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Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch #3)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,253 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
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 half-frozen man has appeared at their door, claiming his friend is lost in the storm.

But what starts as a rescue mission in the w
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Poacher's Son by Paul DoironClammed Up by Barbara  RossBoiled Over by Barbara  RossThe Bone Orchard by Paul DoironThe Dead Cat Bounce by Sarah Graves
Maine Mysteries
9th out of 82 books — 19 voters
Below Zero by C.J. BoxOpen Season by C.J. BoxBack Of Beyond by C.J. BoxBlood Trail by C.J. BoxWinterkill by C.J. Box
Fiction Novels for the Outdoorsman
42nd out of 77 books — 17 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,142)
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Jan 20, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, maine
I liked this mystery set in rural Downeast Maine for its twists and turns, its realistic coverage of colorful backwoods characters, and its progress in developing the personality of its hero, game warden Mike Bowditch. Given the competition of so many great mystery writers, a three-star rating would be fair, but I am biased as this third one in the series is set in my neighborhood, the low-income communities of Washington County in the eastern tip of Maine.

Bowditch is sent here from mid-coast Ma
Ellen Keim
Aug 24, 2012 Ellen Keim rated it liked it
This wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't as suspenseful as I had thought it would be. The main character is a game warden and it was interesting to read about what that entails and how the job coordinates with other branches of law enforcement. My main quibble was with the character of the 12-year-old boy, Lucas. Although his character gets a lot of book-time, he's not as well-drawn as he could have been, considering the part that he plays in the drama.

There is also a lot of information about the
Oct 16, 2012 Kevintipple rated it it was amazing
When you annoy the bosses once too many times and you work as a game warden for the State of Maine, you get sent to their version of Siberia. In this case, Warden Mike Bowditch has been sent to Washington County. The eastern most county in Maine is well known for poaching, drug abuse, high unemployment, and a host of other social ills. Not to mention the brutal winter working conditions. Bowditch is being punished and he knows it. Just about everything Bowditch has to deal with in his new assign ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Hallie rated it it was amazing
Paul Doiron made a big splash with his Edgar Award-nominated first novel, “The Poacher’s Son,” which introduced Maine game warden Mike Bowditch and his extraordinary talent for tracking animals and people through the worst weather that Maine can dish up. When he’s reassigned to the eponymous “Bad Little Falls,” a remote town near the Canadian border where drug abuse, unemployment, poverty, violence, and poaching are rampant, his reputation for disregarding orders precedes him and it looks as if ...more
Rick Fisher
Aug 03, 2013 Rick Fisher rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, crime-drama
First, let me say, my reviews are my opinions of how I feel while reading a novel. This being said, I will continue.
The main character, Mike Bowditch, is a dumbass. With each novel, I keep thinking he will mature and become a better character. By the end of this third novel in the series, I have come to the conclusion, the author likes his protagonist being a careless, reckless, self-destructive bumbler. Are men really this idiotic when it comes to women? Or their jobs? Or their life in genera
Apr 17, 2016 Maddy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
PROTAGONIST: Mike Bowditch, game warden
SETTING: Wilderness Maine
SERIES: #3 of 3

Mike Bowditch is an excellent game warden, but his feckless nature and self-destructive impulses have caused a lot of trouble for him in his professional life. He has butted heads with his superiors and often seemed arrogant and contentious. As a result, he has been banished to a remote wilderness area on the Canadian border of Maine; and it’s the dead of winter. Fortunately, Mike has acknowledged his flaws
Mar 30, 2016 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This author seems to be a solid 3 stars for me. I like this writing. He doesn't taunt any of my pet peeves. The MC is a game warden in Maine. The author includes a lot of info on both Maine and job details of being a game warden. I actually like the info and he weaves it seamlessly into his plot.

His stories seem to be on the light side, which is sometimes, just what I want. This one was just that.
Paul Pessolano
Jan 11, 2013 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
“Bad Little Falls” by Paul Doiron, published by Minotaur Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

Those of us who have been following the life of Mike Bowditch should be excited about “Bad Little Falls”. This is the third book in a series that takes place in the woods of Maine. Mike is a Maine game warden that has been ostracized to the “Siberia” of Maine due to his actions in the first two books, thus you may want to read them in sequence.

