ICE HUNTER by Joseph Heywood
A WOODS COP MYSTERY
The Lyons Press, 2001
Grady Service works as Conservation Officer (fish and wildlife officer) in Michigan's upper peninsula. He is married to his work, has problems with authority, breaks the rules when he wants to, and can't keep a relationship going with women, but he is especially protective of the Mosquito Wilderness Tract, an unspoiled forest his father had protected until his death and that Service has adopted.
When Service finds someone in the Tract, someone with no gun, no fishing rod, no normal reason to be there, he is suspicious. When two fires are set in the tract and a murdered body is found on the site of one of the fires, he is more than suspicious. Someone is trying to do something to his precious nature reserve and he intends to find out who and what.
Author Joseph Heywood does an excellent job characterizing Service as a loner, scarred by his life and his alcoholic father, yet trying to cope with a world that barely tolerates him. Heywood is obviously at home with the upper pensinsula and Service's love for his region makes him sympathetic despite his many unattractive features.
Heywood delivers a compelling and exciting story and a sympathetic and powerful character.
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