Almost Midnight

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Paul Doiron’s mysteries are top-notch. They are interesting, well-written, and suspenseful. His descriptions of the Maine woods setting and nature with all its good and bad is captivating and brings me right there. 

Many thanks to Netgalley, Minotaur Books and Paul Doiron for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Almost midnight is a good read that’ll keep you entertained. It is the 10th in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. Happy reading and enjoy!!!! :)
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Minotaur Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Almost Midnight.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Almost Midnight is the tenth book featuring Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch.  Having read many of the previous books, I can say that this one follows the same predictive pattern and really does not bring anything new to the table.  Mike sticks his nose into the proverbial hornet's nest, then wonders why he suddenly has to dodge the bees.  In his professional life, Mike gets completely involved in the investigative process, but does not work too hard on his personal relationships.

The author excels at bringing the picturesque setting of rural Maine to life, but the characters have become kind of stale.  Mike Bowditch is not a policeman, although his capacity as a Warden Investigator has him working closely with law enforcement.  Rural Maine has its real-life issues, especially poaching and drugs, which has the possibility of keeping Mike busy long into the future.  That being said, this series is losing its appeal for me, so I am hesitant to recommend Almost Midnight to other readers.
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I really enjoyed this book and will go back and read others in this series. I love the way that the author really makes you feel that you are in the state of Maine. The book kept my interest and I could not wait to see what would happen next. I have many patrons that enjoy this author and now I understand why.
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Almost Midnight by Paul Doiron
Mike Bowditch the Maine Game Warden is back again! Although this is part of a series it can and does stand alone, set in Maine this is a great, fast paced read that doesn't let you down. This time Mike is called by his friends wife who tells him her husband (who is in prison thanks in part to Mike's testimony) needs to see him right away, this sets things in motion and at the same time he is called about Shadow part dog mostly wolf who has been shot with a crossbow and is not expected to live, who shot Shadow and what exactly is going on with Mike's friend. ...thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book and leave my honest opinion.
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First Sentence:  I passed the coroner's meat wagon on the way up the hill to the prison.
      
Maine Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch receives a request from inmate Billy Cronk, a former friend he helped imprison for murder. Billy wants him to investigate a new female prison guard who then suffers a brutal attack.  Another call comes from a mountain community where wolf-hybrid Shadow has been shot by a crossbow and is barely clinging to life. The two investigations endanger Mike's life, as well as his loved ones.
      
Doiron has a wonderful voice—"It was one of those New England hamlets with a full graveyard and an empty schoolhouse.  Half a mile from my place, a crumbling old farm had an actual family plot in its front years. No wonder the dump had scared off potential buyers for the past decade."            
      
One thing which would have helped would be for the author to have explained more about the role of the Maine Warden Investigator, but that could be due to this being the 10th book in the series.  For those interested, there is a good explanation.  That didn't necessarily detract from the plot, but knowing the role provides a bit of clarity.
      
The change of scene from the prison to the situation with the wolf is very effective.  One almost has a sensory reaction to it.  That takes skill, and Doiron has it.
      
What is nice is that this is not the Maine of tourists. This is the Maine of those who live inland, in the parts of the state tourists don't see where life, and the people, can be hard. It's survival country of hunting, fishing, and now, drugs.
      
Doiron characters are strong and interesting, particularly Mike's girlfriend Maine State Trooper Danielle "Dani" Tate, and Alcohol Mary.  He also has a wonderful way of making one truly care about Shadow, the hybrid wolf, and making one feel Mike's emotions.
      
While the plot is exciting, full of twists and danger, it truly is the author's style which keeps one engaged.  Doiron's humor—"Across the room, I could see her children, the four platinum-blond Cronklets, ages five to ten… Someone had tuned the TV station to a financial news network, and the five backwoods ragamuffins were watching it with the intensity of day traders waiting for the next bit earnings report to drop."—is subtle, but it works.  He has an excellent ear for dialogue—"I am required to ask this, Mrs. Gowdie. …I need to know if you own a crossbow."  "Who do you think I am, Maid Fucking Marian?"--, as well as a sense of insight—"When my own heart started to break, I lifted my face to the sky, letting the flakes melt as they landed on warm skin, admitted my own arrogance and ignorance, and surrendered to the mysteries of a universe I knew I would never comprehend."
      
"Almost Midnight" has very good characters and well-done suspense.  Wonderful dialogue, a great turn of phrase, and a nice touch of emotion may make one decide to read the series from the first book, as well as future books to come.

ALMOST MIDNIGHT (WardenInvest-Mike Bowditch-Maine-Contemp) - VG
      Doiron, Paul – 10th in series
      Minotaur Books – July 2019
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Mike Bowditch is a Warden Investigator who has two pressing mysteries, and they are both priorities. On the one hand he must identify the archer who struck down Maine's only known male wolf, and find a female wolf he is certain is out there.

At the same time, his best friend, Billy Cronk, currently imprisoned due to testimony Mike had no choice but to give, begs his help and protection from a female guard. Ironically, the guard is seriously wounded, and Billy saves her life. This results in Billy being pardoned. However, there is a level of corruption so deep that the lives of Billy's wife and children are in serious danger.

