Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review of "The Bone Orchard" by Paul Doiron

In this 5th addition to the 'Mike Bowditch' series, the hunting/fishing guide investigates the shooting of his former mentor. The book can be read as a standalone.


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 by the incident.....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 investigating and solves the case, but the solution seems a bit out of left field and isn't quite satisfying.

The setting is interesting, but the story is too meandering and slow for my taste.

Rating: 2 stars

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