Thursday, September 29, 2016
Widowmaker - Paul Doiron
I read five books in the five days we were in Maine (2 days out of the week were travel days), but I've only read one in the three and a half days since we got back to Philly. Mostly, I've been doing laundry, buying groceries, and going through a week's worth of mail and newspapers (for the crosswords). Yesterday, Jack and I walked up to the library to pick up Widowmaker, which they were holding for me. I read it in two days (technically, a day, since I started it yesterday afternoon, didn't read it last night or this morning, and finished it this afternoon).
This is a series that Elaine, of Random Jottings, in Colchester, England, posted about a few years ago. Here he was, in my own backyard, but I had never heard of him. Him being Paul Doiron, him being Mike Bowditch, Maine game warden. Now I've read all seven of these books.
Mike Bowditch is a game warden who has trouble following the rules. He's had many close calls and they've left him with both physical and emotional scars. He's only 29 in this book.
Widowmaker is a ski resort on its last legs after a fatal accident involving poor maintenance of a ski lift. A woman who works there finds Mike and tells him she wants him to find her missing son - who she says is Mike's half brother. It could be true because Mike's father was a womanizer and a poacher and a general bad guy. Mike balks at first and then decides he has to find out the truth.
Along the way, he encounters a couple of druggies and confiscates their wolf dog. It's illegal to own a wolf dog in Maine unless you have a permit. There's something about this wolf dog - his superior intelligence, his acceptance of people, his wildness - that gets to Mike. The dog will be euthanized unless Mike finds someone qualified who will take him. He finds a wolf rescue in New Hampshire, but, after visiting it, Mike can't leave him there. The dog is domesticated but has killed a deer, so he's considered dangerous. DNA shows that he's 90% wolf.
The boy who may be Mike's half brother is a convicted sex offender. When he was 18, he had sex with his underage girlfriend. Her father found out and convinced / coerced his daughter into saying it wasn't consensual. Now the boy's branded a sex offender, on the sex offender list, but without a description of his crime. He's been sent to a logging company that is the last resort for sex offenders who can't find work anywhere because of their conviction. In reality, it's a slave labor camp.
Mike can't find the missing boy, but his bloody truck is found. Someone decides to become a vigilante and rid the world of sex offenders and perverts, which is whomever fits their own description of pervert. Was Mike's brother one of his victims?
The last several pages flew past as I raced to the end. Which was slightly disappointing. I like books with all the loose ends tied up tightly and this one didn't do that. Just a personal preference. But, it was a fun read and very exciting in parts. Snowstorms, wolf dogs, cross dressers, helicopter crashes - what more do you want?