Can Mike work hard enough - and fast enough - to keep Billy's family safe? 

Can Mike find whoever it was that mortally wounded the wolf?

One thing Mike quickly determined is that there is danger on many levels. This is in large part due to the vast area and peoples there in Maine. Furthermore, there is a high level of corruption and Mike almost single-handedly must sort it all out. Fortunately, Mike has uncanny skills and this proves to be life-saving.

Almost Midnight is the 10th book in the Mike Bowditch series. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to read the previous titles. I am really happy that I got to read this book as I managed to find an author that I enjoy. So, I will add this to my series spreadsheet and one day read the prior titles so that I can follow this in the future.

Many thanks to Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I received a free e-copy of Almost Midnight (Mike Bowditch Mysteries Book 10) by Paul Doiron from NetGalley for my honest review.

This is the first book I have ever read by Paul Doiron not to mention the only one I have read in this series.  This is easily a stand alone read but I really want to go back and read them all because I enjoyed this one so much.

A wonderful mystery full of suspense, corruption and a prison conspiracy that will keep you reading through the night.
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I thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book. This author was new to me and I was not let down. It was a great story and very well written. The characters were easy to relate to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend this to everyone!!
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I haven't read the 9 books before this one, but thankfully it was a stand alone, so i didn't have to read the others before. I really enjoyed how everything came together in the end. The descriptions that he gives in the book are so visual and vivid...
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This is the 10th in the series. However, one can read this as a stand-alone as I did, perfectly fine. The story is nice with Native American tribe references. I enjoyed it
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Mike Bowditch, once a game warden in Maine, was promoted in a previous book to investigator. He has matured through the books, and is somewhat less impetuous as he enters his thirties than he was in his twenties. Nonetheless, in ALMOST MIDNIGHT he gets involved in a couple of investigations while on vacation and ends up in a deadly gunfight by the end of the book. The characters that we've come to know and love over the series, of which this is the 10th, are all present, although they circle around the periphery while Mike maintains center stage.

Two things happen almost simultaneously while Mike is fly-fishing on vacation. First, he is summoned by his old friend, Cronk, from his prison cell. Not for the first time, Cronk asks Mike to investigate a conspiracy and Mike slowly gets himself into the middle of a deadly drug-running scheme. A second call, this one from a veterinarian, brings Shadow, a wolf/dog mix from Mike's past, back into his life. Shadow has been mortally wounded by someone using an old-fashioned crossbow, and Mike needs to find the killer as much to ensure that Shadow's mate is unscathed as to exact retribution.

His two investigations take him upstate to a backwoods cabin and an Amish community that has adopted a young hippie survivalist couple. His time in the cabin causes him to reflect upon his life and what is most important to him, giving him some refuge from his current life. It ends up being anything but a refuge from danger, however, as the plot lines merge and coalesce around acts of vicious violence. There is a satisfying ending during which pretty much everyone gets what they deserve.

As always, Doiron writes masterfully of the land and people of rural Maine, taking readers on a trip to locales they might otherwise not get to visit. The roughness of the land helps support the rough characters in the book, providing a depth to their development. For those who have been reading the series, ALMOST MIDNIGHT brings new insights into Mike Bowditch's maturation. It would be possible to enjoy this book as novel of suspense as an entry point to the series, but much of the character development might be lost in that case. Mike took some new directions during the events in this book, and I look forward to seeing how they play out in future books.
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This was the first Paul Doiron book of this series I have read. It was very well written and could easily be a stand alone novel as I didn't even realize it was a series until later! 
The characters are well developed and the descriptions of the land and scenes are vivid and amazing! I would definitely pick up another one of his books. 

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Loved this new chapter in the Mike Bowditch series.  Bowditch, a Maine game warden, has a knack for finding trouble and this time he tries to help out his friend Billy Cronk, in prison for a few years thanks to Mike.  I love his descriptions of Maine and the people who inhabit this special place. Will recommend to my customers who enjoy CJ Box.
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I really LOVED Almost Midnight by Paul Doiron. I am a resident of Maine where the Mike Bowditch series takes place and this authors descriptions and imagery are so authentic. 

The story if fast pasted and action filled with a few twists. I never tire of these stories as the author keeps them fresh and exciting . I especially enjoyed the ending. 

Cannot wait for the next Mike Bowditch novel from this fantastic author.
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I came into this series at Book 10 and loved it. What a skill to write a part of a series that could stand alone as well. Doiron does a wonderful job with twisting together two very different storylines. I loved every page of this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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Almost Midnight is a very well-written book, 10th in the series Paul Doiron has produced about Maine game warden Mike Bowditch. This advance readers copy, supplied through NetGalley, was my introduction to the author and the series. Picky reader that I am, I thoroughly enjoyed it on its own without the background of the earlier installments.

