Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review of "The Bone Orchard" by Paul Doiron




Sergeant Kathy Frost and her partner, Maine game wardens, are forced to shoot a badly disfigured Gulf War veteran, Jimmy Gammon, in self-defense ("suicide by cop"). However, Jimmy's family and friends, as well as other veterans are infuriated and a few days later Kathy is shot and badly wounded.

It so happens that Mike Bowditch - an ex-game warden who was visiting his former mentor Kathy - was on the spot at the time, and was also injured. Mike, who quit being a warden because of friction with a commanding officer, feels compelled to look into the case. It's not so easy because Mike has no badge and no authority.

Mike - who is now a hunting/fishing guide - has a lot of time on his hands which he uses to hang out, visit people, and talk talk talk a lot. To me it seemed like many scenes were extraneous to the story and slowed down the action too much.

There are a lot of characters in the story, including Jimmy's distraught parents and friends, Kathy's alcoholic trouble-making brother, Mike's ex-girlfriends, various game wardens, clerks and waitresses, and so on - which leads to an abundance of suspects. Mike keeps on and solves the case, but the solution seems a bit out of left field and isn't quite satisfying.

This was the first book I've read in the series and I think perhaps previous ones were better. This one was just too meandering. It detracted from my enjoyment of the book.

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