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Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch, 3) by Paul…
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Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch, 3) (edition 2012)

by Paul Doiron, Henry Leyva (Narrator)

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876138,736 (3.56)3
Member:swsol
Title:Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch, 3)
Authors:Paul Doiron
Other authors:Henry Leyva (Narrator)
Info:MacMillan Audio (2012), Preloaded Digital Audio Player
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Maine, detective, Mike Bowditch, fish and game warden

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Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron

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I finished this novel sitting at home, warm and cozy with a cup of coffee -- a great way to listen to a book about a blizzard. Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron is the story of Maine game warden Mike Bowditch. He's been sent into exile, Down East, a remote outpost on the Canadian border. He's lonely, frustrated, and not making friends. Game wardens aren't popular with the hunters in the area, making it a very tough assignment.

Having dinner with the local veterinarian (what passes for his social life, these days), Bowditch is called to the cabin of a local couple. In a raging blizzard, a half-frozen man has appeared at their door, raving about another person, lost in the swirling snow. After a long, cold search they find the body -- but it's not the storm that did him in.

All in all, this is a good mystery. There are some holes and there are more than a few loose ends at the end. I like that about the story; nothing seems more fake than a tidy confession that wraps everything up in a bow. I found plenty of local color and enough talk of snow and ice to send me to the kitchen for a hot toddy. The mystery unfolds in fits and starts, as you'd expect. There's danger, a little bad romance, and bad things happen to some dogs -- and people.

My favorite character is Lucas, an odd little 12-year-old boy with coke-bottle glasses and the sort of bent outlook on life you'd expect, growing up in a family twisted by addiction and tragedy. His notebooks provide insight into the story and Bowditch's affection for the boy puts them both in terrible danger.

The audio portion is excellent. The accents are wicked good and it's easy enough to tell the characters apart. No distracting music and sound effects, just a good story, a competent reader (Henry Leyva) with voices and accents that fit the characters.

The problem with the book, for me, is Bowditch. What an idiot! He is constantly making the wrong choice, jumping to the wrong conclusion, and driving headfirst into brick walls. To begin with, I don't have a lot of respect for guys who can't keep it in their pants, and Bowditch knows he's making a bad decision! Every step of the way, he tells himself it's a bad idea and he does it anyway. The fact that things turn out okay in the end makes no difference. If he's this thick in every book, I wouldn't keep reading. Of course, that means I'll need to check out a few more, just to be sure. The series includes The Poacher's Son and Trespasser ( )
  LisaLynne | Feb 5, 2013 |
Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series is a well-researched and rousing set of tales about the Maine warden service. This is the third in the series, and we've now been treated to a view of the Maine woods and wild-life (human and animal) in summer, in autumn hunting season, and now in the dead of winter. We've been to different parts of the state, and met many different characters. And Mike Bowditch still doesn't seem to be able to get control of his temper, his impulsiveness, his rebellion and his propensity for doing exactly what he shouldn't be doing.

The story starts as Mike tries to find a missing man in a snowstorm. He's been sent to the northern wilds of Maine because he's really ticked off his superiors. Supposedly this assignment will give him a chance for redemption.The snow scenes in this one are awesome. The tale is well laid out, and the reader has several different red herrings to knock down before figuring out exactly what the mystery is, who the real bad guys are and then who dunnit.

Doiron gives us raw footage, real life, and an anti-hero who is beginning to wear a little thin, at least for this reader. I really almost abandoned this one in the middle when Mike kept making really stupid choices. But I wanted to see how he would handle having his entire life sprayed by a skunk, so I muddled through, and ended up able to label it an enjoyable read. IMHO, it's not pulitzer material, but it certainly has more action, more twists, and more scenery than many of today's mysteries. The sense of place is undoubtedly one of the best features and readers will come away with a good sense of how hard life is in rural Maine in the winter. ( )
1 vote tututhefirst | Nov 30, 2012 |
Bad Little Falls is the third book in Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series, but a first read of this author for me.

Bowditch is a game warden. He's been sent to a remote outpost in Maine by his superiors for past transgressions. And it's mighty cold in Maine in the winter. One of his first call outs is for a man missing in a snowstorm. His friend made it to the house of a local couple, but the other man is still out there. When that man is found dead by means other than the weather, it becomes a murder investigation. And the dead man - he's a known drug dealer.

The weather is cold and so is the welcome from the locals for Mike. Someone nails a dead coyote skin to his door and his superior officer makes light of it. He seems to be butting heads with nearly everyone in town - a renowned wilderness expert, the local sheriff, local trappers and more. The one person who doesn't seem to hate him is Jamie Sewall - MacDonald's employee of the month, a single mom to a strange little boy and a woman with lots of ties to the murder investigation.

Doiron has written an entertaining if not overly involved mystery. There are lots of red herrings and possible suspects. I did find myself wondering at a game warden's seeming over involvement in a murder investigation. I enjoyed the actual references to game warden activity (the frozen zebra was a great story), but there weren't that many. I follow another series featuring a game warden who is a little older, a little more established and a little wiser. I found Bowditch's decision to become romantically involved with Jamie Sewell somewhat rash, hurried and unbelievable. And one sided as well - we never really hear from Jamie herself. He's been exiled to Maine by his superiors because of his impulsiveness and bad judgement, but it really doesn't seem to have sunk in, although he mentions needing to change several times.

