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Bad Little Falls, Paul Doiron's third Mike Bowditch mystery (after The Poacher's Son and Trespasser), is chilling in multiple ways. Having stepped on too many toes, Mike finds himself packed off to a new game warden assignment in eastern Maine's Washington County, a rural area where his supervisors believe he won't make trouble. Unfortunately, trouble has a way of finding Mike, in the form of resentful locals and coworkers familiar with his reputation; a beautiful but damaged recovering addict named Jamie; and a murdered man found buried during a blizzard--who happens to be Jamie's ex-lover and her brother's partner in drug dealing.
Law enforcement believes Jamie's brother committed the crime, but Mike's not so sure. Jamie swears her brother would never hurt his friend. Her jealous ex-husband has more motive. Driven by stubborn curiosity and a growing attraction to Jamie, Mike begins his own investigation. Instead of a simple crime of passion, he finds a twisted trail leading back to the fatal overdose of a college student, a suspect list that includes one of his few friends in Washington County and a shocking revelation about Jamie's brilliant but troubled young son.
Filled with frigid winter scenes, dark deeds and tightly constructed character dynamics, Bad Little Falls sees Mike struggling to choose between desire and his better judgment in a labyrinth of dark small-town secrets. The ease with which readers will relate to this headstrong sleuth may prove an even bigger draw than the high stakes of the plot.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***