Jacki (Julia Flyte)'s Reviews > Massacre Pond

Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron
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really liked it

This is the fourth book in Paul Doiron's series about Mike Bowditch, a game warden based in a remote corner of Maine. The series began with The Poacher's Son, but it's not necessary to have read the other books to enjoy this one.

The plot centres on Elizabeth Morse, a local woman who made a fortune selling herbal remedies. Now a multi-millionaire, she has bought up a huge tract of land in Maine and hopes to turn it into a national park. She has met considerable resistance from the locals, who use the land for hunting and poaching as well as a source of timber for the local sawmill which is a major employer in the region. Morse has been receiving death threats, but the situation elevates when someone gets onto her land and shoots a large number of moose. This is where Bowditch comes into the story. He is the first to be called out, but his boss, who dislikes him, sidelines him from the investigation. Nevertheless, Bowditch keeps getting drawn into the action as the attacks on the Morse family escalate.

I enjoyed this book. It has a relentless readability about it. I love the way that Doiron transports you to Maine. The wilderness is vividly depicted, as are the interesting and rounded characters. In previous instalments I've found Bowditch's hotheaded personality somewhat irritating, but this time round he has started to develop some maturity and self-awareness which makes him a much more likeable character. As usual his personal life creates issues for him - this time it's his mother as well as his attraction to a woman who is out of reach.

Having said that, the book lacked for me what I think is an essential element in this genre, which is tension. I was curious to keep reading, happy to keep reading, but I didn't have any creeping sense of danger. Partly no doubt my own failing in that (I'm sorry Paul, I am a bad person) I don't consider the death of 10 moose to be a crime as chilling as the murder of a person. Part of me couldn't help but think it was slightly ridiculous when the entire policeforce were focused on trying to identify the killer or killers (bad Julia, bad), even though it was understandable given Morse's high profile. However as the stakes rose higher, I enjoyed the mystery more. As a crime novel this probably only rates 3 stars for me, but the characters and sense of place elevate it to 4 stars.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 10, 2013 – Shelved
August 10, 2013 – Finished Reading

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