The Precipice: A Novel (Mike Bowditch Mysteries Book 6) by Paul Doiron

Reviewed by Allen Hott

A very good read by Doiron using Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden. Doiron uses Bowditch quite often probably because not only is he a Yale graduate living in Maine, he also is a Maine Registered Guide and lives on a lake in the area.

In The Precipice Bowditch gets very involved in hunting for two lost women who were supposed to be making the hike along the Appalachian Trail. They disappeared in the Hundred Mile Wilderness which is the most remote stretch of the AT. They had been seen in various spots along the trail but now have seemingly disappeared.

As Bowditch and others who travel this area many things can happen. There are some very steep hills that have to be gotten over and some of them have drop-offs that lead down to various types of water areas. Some believe they may have dropped into one of those and then drowned. But others feel some type of animal may have gotten to them. Strangely most feel they are out there and need help.

Bowditch and his steady, Stacey Stevens, get involved in the hunt and then even further into happenings as the story goes along. Stacey is a bit older than Bowditch but appears to be very much into him now that her previous boyfriend is out of the picture. It works out well for Bowditch since he is close friends with Stacey’s father who though retired is always ready to help all the rangers by flying above them in his plane and scouting.

Bowditch gets hooked up with a volunteer guide, Nissen, as they begin their part of the search. Not exactly friendly however as Bowditch believes Nissen is mush to harsh and regimented. They do find however a young boy named Chad McDonald (often referred to as McDonut). The youngster seems to have some mental problems as he doesn’t come across too well to most folks he meets.

When the girls are not found very quickly many things begin to evolve. For example it turns out they were not just two friends but were actually lovers who didn’t particularly want anyone to know of their affair! None of these matters to Bowditch who just plunges whole heartedly into the search as more and more things develop. There appear to be an overabundance of wild coyotes and many of the people believe they are the culprits who caused the disappearance. Because of the uproar the governor puts a bounty on coyotes and now not only are people hunting the girls but many more begin chasing and killing coyotes.

Doiron brings in a couple of more characters just to really stir up the action and keep the readers’ interest. And it works! He has put together a very good read that most readers will not be able to put down until they find out exactly who or what is going on. Bowditch and Stacey stay very involved as she has almost as much hunting instincts as he does. Interesting, descriptive of the Appalachian Trail, and many twists that help the story evolve.

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