Bad Little Falls

Author: Paul Doiron

Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile, transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is called to the rustic cabin of a terrified couple. A raving and half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm. But what starts as a rescue mission in the wilderness soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was his own friend who killed him. Bowditch isn’t so sure, but his vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman with a dark past and a troubled young son. The boy seems to know something about what really happened in the blizzard, but he is keeping his secrets locked in a cryptic notebook, and Mike fears for the safety of the strange child. Meanwhile, an anonymous tormentor has decided to make the new warden's life a living hell. Alone and outgunned, Bowditch turns for assistance to his old friend, the legendary bush pilot Charley Stevens. But in this snowbound landscape — where smugglers wage blood feuds by night — help seems very far away indeed. If Bowditch is going to catch a killer, he must survive on his own wits and discover strength he never knew he possessed.

Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch, #3)

Publishers Weekly (starred review):

The excellent third novel from Edgar-finalist Dorion featuring game warden Mike Bowditch finds Bowditch in Maine's equivalent of Siberia, depressed Washington County, to which he was transferred after he became an embarrassment to the powers-that-be by shooting a murderer in self-defense. Bowditch's strict approach to enforcing licensing regulations soon earns him the enmity of some locals, one of whom affixes a coyote’s pelt to his door as a warning. One winter night, while driving home through a blizzard, the warden receives a call from the man at whose house he just had dinner, veterinarian Doc Larrabee, who needs his help with a person suffering from a severe case of frostbite. Larrabee reports that the victim of the cold, who appeared at a neighbor's house, managed to communicate, despite his grave condition, that he had a companion. The search for that missing companion involves Bowditch in 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. 


Associated Press:

The plot is riveting, but as always in a Paul Doiron novel, the greatest attraction is the stark beauty of the language and the vivid portrayal of his native Maine. He describes drug-riddled, poverty-stricken Down East -- a region of fast-moving streams, frozen lakes, ice-fishing shacks and forbidding bogs -- so precisely that you'll feel the below-freezing temperatures in your bones.


Kirkus Reviews:

A high-stakes, high-tension yarn in which you keep wishing everything would turn out fine for the deeply flawed, deeply sympathetic hero even though you know it won't.


RT Book Reviews (Top Pick):

Doiron once again makes excellent use of Maine's unforgiving weather to set the stage for a compelling mystery, while underscoring his complicated hero's troubled character. Elegant prose perfectly captures the feel of the location, and the diverse, realistic cast of characters enriches the narrative. Readers will shiver -- both from the cold and in anticipation of the rather shocking conclusion.


Shelf Awareness:

Filled with frigid winter scenes, dark deeds and tightly constructed character dynamics, Bad Little Falls sees Mike struggling to choose between desire and his better judgment in a labyrinth of dark small-town secrets. The ease with which readers will relate to this headstrong sleuth may prove an even bigger draw than the high stakes of the plot.


Kennebec Journal:

Following The Poacher's Son and Trespasser, this mystery is even better than the first two, which says a lot about Doiron's exceptional ability to hold readers' interest with compelling plots and enduring characters.
Best, however, is Doiron's keen talent for creating a palpable atmosphere, capturing the Maine winter in all its bitter-cold and snow-covered landscape, as well as the poverty, violence and despair of a Maine county too easily ignored.


Bangor Daily News' Out There blog:

Before you read this short book review, you ought to realize one thing: I am a huge Paul Doiron fan.

With that said, if you choose to dismiss what will be a glowing recommendation for his latest novel, Bad Little Falls, it will be your loss. When the book hits stores on Aug. 7, do yourself a favor: Be in line to scoop up a copy of your own.

Doiron doesn't really need my praise here. He gets enough of that when his books are nominated for Anthony and Edgar awards (which they have been).

His previous novels, The Poacher's Son and Trespasser, have been best-sellers.

I'm certain that Little Bad Falls will follow suit.

So what are you doing Aug. 7?

I think a trip to your local bookstore might be in order.


Maine Sportsman:

I liked his first novel, The Poacher's Son. I really liked his second novel, Trespasser. And I loved his third about-to-be-published by Minotaur Bad Little Falls. 

After reading Chapter One of Bad Little Falls, readers will not be able to set this one aside. 


Maine Sunday Telegram:

Superbly crafted intrigue...will keep you guessing to the perilous end.


Nevada Barr:

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.