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The Poacher's Son: A Mike Bowditch Mystery

4.0 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 2 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 May 2010
  • Language: English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first book in a series about a Maine Game Warden. He is just 24 years old and just starting his career in the forests of Maine. The Story is about his father being accused of killing two people and his son trying to cope with that. Paul Doiron, the author, is from Maine and the way he describes the area in the book is just about perfect. You get a real feeling for the territory and the people living there.

The Story is a little slow to begin with but it is so well written that you just want to read on to see what is happening. This is not a CIS type of mystery and there are no serial killers but Mr Doiron manages to make the story interesting from both a human as well as a criminal viewpoint. The End is a real explosion of events and it contains a number of surprises. This is a very good start of a new series. I have already bought the other two books he has written and will continue to follow the events of Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch in the future.
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Format: Paperback
Mike Bowditch is a game warden in Maine. His parents split up when he was nine and he has had only sporadic contact with his maverick father over the years. Late one night a message is left on his answerphone from his father, Jack. The next morning he hears that two men have been shot and killed in northern Maine (one of whom is a warden) and that a manhunt is on for his father who is the prime suspect. While Mike's colleagues have no doubt about Jack's guilt, Mike finds it impossible to believe that his father could be a murderer. It seems that the only way to clear his father's name is to investigate the murders himself, even if it means throwing his career away.

What makes this book stand out are two things: the rounded and believable characters and the way that the Maine wilderness is so vividly depicted. It's a pleasure to read. The central mystery unfolds slowly but stays intriguing throughout. At one stage I thought it was going to unfold in a predictable fashion but I can honestly say I was completely wrong in my guess about how it was going to come together. I understand that this is the first in a series about Mike Bowditch and I plan to read the others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As others have said, the Mike Bowditch series by Paul Doiron, of which the fifth appreared in summer 2015, is outstanding, and this is the one where it all starts.

If you're a fan of CJ Box and his hero Joe Pickett, you're bound to draw comparisons. Both Joe and Mike are game wardens, and both are men of integrity, with an inclination to speak out when they should remain silent. But Mike Bowditch is still young (he starts out at only 24), and unlike Joe, tends to be somewhat impulsive - often to his own detriment, whether in his love life or in his relations with his superiors. Basically he's a flawed and slightly tortured soul, and as the series progresses, Doiron does a marvellous job of charting his growing awareness of his weaknesses and his attempts to keep them in check. However, here in the opener, the focus is very much on his readiness to take risks for what he believes is a worthy cause (championing his wild and errant father when he is accused of murder).

For a first novel, this is remarkable for its assured writing and its vivid characters and settings. Maine is portrayed as a place of grandeur but also of bleakness, with more than its share of poverty. One suspects that Doiron has a deep fondness for it, but he doesn't let that compromise the 'warts and all' picture he paints. As the story builds up from its measured start to a dramatic conclusion, he manages to avoid too much of a sense of melodrama through the vigorous and resonant way he tells it. By the end, he leaves you wanting more, and it was a relief to me to know that there were four more novels to look forward to.

I duly read them all, and they didn't disappoint. Already, I would say Doiron has gone a long way towards justifying a place among the legends of series novel-writers of this kind.
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By Raven TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Another crime thriller that paves the way for the arrival of a potentially great series featuring the character of Mike Bowditch, a young Maine game warden, thrust into an investigation where the chief suspect is his estranged father. With, at times, lyrical prose and a sense of location that eloquently portrays the natural beauty of backwoods Maine, this novel held my attention throughout and here's why...

What this book most movingly conveys is a young man's struggle, at the beginning of what could be a promising career, to balance the demands of his profession with the demands of family loyalty. Despite his dysfunctional upbringing at the hands of his entirely irresponsible father, the nagging sense of duty Mike experiences to defend his father's name when implicated in a senseless murder, leads him into an emotional case that could be the undoing of his own career. Mike experiences a maelstrom of emotions that cause him to act very much out of character, but highlight his single minded determination to not only solve the case but attempt to lay to reast the ghosts of his past life. As Mike disobeys the edicts of his superiors to track down his father on the run through the wild terrain, he takes an uncomfortable journey back to the source of his uneasy relationship with his father to determine his father's guilt or innocence, with other formerly peripheral figures from his formative years, having their own part to play in his search for the truth. The characterisation is perfectly weighted throughout the book, not only in the central charaters of Mike and his father, but by those who seek to help or hinder this troubled young man in his emotionally difficult case. There are two particularly well-realised female characters in the novel.
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