Paul Doiron made a big splash with his Edgar Award-nominated first novel, “The Poacher’s Son,” which introduced Maine game warden Mike Bowditch and his extraordinary talent for tracking animals and people through the worst weather that Maine can dish up. When he’s reassigned to the eponymous “Bad Little Falls,” a remote town near the Canadian border where drug abuse, unemployment, poverty, violence, and poaching are rampant, his reputation for disregarding orders precedes him and it looks as if his career has dead-ended. To him, it’s the equivalent of “being exiled to Siberia.”
When he’s called upon to examine the carcass of a zebra, frozen to death in a wild animal hunting park, he immediately makes a dangerous enemy of the park’s owner, a yahoo whose only concern is luring customers who will pay big bucks so they can mount animal heads over their fireplaces. Lonely and far from friends, Bowditch develops an unhealthy attachment to lovely Jamie Sewall, a former drug addict who manages a McDonald’s. Her son is troubled, and her brother and ex-boyfriend sell drugs that may have recently killed a college student. When Jamie’s ex is murdered, Bowditch struggles to rein in his need to protect her.