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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library copy. Hardcover with dust jacket in clear film protector. Text pages are clean.
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Massacre Pond: A Novel (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) Hardcover – July 16, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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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; First 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 (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If ever there was a Maine author to write mysteries set in Maine with authority it's Paul Doiron. The former editor in chief of "DOWNEAST, the Magazine of Maine," Doiron has an excellent understanding of Maine's history, socio-economic structure, political climate, and current struggles.

Doiron takes an unsolved mystery about the massacre of several moose north of the town of Rangely in 1999 and uses it as a base for the plot of "Massacre Pond," the fourth in the Mike Bowditch series. But he also touches on several of Maine's contemporary problems, particularly the dying fishing and wood product industries, and Mainers' increasing economic dependence on tourism. Throw in some of Maine's environmental concerns, such as the protecting of wilderness lands versus carefully (or not) controlling northern Maine's potential for building vacation homes and he has created an absolutely convincing description of some of the problems we Mainers are currently grappling with.

In "Massacre Pond," Mike Bowditch, is now in his third year as game warden after being reassigned from the relatively cushy mid-Maine, where the first two Bowditch books are set, to what is truly the most rural and coldest part of Maine, the area north and east of Moosehead Lake. The action in Book 3 takes place during a very cold and snowy Maine winter. Now in Book 4, Massacre Pond, it is an unnaturally warm October and Mike is still at the same post, when he is asked to investigate the senseless shooting of a bull moose out of season. The discovery is made by Billy Cronk, who readers meet in Book 3. Billy is a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, but beneath his forbidding-looking physique there is a soft hearted man with a wife and four children to support.
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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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