BUSHNELL ON BOOKS: ‘Dead By Dawn’ and ‘Maine Al Fresco’

died at dawn Written by Paul Doiron Minotaur Books, 2021; 320 pages, $27.99; ISBN 978-1-250-23510-7.

died at dawn

Maine Game Warden detective Mike Bowditch is like a cat with nine lives, except he used most of them in previous books. He only has a few lives left and he might run out of them in this latest novel, Dead By Dawn.

This is the 12th puzzle in which the Mike Bowditch of bestselling and award-winning author Paul Doiron of coastal Maine appears. This is clearly the most violent, bloody, suspenseful and fast-paced story to date. Already enjoying a well-deserved long-running popularity, the series cleverly combines crime, investigation, suspense, woodland craft and action with colorful, bizarre, and often dangerous characters in original and timely pieces. This novel won the 2022 Maine Literary Prize for Crime Novel.

Every book in this series looks better than the previous one, and this last anecdote is the deadliest mess Mike has ever experienced. In a frigid December, just before Christmas, Mike reopens a cold four-year-old case – the apparent accidental death of a wealthy professor. But the victim’s daughter-in-law claims it was a murder.

After interviewing the woman and her strange daughter, Mike senses something is wrong. Both women are lying, so he interviews other people involved in the cold case who are also lying to him, including the original detective, a disgraced and angry ex-prisoner who hates Mike’s guts.

Mike’s investigation upsets someone, because he was soon ambushed on an icy road and almost killed. And this is just the beginning of his problems. He is pursued by gunmen on snowmobiles, Mike is unarmed, frozen and wounded – he is the prey of change. However, he is resourceful, and despite cold killings, gun battles, stabbings, extortion, a pile of corpses and bad luck, he finally gets to know who he’s dealing with and why. And she’s not pretty.

Maine Al Fresco: The 50 Greatest Outdoor Adventures in the World by Ron Chase Northern Country Press, 2021; 271 pages, $24.95; ISBN 978-1-943424-70-2.

Maine Al Fresco: The 50 Greatest Outdoor Adventures in the World

Topcham’s 50 Best Outdoor Adventures author Ron Chase is very personal and meaningful to him (he’s already completed 49 adventures, and he noticed one). What he doesn’t explicitly mention, but readers will see right away, is that these adventures are not for the meek or the weak. Shy amateurs do not need to apply.

Chase is a passionate man and outdoors expert who writes a column at the age of 74 called Older People Don’t Act Their Age. He has particularly climbed New England’s 100 highest peaks in the winter, and is a proud member of the Penobscot Paddling and Chowder Society, a group of like-minded outdoor adventurers.

This is a travel guide for strong souls who might want to climb Mount Katahdin in winter, backpack the North Woods with 80 pounds of gear, kayak 41 miles seashore around Isle or Out, or run the perilous whitewater rapids of Gulf Haggas. in a boat.

Sections highlight mountain hikes, bike trails, kayaking, whitewater kayaking, lake kayaking, canoe and backpacking trips, and two popular canoe and kayak races. Chase provides detailed descriptions of each adventure and its own experiences, as well as location, travel directions, length, difficulty levels (mostly arduous or very challenging), and potential hazards such as “injury, death, or loss of boats are real possibilities”.

He is brutally honest with his warnings. If people are to go on these adventures, they must be physically and mentally fit, experienced, well-equipped and trained, never go alone, and never take unnecessary risks (instincts and weather reports are reliable).

The book comes short, because it never explained terms such as “Exploration,” “Transport,” “Dump Bags,” “Refineries,” or the meanings of whitewater difficulty ratings and water levels – “Version 3500 CFS, Class III/IV” is meaningless to the uninitiated. .

Best tip: take extra adrenaline.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.

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