Finished November 10
The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
This debut novel is the first in a series featuring Maine game warden Mike Bowditch, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award. Mike had a rough upbringing, beginning with poverty and arguing parents. His father Jack is a backwoods man, eking out a living hunting, not always legally, working at camps, and comfortable with little in the way of material possessions. He also drinks too much, is quick to anger, not afraid of a fight, and has an eye for a good-looking woman.
After leaving with his mother when he was young, Mike tried to reconnect with his dad both as a teen and as a young adult, but never was able to manage it. He did gain a love for nature and wild things though and became a game warden. He still has a lot of issues and some of them have affected his relationships and his attitude towards difficulties that arise.
When his father leaves a cryptic message on his answering machine and Mike finds out that his father has become the prime suspect in the murder of two men, one of them a police officer he knew in school, he can't believe his father capable of such an act. He knows his father can be violent, but in a bar brawl kind of way, and he can't believe in the motives that the authorities are ascribing to Jack. As Mike becomes obsessed with finding Jack and getting him to trust in the justice system, he finds new friends and discovers how many people have come to care about him along the way.
This is the story of a young man, still aching to be a man his father can be proud of, a man who must sort through his own myths about his father to find the truth. It is a coming of age novel that will having you thoroughly engaged in the story and characters.