, the fourth novel in the Mike Bowditch series, is the best so far, and that's saying a lot because I loved the first three.
Brian Thiem
The characters are well drawn, the descriptions are clear without being verbose, and best of all, the plot is completely realistic.
Stretch65

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Emily Lee on July 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I may be a tad bit biased being in Maine's law enforcement arena, but I've found this series riveting and thought provoking. The similarities to real events and people also drew my interest. In this case, the character Elizabeth Morse and her idea for a national park draws on the inspiration from Roxanne Quimby and her same intent. Though Dorion's characters and scenario are fictional, it is also spot on in many ways to what is occurring in Maine.

In this fourth book we finally see Mike begin to mature and try to control his reckless self destructive tendencies. Mike was easier to relate to and root for in this book than the previous three. I guess in the end Mike felt more believable as a character and warden.

I would recommend this series to those readers out there who like to think...many mystery writers fail to write a truly thought provoking novel. Doiron's plot line isn't easily predictable and genuinely kept me reading needing to know what was going to happen next trying to solve this mystery with Mike.

The only point I would make about Doiron's portrayal of the warden service is they are not destitute. The average warden doesn't live in a ramshackle trailer or broken down camp. They make a respectable living as is deserved for the job they perform.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tom on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i have read all of paul doiron's book to date and he keeps getting better and better . . . massacre pond is no exception . . . well-developed [interesting] characters who you can identify with and care about . . . the action never lets up with a very good story line . . . plan on staying up into the wee hours reading this one . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Temple on September 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Massacre Pond started a bit slowly for me. This is my first Doiron/Mike Bowditch book, and I found the characters the most interesting part of the novel. The conclusion and revelations seemed rushed and rather flimsy - not the best detective fiction I've read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B.H. on September 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of the books in this series and I've really enjoyed them. A bit predictable, but otherwise interesting and well written, and definitely hard to put down. My only complaint about this one is the foul language. I can handle a few f-bombs here & there, but I found some of the choice words extremely distasteful and unnecessary. Really hoping Mr. Doiron cleans it up a bit for his next novel, which I am otherwise looking forward to!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Hopkins VINE VOICE on March 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The fourth novel by Paul Doiron to feature Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is titled, Massacre Pond. Readers who enjoy crime fiction will find two successful elements in this novel and this series: an interesting protagonist with a balance of strengths and weaknesses, and a plot that keeps a reader’s interest to the end. Doiron uses the backdrop of conflict between a wealthy philanthropist who wants to preserve land for the public good and the individuals who earn their livelihood from the same land. Bowditch faces many challenges in this novel as he tries to do his job. This series will appeal in a special way to those who love the wild outdoors, especially the beauty of Maine.

Rating: Four-star (I like it)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Davies on December 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I live in Maine, and appreciated Doiron's descriptions of the setting. I found the plot competent but weak and the characters--particularly the young women--unconvincing. The best-drawn characters are the minor ones (all men), who are reasonably believable oddballs.

Mike Bowditch, a game warden in northern Maine, gets sidelined from investigating the deaths of multiple moose almost as soon as he's drawn into it, and must do his best from the sidelines. He has a strong sense of duty and is a kind man. There are some sort-of love interests--young and attractive women with superficially described personalities who do essentially nothing. Well, one does wind up endangered, with Mike hoping to rescue her. Another is strong (that's about it for her). A third is alluring but distant, and becomes tacitly available for future romance by the end. The middle-aged female character is the most complex and interesting, but the issues that ought to have driven the book (the way major issues drive and inform Sara Paretsky novels, for instance) are mostly evaded.

Out of the blue perhaps 2/3 through the book, a major problem arises concerning his mother, which gives him reason to think about their relationship. OK. Perhaps I would care more if I'd read the previous novels, but all I really know about Mike is that he used to be rowdy and is now trying to come across as stable, and that he wishes he had not grown distant from his mother. Her new need for him is a plot device, plain and simple, yet it accomplishes nothing.

The title of the book comes from the name of a pond that's mentioned in one of the tacked-on scenes with his mother. It has nothing to do with the book's plot, except that moose were massacred up north.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Willis on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
realistic of maine. great imagery and keeps you there. a well developed engaging read. like being in a tough existence in a state that really has a much softer kinder side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Connie R. on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Having read both of Doiron's previous Bowditch stories, I wasn't sure where he would take Mike and what lows Mike would sink into this time. But as I started the book with a wince imagining what could happen, I found that Mike has matured somewhat in this book. I enjoy Doiron's writing style, not so bogged in detail that you miss the important points or the subtle cues. I found it very entertaining, and also refreshing to note that Mike wasn't the one making all the immature mistakes this time. It's interesting the trouble people can make for themselves by assuming the worst is going to happen to them. I also enjoyed the fact that Doiron kept Mike honest and true to his nature.

I'm looking forward to the fourth!
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