Monday, June 26, 2023

Dead Man's Wake by Paul Doiron Book Review

About the Book:

On the evening of their engagement party, Maine Game Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch and Stacey Stevens witness what seems to be a hit-and-run speedboat crash on a darkened lake. When they arrive at the scene, their spotlight reveals a gruesome sight: a severed arm floating just beneath the surface. As day breaks, the warden dive team recovers not one but two naked corpses: a dismembered man and the married woman with whom he was having an affair. Mike begins to suspect the swimmers' deaths were not a senseless accident but a coldly calculated murder.

Meanwhile, the hunt is on for the mysterious boater. Suspects abound on the lake, nicknamed "Golden Pond,” including the violent biker husband of the murdered woman who may have taken vengeance on his wife and her paramour; a strange woman who claims to have witnessed the crash, but then changes her story; a very aggressive realtor and his wife who were determined to catch trespassers; and the lake’s earnest young constable whose eagerness to help may hide darker motives.

Alone among his fellow officers, Mike starts to sense the involvement of a trained marksman, smarter and more dangerous than any enemy he has ever faced before. As Mike and Stacey get closer to identifying the killer, their own lives are suddenly on the line as they confront a lethal killer who plans to silence them forever. The finale is a tour de force of drama and suspense.

My Review:

I enjoyed this mystery set on a pond in Maine. The hero is a Game Warden Investigator, a pleasant change in the law enforcement genre. The unique setting is well described by Doiron. The plot is well crafted with mystery upon mystery. Things are not as they seem and people are not always telling the truth. There are plenty of twists and turns as additional information is revealed. The characters are done well. My favorite was Charley, retired but sharp and insightful when it comes to seeing details. The novel contains a good balance of investigation and the characters' personal lives.

This book is down the line in a long series. It took a while for me to get settled in with the characters, not having read the previous books in the series. That did not detract too much from the mystery, however. This is a good mystery for readers who like an aggressive investigator and a more remote setting.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

A native of Maine, bestselling author PAUL DOIRON attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English. 
The Poacher’s Son, the first book in the Mike Bowditch series, won the Barry award, the Strand award for best first novel, and has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity awards in the same category. He is a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine with his wife, Kristen Lindquist. Photo credit: Kristen Lindquist

Minotaur Books, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

No comments: