Just as his vacation is wrapping up, Maine Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch is pulled from the river he’s been fly fishing on when his old pal Billy Cronk, who is currently doing time in the Maine Penitentiary for killing a man who once attacked him and Bowditch years back, suddenly reaches out.
A military combat veteran with solid instincts and a touch of paranoia, Cronk tells Mike that he needs a favor—which involves checking into a female prison guard named Dawn Richie, who recently transferred from another corrections facility. With no coherent reason to suspect anything, Mike nearly discards the request from Billy, until he finds out that Richie was attacked in the prison and narrowly saved by Cronk. Unsure whether the attack has to do with Dawn making fast enemies in her new work environment or is something carried over from her last job, Mike starts digging around.
Meanwhile, another call sparks Mike’s interest when he learns that Shadow, a hybrid wolf-dog that he saved nearly three years ago, has been shot with an arrow and is barely alive. Following a risky surgery, Mike finds the animal clinging to life, but his prognosis isn’t good. Filled with anger and heartache, Bowditch vows to investigate the crime on his own time—but gets nowhere fast when every path leads to a closed door, giving him very little to go on.
As the two plot threads begin to play out, they suddenly become intertwined in ways he never could have guessed, and when Mike discovers that Cronk’s family has been threatened, all bets are off as he sets out to get to the bottom of whatever’s going on, no matter where it leads.
From game warden to his recent promotion to warden investigator, Paul Doiron has brilliantly developed his protagonist over the course of nine previous books. Readers have followed Bowditch’s career path, romantic relationships, and plenty of family drama, but here, with his tenth book, Doiron puts his star character up against a danger unlike anything he’s ever encountered. The cherry on top is Doiron’s ability to continue mixing smart plots with vibrant descriptions that help transport readers into the Maine wilderness, where they’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mike, feeling every ounce of heart-thumping suspense along the way.
Fast-paced and filled with a number of solid twists that’ll keep readers turning pages well into the night, Paul Doiron’s Almost Midnight is some of his best work to date, and his thrillers remain mandatory reading for fans of C.J. Box, William Kent Krueger, and Craig Johnson.
Author: Paul Doiron
Series: Mike Bowditch #10
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 8.75/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.