Knife Creek (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) by Paul Doiron

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Knife CreekA very good crime story written by a new writer (to me) who has done an excellent job putting together this one.

Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden who seems to always be a bit ahead of where his supervisors think he should be, gets off on a tangent. Though he is out trying to clear out some feral hogs who have decided to take up residence in his district, Mike discovers a reason to do some investigating.

What he finds is a dead baby in a shallow grave that appears to even have been partially at least nibbled at by the hogs. He notes that the baby is covered with a pink Red Sox shirt and immediately calls in his findings and forgets about the hogs. The first state patrol officer who comes to the scene is a young woman who had previously worked with Bowditch as a game warden. Pretty much against the wishes of their superiors these two decide to see what they can find out. When nothing else appears evident they split up and go about their other chores.

However the next thing to happen is when he is out doing his game warden job he comes across a supposed empty house. But on knocking at the door because of seeing some activity through the window he meets an older lady and over her shoulder he spots a younger lady whose face sets off some memories in his mind. They basically tell him all is well and shoo him off. However they appear strangely outfitted and both are wearing wigs that stand out. He leaves but has it all in his mind and realizes that the younger one looks very familiar. Could she be someone well known from the past?

The next day as he is on his way back to the house he stops by a small store and discovers that they sell those Red Sox shirts and the lady owner remembers a crazy type woman who bought one and also “stole some Big Red gum”. Bowditch notes this also because he had seen those same gum wrappers at the scene of the baby’s burial ground.

However before he can get back to that house and ask more questions it just so happens that the house explodes in a ball of fire and burns to the ground!

Doiron takes all of this information, adds in some more interesting clues, plus a very disgruntled retired sheriff who feels Bowditch is overstepping his jurisdiction, and a few other tidbits to build Knife Creek into quite a story.

Basically about game wardens, rural and state police, and happenings from the past which are brought to light and there you have a great novel. Doiron isn’t a new writer but he is one that I will continue to follow as he is good!

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