Doiron ticks the boxes: Characters are well-drawn and relatable; plot moves forward without either rushing or dawdling; dialogue is natural and believable, and reflects the rural character of the setting and the cultural differences among quite a divergence of groups.

What I appreciated most is that he accomplishes a tough ask: Describe a magnificent place without bogging down the action. He also skillfully handles several parallel plot lines (that, of course, never converge, being parallel) without jarring transitions. All in a warden's day's work.

Except it's not, strictly speaking, his work as a warden that powers this story. Three of the storylines are about his personal connections: one with a new love interest, one with a longtime, loyal friend, and one with a wild creature. I gather from the backstory woven in that Bowditch in the past hasn't been very good with personal relationships. 

Even though his occupation and the setting of the Great Outdoors draws inevitable comparisons to the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box, that last point shows how different the two characters are: Joe Pickett is a seasoned Wyoming Game warden who is above all a family man. Mike Bowditch is scarcely able to consider the thought of a real, steady, "normal" girlfriend.

Good story.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and the author for the digital e-galley.
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Almost Midnight is the tenth book in the Mike Bowditch series, but it reads as a stand-alone novel. So please, don't let the fact that you have not read the previous books in this series deter you from picking up this one.  You may even find you enjoy it so much that you want to go back and read the previous books (heck, it might also make you want to visit Maine)!

In Almost Midnight, Mike Bowditch, who is an investigator with the Maine Warden Service, is enjoying his vacation when he receives a phone call from Aimee Cronk, his best friend's wife, informing him that Billy needs to see him immediately. His best friend, Billy Cronk, who is serving time, mentions a female guard to Mike.  Still feeling guilty for testifying against his friend in court, Mike agrees to investigate CO Dawn Richie and her transfer to the Maine penitentiary where Cronk is housed. Soon thereafter, an attack at the prison occurs which lands the female guard and Billy in the hospital.

Bowditch is also informed that Shadow, a hybrid wolf, he saved years ago from a drug den has been shot with an arrow and may not survive the night. Mike goes on a mission to not only locate the person who shot Shadow but to also locate the female wolf who has been seen with Shadow to determine if she is still alive.

Dorian can pull off the two separate story lines effortlessly while giving us a glimpse into Mike's private life.  Using his free time, Mike begins his investigation and manages to ruffle some feathers along the way (seriously, what investigation doesn't ruffle feathers?).  

I was fully invested in this story and enjoyed how everything came together in the end. I really enjoyed the pacing of this book. Nothing felt rushed nor did anything feel drawn out.  His descriptions of the landscape are vivid making the landscape a character in this book as well.  Beautifully written with a well thought out plot, this was an absorbing read which did not disappoint. I also enjoyed how the females, especially Aimee were portrayed in this book. Aimee is the leader of her pack and does not let Mike get away with anything in this book.

 "Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength. They are deeply intuitive, intensely concerned with their young, their mate and their pack. Yet both have been hounded, harassed and falsely imputed to be devouring and devious, overly aggressive, of less value than those who are their detractors." -Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Riveting, engaging and well written. I highly recommend.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Almost Midnight – Paul Doiron

Years ago, Maine State Warden Mike Bowditch was forced to provide testimony that landed his best friend, Billy Cronk, in prison.  Now he receives a message from Billy’s wife, stating that Billy desperately needs to see him. Billy is asking him to investigate the background of a new prison guard, telling Mike that it’s a matter of life and death.  Mike is reluctant to do so, and Billy ends the conversation telling his friend not to come back. Feeling a bit guilty, Mike does a cursory search on the prison guard, finding little information on her and heads back to the prison, only to learn that Billy is now in the hospital after being stabbed by another inmate. Upon arrival, he learns that Billy saved the life of the guard he had asked Mike to research and is in surgery. As Mike begins to learn of the events leading up to the stabbing, he feels that something is off with the situation. 

Meanwhile, he receives an early AM call from an old Warden friend, Gary Pulsifer, who calls to tell Mike that Shadow, a wolf-dog hybrid that he’d had as a pup, has been mortally injured. Shadow had escaped confinement as a pup and has been running free in the woods of Maine for years. The vet fully anticipates Shadow’s death is imminent and gives Mike the crossbow that she removed from his body, Mike wants answers, and is hopeful that he can track the female wolf Shadow’s been seen with, to ensure her safety. 

As Mike attempts to locate Shadow’s shooter, he meets resistance at every turn. He also manages to get on the bad side of the town terror, Gorman Peaslee, who wants nothing but revenge. Then Billy, who is awaiting a pardon from the governor, suddenly escapes prison, and Mike knows that there’s only one reason why – because his family is in danger…. As Mike rushes to protect the Cronk family, he puts himself right in the crosshairs of a dangerous gang that will stop at nothing to silence Billy – and Mike…

This is my second book in the Bowditch series, and I am hooked! I love Mike’s character and having spent some time in Central Maine, I love re-visiting that time in my life with all the familiar landmarks! Mike is a bit of a backwoods Lucas Davenport, mixed with a little Jack Reacher! Great read! You will NOT be disappointed!! 

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
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