Dead by Dawn: Paul Doiron
Can someone survive in the cold outdoors dealing with hypothermia, broken bones and covered in mountains of snow with little or no air to breathe? Hoping to rise above the snow and hardly able to breath how does someone find shelter, room to move and using his survival skills hoping to come out alive. Someone wants game warden Mike Bowditch dead and his only chance of surviving the night is to figure out who is behind it and why? Someone ran him off the road an into the icy river. Deep into the icy Androscoggin River with his body covered in ice and snow his tires shredded by metal spikes and left in the road to die. Mike is a survivor and manages to get out of the submerged vehicle, but things are not what they seem, and he must figure out who was behind the sabotage.
The novel flashes back and forth to the present when Mariette Chamberlain request his help in solving the case of the father in laws death.
Meeting Mariette was an experience she is demanding, unyielding and when requesting something demands it be done her way. Claiming that Professor Chamberlain understood his on predilections until late middle age. After the birth of this tow sones he began to have a better life and his wife Glenna accepted as his private business what other things and people became involved with. But this does not matter when the retired her focused on his art and horticultural research. The author shared his past, and we get to learn about Bruce Jewett who was someone he shared a relationship with and who borrowed money from him and ye wanted it back. Rivard is the warned that handled the case and who was later fired. She demanded that he find out just how he really died, if he fell overboard, if he was murdered as she feared and what happened to the personal floatation device that was not found on his body. She claimed he never took it off. The incident happened four years ago when Professor Even Chamberlain formerly of the British Foreign service was out duck hunting on the Androscoggin when it appears that he fell overboard and drown. But Mariette swears he would never take off his life vest and she insists that Bowditch agrees to din into it, but this effort is what we see in the first scene as the story flashes back and forth to the present which is Mike fighting for his life and what came before.
Bruce Jewett is the man was his hunting partner and when meeting him sand hearing his words you begin to wonder if there was something that happened between them on this trip. Throughout the ordeal fighting for his life Mike knows that someone is after him, gun shots ring out and how Jewett was manipulated and by whom creates the reasons why Mike is now running for his life. Added in the author reminds us of Shadow the wolf that he is caring for and lives behind his house hoping that someday he will live inside with him . Shadow was in his cage and is injured and needs attention and you don’t know if either one will make it out of this alive. Frostbite, hypothermia and someone who is determined to take his life.
Each person he interviews give a different perspective on what happened to the professor and meeting Bruce allows readers to wonder what he might have had to do with the death and even more with what is happening to Mike in the present. Arlo Burch is an interesting character and the owner of the most ticked out mobile home he had ever seen dealing within and description his surroundings you begin to wonder just what he might have had to do with the ambush on Mike and the death of the professor. Each character gives you a sense that there is more behind what his happening to Mike as he questions and in a strange position and then the asks if the Warden service is taking another look at the case. Meet the Dow family or how they refer to themselves at first at the Dillions hoping to give him a false sense of security but as you dig deeper into their lives, their personalities and get to know them you realize that they are not what they appear to be.
The are shots in all directions and Mike is dealing with show, deep snow, the channel ice may be smoothening than eh token surface of the river, but he finds there are still pressure ridges that life him into the air. Lives are at stake and there are some that do not care if their captive dies. Calling for help when in danger and hoping that someone will handle the emergency call what happens next is bone chilling as one family has decided to be judge, jury and killer and their reasons relate to the past. We also meet Dani who is one of his love interests and Stacy the first person he ever did love as the dangers mount, Mike is kidnapped, seriously injured and hoping that someone will find him before it’s too late. The ending is tension filled and the characters involved have a plan to do some horrific things to Mike. Author Paul Doiron takes us deep inside his fears, his methodical thinking and how one small knife that be the salvation and hope that might safe him. Billy Cronk gave him his army knife and his daughter likes to cast spells to protect people. Will the spell she cast save Mike? Will he survive the brutal cold and what others have planned for him?
If he is not in a warm place soon and out of the cold he will do more than freeze, have hypothermia he just might be DEAD BY DAWN. The tension mounts the flashbacks and alternate chapters keep you wondering what is happening next as the links come together and the author once again takes our game warden on more than a dangerous ride. The most compelling scene is when the author flashes to the present and Mike must find shelter and a way to stay warm and what he uses and finds in this rundown and filthy place proves just how resourceful and creative he is and the fact that he has a strong will to survive. What is next for him and what will the outcome of trying to find the truth behind the professor’s death be? This is Mike Bowditch at his best.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews