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The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch Mysteries)…
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The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) (edition 2010)

by Paul Doiron

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3846328,030 (3.68)62
Member:merrymac51
Title:The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch Mysteries)
Authors:Paul Doiron
Info:Minotaur Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
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The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron

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This book is the first in a series about Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch. I saw a reference to the latest book in the series on some internet site and thought it sounded interesting but since I don’t like to read mystery series out of order I thought I would check out the first book. Now that I have done so I have another series to add to the growing list that I feel I should read.
Mike Bowditch has recently become a game warden for the State of Maine. He grew up in Maine as the son of an alcoholic who worked at various occupations in the north woods but, as the title implies, also poached game. Bowditch senior always said he poached in order to put food on the table. When Mike was nine years old his mother left his father and moved to the city. She remarried and lived in a nice home for the first time. Mike, however, always hankered for the north woods of his youth. He decided to become a game warden in order to spend time there. His girlfriend, Sarah, thought he would soon grow tired of the poor pay and long hours and go to law school but Mike knew he had found the career he wanted. Sarah and he had separated shortly before the story starts because of this dichotomy between their aspirations. When Mike learns that his father is a suspect in a double murder he refuses to believe it. His father is on the run and Mike hopes that he can help clear his name and bring him in before somebody shoots him. Told by his superiors to back off from the investigation he does so initially but he makes some bad decisions in his job and is told to take some holidays. Soon, however, he is back involved with the investigation when his father’s girlfriend asks to speak with him. He is given a lift by airplane up to the town where the girlfriend is being held as a material witness by a retired game warden named Charley Stevens. Charley also has doubts about his father’s guilt and wants to clear things up. Charley and Mike like each other and Mike really respects Charley. Without Charley’s help this book might have had quite a different ending. No spoilers but I will say that Charley is a better father figure than Mike’s real father.
Although Doiron isn’t a game warden he obviously researched the life well. He also has a reverence for nature that shows in his writing. I’ll be interested to see where this series goes. ( )
  gypsysmom | Sep 3, 2016 |
I saw a lot of my dad in Mike's father so maybe that is why I enjoyed the book. There were a few sections I skimmed through because it read as filler, not really needed to move the book along. It kept me guessing until the end, which shocked me. ( )
  wearylibrarian | Aug 27, 2016 |
I enjoyed the book, but had some problems with it. The lead character was not reliable. What he thought was completely wrong. I get that type of story-telling, and maybe I just don't like it. The lead character didn't seem clever to me. He had a theory and wanted to prove it. He didn't think things through, and do things with a plan. He just ended up in the right place at the right time, though things got a little exciting for him. I guess his major thought was to be where the action is. Not because he knew what he was looking for. He just hoped he would recognize it when he saw it. That is how I would do things, but I want to read about people who are smarter than me. ( )
  mainrun | Jun 10, 2016 |
I really wanted to like this book about a game warden in northern Maine. I love CJ Box's books about a fish and game warden in Wyoming, Joe Pickett, but I've read them all and thought this would be a new source to fill that void. Unfortunately, Doiron's main character, Mike Bowditch, just falls flat. There's nothing about his personality that I could really attach too. Same for the other players in the story, save Charlie and Ora.

Bowditch finds out that his father is accused of killing two men and is a fugitive in the wilds of Maine. His alcoholic and violent father, Jack, has lived his entire life as a hunting and fishing guide and trapper (and poacher) in these woods. However, the book never really gets into the woods. There is a lot of time driving and flying from one far off location to another but we never really get to experience the wilderness. The younger Bowditch hasn't even spoken to his father in over 2 years, and very intermittently before that, but he can't believe his father killed two men, which includes a police officer. Mike never tells the investigators that about how little contact he's had with father when they keep insisting that he help find him. Which never made any sense to me. Instead he whines that they don't believe that he's not helping his father.

Mike Bowditch isn't even really investigating the truth himself but rather is more like the little brother that mom says you have to take with you when you go play with your friends. He's just tagging along and wants to be like the bigger boys but just is annoying instead.

I'm undecided if I'll give the next in the series a try and see if it gets better. Somehow there's at least 7 books in this series at this point so somebody likes it. ( )
  she_climber | May 9, 2016 |
Henry Levya
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
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When I was nine years old, my father took me deep into the Maine woods to see an old prisoner of war camp. (Prologue)
A black bear had gotten into a pigpen out on the Beechwood Road, and it had run off with a pig.
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Book description
Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive—his own father

Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father Jack, a hard drinking womanizer who makes his living illegally poaching game. An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: They are searching for the man who killed a beloved local cop the night before—and his father is their prime suspect. Jack has escaped from police custody, and only Mike believes that his tormented father might not be guilty.

Now, alienated from the woman he loves, shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop-killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past. He knows firsthand Jack’s brutality, but is the man capable of murder? Desperate and alone, he strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive. But the only way for Mike to save his father is to find the real killer—which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.
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Desperate and alone, game warden Mike Bowditch strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive--Mike's father. But the only way for Mike to save his father is to find the real killer--which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.… (more)

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