The Precipice is the sixth book in Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series, and the second book I've read by him; I thought it was just as good as Dead By Dawn, which happens to be the twelfth book in this series, but the first Doiron book I read. How's that for convoluted?
The plot: When two female hikers go missing while hiking the Hundred Mile Wilderness section of the Appalachian Trail, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch is called in to help search for them. He's teamed up with Nonstop Nissen, a volunteer who's hiked the AT himself many times. Mike takes an instant dislike to the man. Still, they track the girls to their last known campsite, but find no other sign of them.
The other game wardens fear the girls might have run into trouble along the trail either from wild animals like coyotes, or from a serious fall. Mike's girlfriend Stacey, a wildlife biologist, worries the two hikers ran into something more dangerous--a killer of the two-legged variety. She's even more stubborn and hard-headed than Mike.
Their investigation leads to an injured hiker, a strange church, a crazy backwoods Maine family known and feared for their criminal behavior, and the rumor of a serial killer who's been stalking the AT.
My thoughts: Mike Bowditch is fast becoming a favorite character! I like him, and I find his job as a game warden quite interesting. I didn't like Stacey nearly as much; I found her tendency to overreact and argue and go off on her own kind of off-putting. But Mike likes her. And I really liked Mike's investigation into the two hikers' disappearance. That Appalachian Trail/Maine wilderness setting is also a favorite of mine. It really adds to the mystery. The Precipice is suspenseful, well-written, and it reads fast. And it totally ties in to Dead By Dawn, which was fun for me because I just read that one. I'm really liking this series, and I can't wait to read the next one.