Hatchet Island

Author: Paul Doiron

After Mike Bowditch receives a cry for help from a research station on a Maine seabird island, he and his girlfriend, biologist Stacey Stevens, find the researchers in terror.

The defenseless crew of four is being threatened by local fishermen, stalked by a mysterious boatman who seems intent on trespassing on the refuge, and afflicted with a leader—the project’s charismatic founder, Maeve McLeary—whose mind is slowly unraveling after the unexplained suicide of a young intern.

When tragedy strikes in the night, Mike and Stacey find themselves pulled back to the puffin island, thrust into a double homicide investigation, and a desperate search for a missing researcher who may or may not be the murderer.

Evidence also points to the inhabitants of two nearby islands, Ayers and Hatchet, both of which are owned by infamous photographer Clay Markham and his controlling wife Alyce.

Mike suspects that one of these islanders is secretly a killer, but can he and Stacey discover the truth before they themselves become the next targets?

Hatchet Island (Mike Bowditch #13)

Publishers Weekly (starred review):

Exceptional...The author is especially good at conveying the island’s creepy atmosphere, and the taut plot features numerous shocking twists while further developing an already complex lead. Doiron is writing at the top of his game.

Booklist (starred review):

Following Dead by Dawn (2021), Doiron again delivers what we’ve come to expect from this series: brilliant characterizations, relentless action and suspense, and an intricately plotted narrative. The perfect vacation read.

Portland Press Herald:

"From one book to the next in the series, Doiron expands his grasp of the craft. What distinguishes the 13th is Doiron’s willingness to attend to the lengthy setup, the depth of the characters’ psychological entanglement and the darkness that fuels the story. The mystery is testament to the danger of passions and the heinous perversions and the betrayal they can breed."

Reviewing the Evidence:

Doiron does a wonderful job of evoking the sights, sounds, and feelings of the ocean setting. Whether it's on top of the water or under it, the dangers it holds feel very real to the reader. And Doiron's descriptions of the birds at the sanctuary are as menacingly evocative as any of his previous writing about Maine's forest and its dangerous predators.... HATCHET ISLAND could easily be a standalone, but having developed a relationship with Mike (and Stacey to some extent) over the previous dozen books of the series definitely added to my appreciation.

Associated Press:

As always, however, Doiron’s prose is fist rate, his descriptions of the coastal islands and wildlife as vivid and vibrant as his past portrayals of the deep woods and wild rivers where most of the previous novels were set.