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Bad Little Falls

(Mike Bowditch #3)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,805 ratings  ·  276 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
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,805 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it

In this 3rd book in the 'Mike Bowditch' series, the game warden investigates a murder. The book can be read as a standalone.


Twenty-six year old Maine game warden Mike Bowditch has a habit of bending the rules and showing bad judgement. As a result, Bowditch has been transferred to the boondocks of Washington County where he (hopefully) can't get into too much trouble.

When Bowditch stops at McDonald's one morning, he's immediately attracted to the pretty shift manager, Jamie Sewell, who
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Bad Little Falls is the third book I have read in the Mike Bowditch series, and this is the one book so far that I felt didn't really rock my boat. It was great to go back and read an early book in the series and the story was not that bad. I just found it not very memorable and I kept forgetting who was who. Personally, I found the best part was that this was the first time Mike met Stacey. However, the case was not that riveting although I did find the ending was good and I was even a bit ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh, Mike. *sigh* will you ever learn? He fairly stumbles into a murder mystery and becomes his own worst enemy, as usual.
Jan 16, 2013 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
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This isn’t my first dance with Doiron. I read The Poacher’s Son, the first book in the saga of Main Game Warden Mike Bowditch. It was a very engaging thriller set in the backwoods.

This is the third book in the series and, as a result of the events of books one and two, Bowditch has be transferred to the “easternmost” district in Maine. He comes with a reputation or as Mike’s new boss says: “’re an arrogant fuckup who thinks he’s the smartest guy in the Warden Service.” Even Mike admits
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mike-bowditch
Dorion's description of the poverty/drug problem in the woods of southeast Maine, while trying to find a murderer at the height of a blizzard/snowstorm, is a riveting read. Another fine addition to a very good series.
Oct 16, 2012 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 ...more
Nov 15, 2012 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
Aug 24, 2012 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
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is in trouble with his superiors who have exiled him to the uppermost county adjacent to the Canadian border. In a place where drugs are rampant, many residents don't like game wardens, especially Bowditch. While trying to be sociable, Bowditch breaks bread with the local veterinarian and a well known woodsman. Taking the vet on a call, Bowditch finds one man practically frozen and another one that definitely is. Although it's not his case, Bowditch doesn't know ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Washington County, Maine. The Sunrise County. Poor. Isolated. Long, cold winters. Beautiful in the summertime. Jonesport-Beals. Machias. Lubec. I know the area well. This story takes place in Whitney (Whiting?), Maine. It was a good mystery. It was quite believable.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loving the protagonist and this series!
Feb 24, 2016 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.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good episode in the life of Mike Bowditch. He brings some of the troubles on himself, but also seems to bring out the worst in others. He escapes some bad results and look forward to his next episode. It’s a good time to read of the bitter cold and blinding snow storms in Maine when it’s 90 degrees outside here in Missouri.
Susan Grace
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! Mike Mike Mike! You sure get involved in some crazy s#*t!! Warden Bowditch has been moved to the boonies of Maine as a consequence of pushing the boundaries of his job. A new boss and new "wicked" colorful characters!
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
A fast-paced engrossing story! Mike Bowditch has been transferred Down East to Washington Co, Maine and as usual he's not making friends in the area. Bowditch doesn't have an easy personality which as usual causes him difficulty. The author certainly knows how to create an ambiance which infuses the novel and fits the plot perfectly.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best of the series so far in my opinion. Great little mystery with several twists and turns taking place in Down East Maine where Warden Bowditch has been sent as punishment after his adventures in the last two stories. It seems the deeper he gets involved with this family, the more difficult the story becomes. Great book and I do recommend you read this series in order.
Kerry Pickens
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I have read some of the authors newer books, and then book felt like it was phoned in. I did not really care about the characters or which drug dealer murdered who.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy this series. Well written and enjoyable.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
The Main(e) :) character in this series usually is not this dumb. Hope he comes back to himself in the next book.
Sep 16, 2012 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
Paul Pessolano
Jan 09, 2013 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
Actual rating 4 1/2 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect when I purchased this book for 1.99 at Barnes and Noble's annual summer clearance sale. I decided I'd give it try even though it was the third book in a series that I suspected was most likely written with a male audience in mind. While I do hold with my prediction that the target audience was most likely male between the ages of 20-60 it was not uncomfortable nor excluding to the fairer sex. In fact, I found it quite refreshing to read
Nov 17, 2012 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 ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
3.5 stars...this series really appeals to me, but Mike (one of the unluckiest and most impetuous young heroes with his own series that I'm aware of). While he is improving incrementally, boy oh boy, it's a mighty steep learning curve. In this story he is drawn into an amazingly dysfunctional family (and in typical Mike fashion crushes on an epically unsuitable young woman) while he tries to investigate a murder in the middle of a freezing Maine winter. He also continues to antagonize his ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Paul Doiron is an excellent writer who takes the reader right into the Maine setting he is writing about. The story is set in Washington County in Maine where Mike is helping a beautiful woman with a dark past and her troubled young son who is growing up in a broken home which is riddled with drug and alcohol abuse.

As Mike is deep in the middle of a murder investigation which happens during a severe snowstorm, Doiron's description of the storm makes you feel like you are also a victim of this
Lynn Plourde
Mar 11, 2013 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 ...more
Kristen Lindquist
Aug 03, 2012 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
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable fast read about Mike Bowdirch a Maine game warden
who was being punished and sent into exile to an area near the Canadian
border. When he is called to a house and told that someone is missing, he
begins his investigation into what becomes a murder. Needless to say his
reputation has followed him and trouble abounds with twists and turns.
The story portrays the climate of the area during the snowstorm and tells
how difficult it is to live in this wilderness.
Dec 09, 2015 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!
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Mike Bowditch (1 - 10 of 11 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)
  • Knife Creek (Mike Bowditch, #8)
  • Stay Hidden (Mike Bowditch, #9)
  • Almost Midnight (Mike Bowditch, #10)
  • One Last Lie (Mike Bowditch, #11)