Mike finds himself again involved in a murder that causes him to
Nov 17, 2012 Ed rated it liked it
#3 in the Mike Bowditch series. I believe that this entry has a great sense of place, in which case, I never want to visit Washington County, ME. Reviewers compare this to the work of Steve Hamilton, Nevada Barr and C.J. Box - a northern MI setting and 2 game wardens. Perhaps you should also add Joseph Heyward, to get a third game warden in northern Michigan. The difference is that their descriptions are compelling and interesting, Doiron's Maine is repellant - that is probably a sign of good wr ...more
Lynn Plourde
Mar 11, 2013 Lynn Plourde rated it liked it
Shelves: maine-connection
SPOILER ALERT . . . I was all set to give this book 5 stars until I got to the last 20 pages. Doiron writes so well, makes me care about his main character Mike Bowditch, knows Maine intimately and it comes through in his story, sets a great pace (I couldn't put the book down), but the whodunit was an everyone-dunit, which felt like a cop out. Plus one of the cop red herrings was left unresolved as was the death of one of the characters. Since I'm not usually a mystery reader (I make an exceptio ...more
Kristen Lindquist
Aug 03, 2012 Kristen Lindquist rated it it was amazing
This fast-paced thriller combines the rugged beauty of Maine's remote wilderness in winter with actions both eccentric and evil committed by the individuals who choose to live in such an environment. From the opening scene, when Maine game warden Mike Bowditch in on the scene at a canned hunt ranch where a hapless zebra froze to death, you know this is going to be good. When he meets a beautiful but clearly troubled young woman and her strange son, you know it's going to be great. The twists and ...more
Angie Fehl
Feb 01, 2016 Angie Fehl rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

Mike Bowditch, game warden for the state of Maine, gets transferred to a remote outpost near the Canadian border. Not long after he gets settled in to his new station, he gets called to a home where a couple has taken in a man that stumbled out of the woods half-frozen and raving about his lost friend still out in the blizzard somewhere. When Mike goes out in the storm to investigate, he eventually finds the missing friend... dead. When local police get involved, the scene becomes a mur
Nov 15, 2015 Don rated it really liked it
After a brief detour to read Tom Santopietro's book about the making of
"The Sound of Music," I decided to return to the Mike Bowditch series to read the third entry, "Bad Little Falls." I finished it last night and all I can say is that this series just gets better and better.

If you've met Mike Bowditch, you know that he has a reputation for disregarding authority figures on a pretty regular basis. Well, that behavior has finally caught up with him and so he has been exiled to Maine's version
Rick Byam
Jul 08, 2015 Rick Byam rated it it was amazing
Paul Doiron has a way of sneaking up on you. The first novel, The Poacher's Son, left me with a bad taste in my mouth--for the parts of Maine I haven't explored as much as the coastal towns and the way some people can be, even to their own family--so much so that I was reluctant to read the second, Trespasser, for fear of more of the same.

With Trespasser, Doiron began to get my attention and respect. I walked carefully through the text with a critical eye and a feel for some reality of the unfo
Jan 31, 2015 Niki rated it really liked it
Paul Doiron is another new favorite author. I am drawn to the outdoors setting in rugged, remote Maine, and the character of game warden. I like the main character, Mike Bowditch. However, I have not liked his choice of women. Sarah was nagging and dissatisfied, needy and seemed to have little in common with his current interests or life. His attraction to Jamie Sewell seemed largely based on her looks and seemed shallow and pathetically needy on Mike's part. Pilot friend Charley's daughter Stac ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Kris rated it really liked it
I read all of the books in this series - at least, the ones available at my local Maine library this summer. (The Bear Trap was never on the shelves.) I found the sometimes warden a very sympathetic, yet complicated enough character to carry the series. What I really loved most about the books was the descriptive passages - nature and people both. I grew up in Maine, have hiked and travelled all over the state, and like to think of myself as an observant person. Doiron reminded me that I can try ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Janice rated it really liked it
We find Mike Bowditch, Maine Game Warden, has been banished to a remote coastal backwoods near the Canadian border that's rampant with drugs. Mike is still suffering from the events and losses from the last story. He's lonely, sad and depressed. He could use anger management classes, is too impulsive, often makes bad choices and is worried now that he has a drinking problem - not to mention, it's a lost cause when it comes to women. The author writes the story back and forth from Mike's story to ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Art rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maine game warden Mike Bowditch gets a transfer in the third book in this series.

