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Extended Audio Sample The Poachers Son, by Barbara Taylor Bradford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (977 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Taylor Bradford, Paul Doiron Narrator: Anna Bentinck, John Bedford Lloyd Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged edition Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Mike Bowditch Mysteries Release Date:
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Set in the wilds of Maine, this is an explosive tale of an estranged son thrust into the hunt for a murderous fugitive—his own father.

Game warden Mike Bowditch returns home one evening to find an alarming voice from the past on his answering machine: his father, Jack, a hard-drinking womanizer who makes his living poaching illegal game. An even more frightening call comes the next morning from the police: They are searching for the man who killed a beloved local cop the night before—and his father is their prime suspect. Jack has escaped from police custody, and only Mike believes that his tormented father might not be guilty.

Now, alienated from the woman he loves, shunned by colleagues who have no sympathy for the suspected cop killer, Mike must come to terms with his haunted past. He knows firsthand Jack’s brutality, but is the man capable of murder? Desperate and alone, Mike strikes up an uneasy alliance with a retired warden pilot, and together the two men journey deep into the Maine wilderness in search of a runaway fugitive. There they meet a beautiful woman who claims to be Jack’s mistress but who seems to be guarding a more dangerous secret. The only way for Mike to save his father now is to find the real killer—which could mean putting everyone he loves in the line of fire.

The Poacher’s Son is a sterling debut of literary suspense. Taut and engrossing, it represents the first in a series featuring Mike Bowditch.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Stunning vistas…eye-popping scenes.”

    New York Times

  • “With precise and evocative prose, Paul Doiron weaves a riveting tale set deep in the wilderness that can be the tenuous bond between father and son. This is a compelling, moving, and utterly impressive debut!”

    Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog

  • The Poacher’s Son is a gripping, original, and literate tale of love and loyalty, betrayal and redemption. You won’t want to put it down.”

    John Lescroart, author of A Plague of Secrets

  • “One of the best-written debut novels I’ve read in years. This story has it all—a great plot, a wonderful Maine woods setting, and a truly remarkable and believable cast of characters.”

    Nelson DeMille, author of The Gate House

  • The Poacher’s Son is a haunting tale, and Paul Doiron is a powerful and evocative writer.”

    Tess Gerritsen, author of The Keepsake

  • “Doiron takes a provocative look at the ties between fathers and sons, unconditional love, and Maine’s changing landscape in his outstanding debut…Fans of C.J. Box and Nevada Barr will appreciate the vivid wilderness scenes.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “One hopes this fine novel is the first in a series starring Warden Bowditch, who could quickly become the East Coast version of C. J. Box’s game-warden hero Joe Pickett, who patrols the range in Wyoming.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[An] impressive debut…there are plenty of twists and surprises to keep the reader guessing until the very end.”

    RT Book Review (4 stars)

  • “A Maine Game Warden [Mike Bowditch] fights to clear his no-account father of murder charges in this deeply felt actioner…His decision leads to a series of disastrously self-destructive actions that Doiron makes perfectly credible, all interspersed with a series of flashbacks to Mike’s childhood that are both tender and chilling…Doiron will have his hands full trying to top his accomplished debut.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Impressive…The setting is wildly atmospheric, the pacing swift, and the characters well drawn. The Poacher’s Son is easily one of the best debut novels in recent memory.”


  • Winner of the 2011 Barry Award for Best First Novel
  • Selected for the May 2012 Indie Next List
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, January 2010
  • A 2011 Macavity Award Nominee for Best First Mystery Novel
  • A 2011 Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel
  • A 2011 International Thriller Writers Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • A 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Karen | 2/18/2014

    " I just finished this book in March, I received this book free through the First Look book group on the Barns and Noble website. It was a fantastic read and enjoyed the all of the characters in the book. I do hope that they make a movie or made for TV movie out of this book. Great read all the way to the end, and keeps you guessing all the way through, just when you think you've got it figured out the possibilities change in a big way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jaclyn | 2/5/2014

    " Exciting story ending with unexpected twists. (Didn't realize Mike Bowditch was an ongoing character, but can see why. Very likeable. Now that I know, the loose ends from this book are less frustrating. I'll have to pick up the next.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Camilla | 1/29/2014

    " Bought it in Maine and was stressed at the distance the characters cover- too big a state! But a decent first book and a good vacation read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michael Wing | 1/26/2014

    " Finished this novel quickly, after three books by Abbey. Enjoyed the mystery, the Maine references, and the character of the poacher's son. Fine surprise ending and reminiscent of Last Night In Twisted River (Irving). though not as finely crafted. The settings were well detailed in the Maine secene, from the bars to the bears. Wardens suffer thoroughly, from marriage to fatigue to stress. No wonder they seem so grumpy. Doiron's character works in that mold, though maybe too emotional. Hey, his dad is at stake, a poacher but never a murderer. Susan read this after I, and today a student started it because the library has it on the shelves now. We'll see how the student body receives it. "

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