Trespasser Review
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Unabridged Audiobook: 8 CDs (9.5 hours)
Read by Henry Leyva

In his 2010 debut, The Poacher’s Son, author Paul Doiron introduced readers to Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden with a troubled family history. In the follow-up, Trespasser, Mike struggles to come to grips with his past while seeking justice for the victim of a disturbing new crime.

It’s officially mud season in Maine when Mike is asked to help the police with a call about a deer/car accident. When he arrives at the scene, though, the car, the driver, and the deer are all gone. Although he wants to go looking for the woman involved—just to make sure everything’s okay—the officer in charge seems unconcerned, so he sends Mike home.

Still, Mike can’t let it go. While he’s doing his rounds the next day, he starts asking questions about the woman—and the answers lead him to discover her mutilated body. To complicate matters even more, the crime scene seems to point back to a seven-year-old murder case—for which lobsterman Erland Jefferts is still serving time.

Convinced that Jefferts was framed, his staunchest supporters try to convince Mike to take another look at the case—a case in which he really shouldn’t get involved. But, haunted by the victims, he continues to investigate.

Trespasser is a true Down East mystery—from its backwoods setting to the distinctive personalities (and accents) of its characters. A Maine native and the editor-in-chief of Down East magazine, Doiron definitely knows this region of the country inside and out—and it shows. Instead of high-speed car chases through city streets, Trespasser has ATV chases through trails and fields. Instead of gangsters and thugs, it has rugged lobstermen, wily rednecks, and plenty of crusty old guys.

In fact, it’s the compelling characters and the fascinating setting that make Trespasser an interesting adventure. The story itself is intriguing—with plenty of suspects and possibilities and an unexpected conclusion. But characters like Mike and his inquisitive old pilot friend, Charlie Stevens, will keep readers coming back for more. They’re strong and determined—and more than just a little bit curious. And Mike’s troubled past as the son of a well-known ne’er-do-well makes him an even more likeable hero. He may overstep the boundaries from time to time—hurting both himself and those he cares about—but he does it out of a desperate need to make up for past wrongs.

Those listening to the audio version, however, might find themselves distracted by Henry Leyva’s narration. Though he definitely knows the Maine accent—and he uses it well—his read is often stilted and unnatural, which might sometimes pull you out of the action and drama of the story.

Still, if you’re looking for an out-of-the-ordinary whodunit to keep you entertained during a long drive, Trespasser is a worthwhile pick. Though it has its share of flaws, the unique setting and likeable characters will hold your attention until you reach your destination. If you’ve ever traveled through Down East Maine and met its real-life characters, you’ll enjoy this literary return trip.

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