St. Martin's Minotaur 2013

United Kingdom: Constable & Robinson

Large Print: Center Point


August 2013 Indie Next List pick

2014 Maine Literary Award finalist

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Other Books by Paul Doiron

Massacre Pond

Author: Paul Doiron

Edgar finalist Paul Doiron's superb new novel featuring Game Warden Mike Bowditch and a beautiful, enigmatic woman whose mission to save the Maine wilderness may have incited a murder.

On an unseasonably hot October morning, Bowditch is called to the scene of a bizarre crime: the corpses of seven moose have been found senselessly butchered on the estate of Elizabeth Morse, a wealthy animal rights activist who is buying up huge parcels of timberland to create a new national park.

What at first seems like mindless slaughter—retribution by locals for the job losses Morse's plan is already causing in the region—becomes far more sinister when a shocking murder is discovered and Mike's investigation becomes a hunt to find a ruthless killer. In order to solve the controversial case, Bowditch risks losing everything he holds dear: his best friends, his career as a law enforcement officer, and the love of his life.

The beauty and magnificence of the Maine woods is the setting for a story of suspense and violence when one powerful woman’s missionary zeal comes face to face with ruthless cruelty.

Massacre Pond (Mike Bowditch, #4)

Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review):

The best yet in the series. An unusual lead investigator, thoughtful plotting, and lyrical prose add up to a winner.

Booklist (starred review):

This series follows Bowditch from the start of his warden career, and his evolution creates a constantly fresh perspective paired with solid procedural details and an outdoors education, to boot. 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.

The New York Times Book Review:

Nobody knows the woods of Maine like the rugged individuals who eke out a living by hunting, fishing and cutting timber. And nobody knows the region's inhabitants like Mike Bowditch, the young game warden in Paul Doiron's manly mysteries set in this "desolate outland where game wardens were hated and oxycodone abuse was epidemic." Massacre Pond presents Bowditch with "the worst wildlife crime in Maine history" when 10 moose are slaughtered on the property of a philanthropist who intends to turn her 100,000 acres of prime land into a national park. The locals making a living from this ancient forest are no picturesque yokels: along with the serious woodsmen there are poachers, gun-traffickers and even the occasional pedophile — none of them inclined to yield their ground gracefully. Doiron makes shrewd use of the moose murders to address a larger issue: the standoff between avid environmentalists and the residents of an economically depressed region faced with losing their livelihood.

The Associated Press:

Doiron fashions a tense and clever mystery peopled by characters you could well meet by wandering into the wrong Down East bar. As usual, he peppers his superbly well-written yarn with evocative descriptions of the state he and Bowditch call home.

Library Journal:

Readers following outdoor procedurals will snap up Maine game warden Mike Bowditch’s fourth riveting case, which involves an animal activist whose ideals threaten her family's safety and open the door to unexpected violence.

Bangor Daily News:


Doiron has quickly become one of the state’s top literary properties. And in Massacre Pond  he raises the bar once again.

Toronto Star:

The new book is Doiron's fourth in his meticulously observed and gracefully written Bowditch series. Massacre Pond's difference from the earlier books is a matter of degree. It packs more power in describing the tensions between Maine's environmentalists and its ordinary residents who pillage the landscape in order to feed their families.

Doiron is so persuasive in explaining the mindsets of Maine's rugged individualists of all inclinations that even city slickers among his readers can’t help feeling dragged into a conflict that could save or doom the state's natural character.

Criminal Element:

Massacre Pond is a damn good mystery – full of twists, turns, and clever red herrings. The prose is fantastic, too, with portions of the book reading like a love letter to the Maine woods.

Do yourself a favor and order a copy of Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron; it's not only a thrilling read, but a nuanced one, as well, and as a native of this state, I can assure you – it's about as close as you can get to the Maine wilderness without leaving your couch.

Mystery Scene:

Like Nevada Barr writing about Anne Pigeon, or C. J. Box writing about Joe Pickett, Doiron does a wonderful job of detailing the daunting combination of personal, professional, and political challenges faced by those who work to preserve and protect the nation’s natural resources. Bowditch is an extremely relatable protagonist, whose reactions to the trials and tribulations his creator throws at him are entirely believable. Doiron has also created a fascinating personal life for his hero—readers can see him changing as the series progresses, affected both by his human relationships and his experiences on the job. Besides focusing on his human cast, Doiron, the editor in chief of Down East magazine and a registered Maine guide, also takes great pains to bring Bowditch’s home state of Maine to vivid life.

Linda Castillo, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Missing:

Paul Doiron has become one of my favorite authors, and he simply gets better with every book he writes. From the beautiful prose to the stunning descriptions of the book's rugged and wild Maine locale, Massacre Pond is a work of literary art. I knew from the sparkling first chapter that I wouldn't be able to put this book down until I was finished. Chock full of fascinating characters, and a mystery that will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can, Massacre Pond is a superb read. Massacre Pond is the kind of book you'll want to read twice, first because you're compelled to know what will happen next, and again to savor every exquisite word.

John Connolly, author of The Wrath of Angels:

Few writers can combine a poet's appreciation of nature with the tension and twists of a great thriller, but Paul Doiron does it with ease. Massacre Pond had me gripped from beginning to end.

Bill Roorbach, author of Life of Giants:

Massacre Pond is a beautiful mystery you couldn't place just anywhere—it's a Maine book through and through, from the mass murder of moose to the heroic lives of the men and women of the Warden Service, those guardians and guides and sometime detectives of the great north woods. Doiron's ingenious and affecting plot—it's not only moose that are in danger—is grafted onto the battles of a real Maine, but it's an American book through and through. The search for answers leads a conflicted Warden Bowditch into the path of national politics, backwoods hustlers, guns never meant for hunting, and, sadly, this close to love. Massacre Pond is a fast and furious read that delivers deeply and left me hollering for more!