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Blue Wolf in Green Fire : A Woods Cop Mystery
Joseph Heywood ratchets up the suspense in yet another
WOODS COP MYSTERY
Upper Michigan Conservation Officer Grady Service has a case on his hands that doesn't make sense. A series of protests and bombings by animal rights activists appears to have culminated in a double murder at a wolf lab, which releases into the wild an extraordinarily rare animal: a blue wolf. To the Ojibwa a blue wolf represents good luck, unless it is captured or killed--and then it is an omen of Armageddon. Service suspects that the murders aren't what they seem to be when the FBI takes over the investigation and reaches far beyond its jurisdiction. Meanwhile, an elusive poaching ring sets its sights on wolves. Once again, Service must defend his hallowed Mosquito Wilderness in a race against time when it becomes clear that its final target is the blue wolf.
Full of memorable characters and steeped in the lives of woods cops, Blue Wolf in Green Fire is also a masterpiece of suspense. This second book in the Woods Cop series is a fully satisfying journey into the natural world and beyond, into the terrifying extremes of human nature.
Compelling ideas and taut suspense distinguish the second in Heywood's series featuring DNR Conservation Officer Grady Service (after 2001's Ice Hunter). Set in the Mosquito Wilderness Tract of Michigan, it's a tense and harrowing narrative most of the way, spoiled only occasionally by the author's tendency to lecture (... la John D. MacDonald) and a predilection for eyebrow-raising names (Wink Rector, DaWayne Kota, Yank Kranker). When protests and bombs planted by animal rights activists apparently result in a double murder at a wolf lab, a rare blue wolf, the symbol for luck, escapes into the wild. But the wolf represents more to the Ojibwa tribe: the animal is an omen for Armageddon if it's captured or killed. Service suspects the murders are more than they seem, and it's up to him to solve them and defuse the potentially explosive situation. Meanwhile, a poaching ring sets its sights on the blue wolf, and Service is up to his badge in trouble. Heywood is best on topical details, if at a price-an overlay of ecological and sociological detail threatens to overwhelm the mystery. No matter. When the action takes over, Heywood is incomparable: "In the waning light he was about to resign himself to another cold night, but movement to his right caught his attention. He froze, moving only his eyes, and saw a cedar limb shudder slightly, spilling snow. Below it protruded the barrel of the fifty-caliber rifle pointed toward him. The bore looked big enough to shoot a round the size of a walnut." One hopes Heywood has a long writing career ahead of him.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Lyons Press/Globe Pequot Press
October 02, 2008
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