And he's not going to just any county, he's going to the most Down East county in the Down East: Washington County, Maine, one of the lowest income, highest drug use counties in the state. It's also very wild, very big and very unpopulated. All in all, not a bad combination for game warden story potential.

The move also gives Paul Doiron an opportunity to introduce a new set of sub-characters (both colorful and suppo
Tami Vogel
Apr 11, 2016 Tami Vogel rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
Liked the new setting for this series and Doiron wonderfully describes the brutal beauty of far north winters.

But I'm stuck. I can't stomach characters who don't learn from their mistakes and who just do dumbass things.

Yes, Yes I know. I read what I laughingly call "no-brainer smut" but it's exactly that - a no-brainer book between other reads. I can't seem to pull off that attitude of not caring for regular reads though.

If the author is growing the character, great! I'm on board. But three boo
Feb 09, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
A page turner. Still not up there with C.J. Box but close enough to want to read all he has in this series!
Nikko Lee
Dec 27, 2013 Nikko Lee rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittany Rice
Mar 18, 2013 Brittany Rice rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the 3, he's getting the hang of it now!
Mar 27, 2015 Tinika rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2015
The sense of place in Bad Little Falls is impressive. The majestic winter beauty of Downeast Maine and the over-hanging poverty of the populace are palpable. However, the overall hardship Paul Doiron describes is a reality that makes me content to see this part of the USA from the perspective of an armchair traveller. Game Warden Mike Bowditch is also new to Washington County and he arrives with a reputation for not being a team player. He quickly ignites friction with his boss, antagonizes the ...more
Luanne Ollivier

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
Sep 28, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it
Read my full review @

Synopsis: Michael Bowditch has been moved from his station to a new one, yet trouble still follows him. This time, two men are targeted in the frigid Maine winter. One lays dead of a gunshot wound and one suffers from frostbite which almost kills him. It turns out that the one laying dead is a well known drug dealer, but is the frost bitten man his murderer or another victim? The answer lies in the diary of a young boy and Mike must decipher the codes to
Jul 18, 2013 Ronna rated it really liked it
Mike Bowditch is a Maine Game warden who constantly finds himself in conflict with his superiors. Being the infamous son of a dangerous man, now deceased--THE POACHER'S SON---does not help Mike's reputation. He has just recently been relegated to the "Down East" northernmost section of Maine, where people are dirt poor, mostly uneducated, and surrounded with illegal drug trade from Canada. Drugs and alcohol are a way of life for many of these folks, and a national floundering economy isn't helpi ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Jacki rated it liked it
*Check out for other reviews and sundry thoughts!*

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 co
Oct 17, 2015 Sharonm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, review-copy
Mike Bowditch finds himself exiled to poverty-ridden northern Maine in this third mystery starring the game warden. Although the previous two books provide background as to why he ends up in a rundown trailer surrounded by drug dealers and hunters unfriendly to game wardens, this book can stand alone and makes a good entry point to the series.
Doiron’s skill as a writer has grown throughout the series, and in this book it is his descriptions of setting that shine. Early in the book, Bowditch i
Kathleen Hagen
Bad Little Falls, by Paul Doiron, b, narrated by Henry Leyva, produced by MacMillan Audio,downloaded from

The third in the Maine game warden series, Mike Bowditch. In this one, Mike meets the McDonald’s employee of the month while ordering breakfast and is quite attracted to her. He sets out to get to know her better. In the meantime, the veterinarian, who acts as a doctor when necessary, calls upon him to go to the house of another couple where someone has been pulled in who is in a
Nov 03, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 lo
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2015 Reading Chal...: Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron 2 7 Nov 20, 2015 08:17AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Bad Little Falls (Mike Bowditch #3) 1 1 Sep 15, 2013 03:54AM  
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Paul Doiron is the author of the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels, including The Poacher's Son, which won the the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and a Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and the Maine Literary Award for "Best Fiction of 2010." PopMatters named it to its Best Fiction of 201 ...more
More about Paul Doiron...

Other Books in the Series

Mike Bowditch (7 books)
  • The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch, #1)
  • Trespasser (Mike Bowditch, #2)
  • Massacre Pond (Mike Bowditch, #4)
  • The Bone Orchard (Mike Bowditch, #5)
  • The Precipice (Mike Bowditch, #6)
  • Widowmaker (Mike Bowditch, #7)

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