The Maine deer hunting season has barely begun as Stay Hidden: A Novel by Paul Doiron begins, and already there are two deaths. The deaths are not are not hunting accidents. The warden service refers to them as what they are— homicides. The reason a person is dead is because the person, the shooter, maybe both made a mistake that could have and should have been avoided.

Out on Maquoit Island, Ariel Evans lies dead in the yard behind the house she was renting. For Mike Bowditch, who was recently promoted to warden investigator four months ago, this is his first hunting homicide case. At least the case should be relatively easy one as the hunter involved has already confessed to firing the shot that killed the woman as she stood hanging laundry in the backyard. According to the constable on the island, the controversial author was hanging white underwear on the clothesline and should have known she could be mistaken for a white tailed deer running away. The flash of white caused by her hanging of her underwear may have so mimicked the movement of a deer tail, the hunter made a fatal mistake.


Sent out to the island with Ronette Landry of the warden service and Steve Klesko of the Maine State Police, the trio has plenty of work to do even if the case is as simple as described. Upon arrival on the island they learn the hunter has recounted. There are other problems as well making it very clear this is not the simple open and shut case they had been led to believe before they headed out to the island.


For one thing, the controversial author, who recently wrote a book about living undercover with the Nazis in Idaho, is living on the island as part of her research into the island’s notorious hermit. Yet, the cottage she rented contains no evidenced that she is a writer or working on any project. It does contain evidence of her recent partying, something the locals have made clear she is well known among the residents for, as well as other items that do not fit the impression one would expect of her. Then there is the fact the next day the real Ariel Evans arrives on the island determined to find out what her sister was doing and who killed her.


Stay Hidden: A Novel by Paul Doiron is a turning point novel for the character of Mike Bowditch. In this mystery, Bowditch has a new job with increased scrutiny and pressure, his long term relationship with Stacy has abruptly ended, and there are other issues. He is a man with a lot of pressure, conflicted feelings about many different things, and very little help or an island where the locals deal with their own issues in their own way and don’t like outsiders. Especially law enforcement types.


The latest book in the series that began with The Poacher’s Son is another good one. Stay Hidden: A Novel is a read that, as they all do, quickly pulls the reader into the natural beauty of the Maine landscape. Things are always complicated in these books because of Bowditch’s past as well as the complicated characters in both minor and major roles. Nobody in this series is a generic placeholder character. Then there are the actual mysteries themselves to solve. A series that can only be fully appreciated if read in order, Stay Hidden: A Novel is another very good installment.


Stay Hidden: A Novel

Paul Doiron

Center Point Large Print

August  2018

ISBN# 978-1-68324-874-3

Large Print Hardback (also available in audio, digital, and print formats)

478 Pages





Material supplied by the good folks of the Dallas Library System.




Kevin R. Tipple ©2018


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