Doiron is a native of Maine and his descriptions of the land and the locale have that extra ring of authenticity.

I chose to listen to Bad Little Falls. Henry Leyva was the reader. He's got a well modulated voice that is easily understood. His voices for the characters were well done and easy to differentiate. The voices that required accents - many Maine characters and his French Canadian boss - were believable. The voice of the young boy reading his journal was definitely creepy. Mike is a younger character and the voice for Mike seemed to fit the mental image I'd come up with.

The jury's still out for me on this character. Doiron received numerous awards and nominations for the first two books in this series. I think I would have a better appreciation for this character if I had read those The Poacher's Son and Trespasser first. The ending was a bit unsatisfying, but there are two future books planned for Mike. But, I'd try this author again to see where Mike goes from here. ( )
  Twink | Oct 19, 2012 |
Returning for a third story, game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent to what seems to be the Siberia of Maine. In Maine-speak, it's called Down East, but I don't think it's actually east. Poachers, drug dealers, speeding snowmobilers and organized hunts make Machias and Township 19 full of everyday, big city problems. A frozen corpse has the game warden once again trying to assist the police in a homicide case. Doiron does such a great job of depicting these small townspeople without making complete caricatures of them. Bowditch gets plenty of grief for sticking his nose into things that aren't his business, which is really business as usual for him. I wish we'd seen a bit more of Charley and Ora, but the end definitely left things open for another Bowditch book. ( )
  ethel55 | Sep 14, 2012 |
I chose “Bad Little Falls” by Paul Doiron in an effort to get cool. Sometime it gets up to 108 here in Texas. not so in Maine.

Maine Game Warden, Mike Bowdich, lives and works in the Washington County Maine, a county where unemployment, drugs and crime run rampant. There is a blizzard too. On the plus side Washington County is the wild blueberry capital of the world. When he interviewed someone who had been living out in the country, he asked them, “How long they had been living there?” “Too long” was the answer.

I had never read a Mike Bowdich mystery before. At first I was a little disappointed by the rough language and by Mike Bowdich himself. Mike had been sent to this remote area because of his previous lack of judgment in his job. He retained that lack and could not curb his impulsiveness in this story. I just got used to it. But what redeemed him was his crazy sense of humor and encyclopedic knowledge of the oddest and often useful things and his boundless empathy for others. He really grew on me. Another great feature of this story is that although it got extremely complex, it still was easy to follow.

The story opens with a frozen zebra. That’s right a zebra in Maine. Mike was after a game farm that sold the chance of shooting zebras and other exotic wildlife. When he paid his visit to the game farm, all sorts of mayhem broke out including murder and uncovering of a smuggling ring, and a romance.
Machias, Maine which translates into Bad Little Falls has one restaurant, a McDonalds so a lot of the talking occurs there. Also, it is used as the local senior center. Washington was just as much a character in this mystery as the others.

Now that I know more about Mike, I like him very much, he had a sorrowful childhood, and his judgment mistakes are his, not mine. Now you know what makes this mystery so special, Washington County, Maine and Game Warden Mike Bowdich, I hope that you will want to listen.

I highly recommend this audio book. The reader was Henry Leya and he was perfect for this story.

. ( )
  Carolee888 | Aug 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312558481, Hardcover)

Anthony- and Edgar-award nominated author Paul Doiron delivers another “masterpiece of high-octane narrative” (Booklist) with his newest harrowing thriller about the hunt for a murderer at the height of a major snowstorm

 
 
Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has been sent into exile,
transferred by his superiors to a remote outpost on the Canadian
border. When a blizzard descends on the coast, Bowditch is
called to the rustic cabin of a terrified couple. A raving and halffrozen
man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost
in the storm. But what starts as a rescue mission in the wilderness
soon becomes a baffling murder investigation. The dead man is a
notorious drug dealer, and state police detectives suspect it was
his own friend who killed him. Bowditch isn’t so sure, but his
vow not to interfere in the case is tested when he finds himself
powerfully attracted to a beautiful woman with a dark past and
a troubled young son. The boy seems to know something about
what really happened in the blizzard, but he is keeping his secrets
locked in a cryptic notebook, and Mike fears for the safety of the
strange child. Meanwhile, an anonymous tormentor has decided
to make the new warden’s life a living hell. Alone and outgunned,
Bowditch turns for assistance to his old friend, the legendary
bush pilot Charley Stevens. But in this snowbound landscape—
where smugglers wage blood feuds by night—help seems very
far away indeed. If Bowditch is going to catch a killer, he must
survive on his own wits and discover strength he never knew he
possessed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:52 -0400)

Summoned to a rustic cabin during a blizzard, Maine game warden Mike Bowdich embarks on a dangerous investigation involving a notorious drug dealer, a beautiful woman with a dark past, and her troubled young son.

(summary from another edition)

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