A friend mentioned that Paul Doiron, who writes a series with a game warden as hero much as does CJ Box, is wildly popular in Maine where this series takes place. So what the hell, I’ll try virtually anything. It’s pretty good once you get past the hunter vs the rest of us cultural baggage. Hunters apparently develop a certain paranoia for the rest of society whom they believe regard them as bambi killers so we are de rigueur treated to an explanation of why it’s important to have hunting so as to keep the populations reasonable and prevent starvation and road accidents. OK, I get it. Get over it.
Doiron’s hero is Mike Bowditch who develops a guilt complex after he failed to assist a young woman along the road who later is found dead. Whether it’s this crisis of conscience (not very well developed, I might add) or his relationship with his criminal father.
I would have rooted for Mike more had he not done so many brain-dead things like driving while under the influence of Vicodin prescribed for a hand injury and then stopping for a beer along the way even as his long-suffering girlfriend pleaded with him not to and to come right home. I suppose one could argue his foolish actions resulted from the Vicodin; nevertheless, it struck me as horribly irresponsible.
The lone hero, unappreciated and thwarted at every turn by his superiors, who manages to solve the puzzle despite rather than with-the-assistance-of-fellow-law-enforcement seems to be a formula that is beginning to wear a little thin. If you’ve read much CJ Box you will feel right at home.
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