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The people of Washington County, Maine, are in an uproar in Doiron's fourth novel starring game warden Mike Bowditch (after 2012's Bad Little Falls), the best yet in the series. Hippie-turned-millionaire Betty Morse has spent some of her fortune to buy 100,000 acres of woodland that she intends to give to the federal government for a national park. Morse now has a long list of enemies, including hunters and forest-product workers whose lives and finances would be adversely affected. The first manifestation of the hostile reaction to Morse's purchase may be the shooting of five moose on her property. The state of the carcasses suggests that whoever gunned down the animals didn't do so for their meat. Bowditch is first on the scene of the moose slaughter, but his unpopularity with his superiors soon relegates him to spectator status, even as the violence escalates. An unusual lead investigator, thoughtful plotting, and lyrical prose add up to a winner. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Mike Bowditch is somehow still employed as a Maine game warden after his last escapade featuring an ill-advised affair with a suspect's sister and an investigative coup that humiliated his superiors (Bad Little Falls, 2012). Now matured a bit and trying to play by warden service rules, Bowditch is coasting through an uneventful hunting season until his friend Billy Cronk reports something's wicked bad at controversial Moosehorn Lodge. Elizabeth Morse is campaigning to preserve Maine's wilderness and has forbidden logging and hunting on the thousands of acres she's recently acquired. Morse, who has been threatened repeatedly, is reviled by those who believe her mission threatens Maine's outdoorsman culture and the locals' ability to feed their families. When Bowditch arrives, he finds five moose calculatingly slaughtered. Before the wardens narrow the immense list of suspects, a human murder is added to the animal casualties. Bowditch's past insubordination has secured his banishment to the investigation's fringes, but when Billy becomes the main suspect, he can't let things lie. This series follows Bowditch from the start of his warden career, and his evolution creates a constantly fresh perspective, nicely paired with solid procedural details and an outdoors education. Massacre Pond, arguably the best yet, boasts fair-minded exploration of Maine's conflicting environmental and economic interests and marks a turning point for Bowditch, who questions his fit with a career that constantly requires suppressing his instincts.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2010 Booklist