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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trespasser by Paul Doiran (Mike Boditch #2)

Trespasser (Mike Bowditch, #2)Trespasser by Paul Doiron

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: In Paul Doiron’s riveting follow-up to his Edgar Award–nominated novel, The Poacher's Son, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch’s quest to find a missing woman leads him through a forest of lies in search of a killer who may have gotten away with murder once before.

    While on patrol one foggy March evening, Bowditch receives a call for help. A woman has reportedly struck a deer on a lonely coast road. When the game warden arrives on the scene, he finds blood in the road—but both the driver and the deer have vanished. And the state trooper assigned to the accident appears strangely unconcerned.

    The details of the disappearance seem eerily familiar. Seven years earlier, a jury convicted lobsterman Erland Jefferts of the rape and murder of a wealthy college student and sentenced him to life in prison. For all but his most fanatical defenders, justice was served. But when the missing woman is found brutalized in a manner that suggests Jefferts may have been framed, Bowditch receives an ominous warning from state prosecutors to stop asking questions.

    For Bowditch, whose own life was recently shattered by a horrific act of violence, doing nothing is not an option. His clandestine investigation reopens old wounds between Maine locals and rich summer residents and puts both his own life and that of the woman he loves in jeopardy. As he closes in on his quarry, he suddenly discovers how dangerous his opponents are, and how far they will go to prevent him from bringing a killer to justice.

Read as an audio book.

Narrator changed from book one to book two. I'm never thrilled when that happens, but I think the narrator for book two was more character appropriate.

Premise of the book is, Mike is called to the scene of an deer/car collision at the end of his shift. He's tired and cranky from dealing with a local and several ATV trespassers who cut down some of his trees. Mike finds a crunched car on a very deserted stretch of road, a missing deer, and the owner of the vehicle absent. When the state trooper arrives, Mike expresses his concern about the absent woman and is told to mind his own business and go home. Mike does, where his girlfriend Sarah lays into him for being late again. Mike can't shake the feeling that something's amiss, and when his friend Charlie arrives for dinner, the two head out to look into matters further. Mike finds the missing woman - brutally murdered and defaced. From there it's a matter of asking the right questions until everything cracks open.

I enjoyed this second book. I thought Bowdich's insistence in following up on the missing woman a nice character reveal - Mike cares about people. As was his tenacity to keep asking questions in his, albeit limited capacity as a game warden.

However, I did have a few issues with a handful of items:

Sarah (spelling?); the girl should get a clue that Mike does NOT have a 8-4 job, that he's going to be late and his schedule is going to be erratic. I do not like Sarah. I find her whiny, condescending attitude inappropriate for a girlfriend of a young guy who's just starting out in a career of his dreams. Unless that's what the author is going for and she will eventually just go away? I can only hope. Sarah's my biggest detraction in this series so far.

I don't think how Mike handled the ATV trespassers was very professional and I think it would have been prurient to have called in for some help and advise. Granted, it did add some drama! to the whole situation, but, seriously...taking on two individuals on ATV's in the dark solo, in an ice storm, was something I'd expect to see in a cozy mystery. Stupid, just stupid. And if sliding and rolling an ATV into a tree broke it? Yeah...not a very well built ATV.

Why didn't Mike hand over the box of Jefferts "evidence" to the authorities when it was given to him? He was convinced the guy was a bad egg, he repeated said he didn't believe anything they said about him, Mike was admonished not to have contact - so just hand over the box already.

Ultimately, as I noted above, I did enjoy this book. The pacing was perfect, the little twists and turns the plot took kept me engaged, and the ending was nicely written. I'll be looking for book three in the series.

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