‘One little lie’, suspenseful and fast-paced

Bruce Desilva

AP – Fifteen years ago, a young Maine game warden went undercover to investigate a poaching ring in Maine’s north woods and was never heard from again; so his mentor, retired warden Charlie Stevens, is stunned when he stumbles onto the missing man’s badge being offered for sale at a flea market.

The discovery, Charlie realises, means everything he had believed about his young friend’s disappearance and presumed death was wrong. Determined to solve the mystery, he rushes home, packed a bag, told his wife not to ask any questions, and urged her not to let anyone — especially his friend Mike Bowditch — try to find him. But Charlie is like a father to Mike, so the latter, a game warden himself, sets off to track Charlie down.

So begins One Last Lie, the 11th novel in Paul Doiron’s fine series of Mike Bowditch crime novels. Gradually, Mike discovered that Charlie, as well as several men in positions of power in the warden service, have been harbouring secrets about what happened 15 years ago — and at least one of them is willing to kill to prevent the truth from surfacing.

This novel is something of a departure for Doiron. The descriptions of the natural world that have distinguished his previous novels are less this time, and the suspenseful, fast-paced plot has more twists and turns than usual in a Mike Bowditch novel.