Wild boars entered Maine from New Hampshire and game warden Mike Bowditch was sent into the woods of southern Maine to find and kill them. Mike’s girlfriend Stacey Stevens, a wildlife biologist, accompanied him and shot two sows that popped up in front of them trailed by a dozen baby pigs.
One of the sows had been digging into the ground, and when Stacey approached that spot, a massive boar burst out of the bushes and attacked her, knocking her down and injuring one of her legs. Mike quickly shot the boar and raced to his truck to get a first-aid-kit.
When he returned, Stacey was standing up, leaning on her gun, and looking at the spot where the sow had been digging. “Mike, what is this?” she asked.
Mike got down and used his gloved hand to brush aside the pile of dirt, when Stacey hissed, “Don’t touch it!” And that’s when Mike noticed the grimy pink cloth beneath the bones. It was a baby.
That’s just the first chapter in Paul Doiron’s outstanding new novel, Knife Creek. Without giving away the entire very-imaginative plot, I will tell you everyone was astonished when a DNA test showed that the baby belonged to a young girl who was presumed drowned four years earlier.
Paul creates very interesting characters and he doesn’t shy away from controversial issues. One former warden, Dani, who left the warden service to join the state police, noted that she did so because she “looked around and realized I wasn’t going anywhere as a game warden… You might not have noticed, but the Warden Service has never promoted a woman to a senior position.”
I wrote about this troubling issue last year in my outdoor news blog posted on the Bangor Daily News website.
If you’ve never read one of Paul Doiron’s novels, you are in for a summer of fun, because after you read
Knife Creek, you’ll want to read Paul’s first six novels, all of which feature warden Bowditch.
Paul is the former editor of DownEast magazine, and while he spends a lot of time writing novels, he also indulges another passion: fly fishing. He actually lives on a very nice trout stream on the coast. We once had Paul as a guest on the TV show Wildlife that Harry Vanderweide and I cohosted, and I’ve talked books, writing, game wardens, fishing, and more with him over the years. So I know he’s never going to run out of ideas for plots, and that’s good news!