BOOK REVIEW: STRIKE DOG
Heywood's series features a "woods cop", a state conservation officer working in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Grady Service is nicely eccentric - not particularly impressed with material possessions. He is fully at home out of doors, with impressive skills of observation and deduction.
This fifth book in the series opens with an intense personal tragedy, as Service must come to terms with the death of his fiancee and his son in an automobile accident. Knowing how skillful his fiancee was at the controls of an airplane and at the wheel of a car, Service refuses to accept that she lost control on a straight, dry stretch of road and slammed down a ditch and into a tree. But as he returns to work after a very brief leave of absence, his supervisors send him to northern Wisconsin, where an employee of that state's conservation department has been found murdered, with his body mutilated in a particularly gruesome fashion.
To Service's surprise, FBI agents are on the scene, and they soon explain that this murder is only one of a string of similar crimes, all against conservation officers, and each with the same pattern of grisly postmortem abuse.
Service finds himself drawn into an investigation which eventually involves five states and an expanding roster of authorities. Too many questions are left unanswered for Service's comfort, and he strikes out on his own to find out what he needs to know.
I've always enjoyed this series, and the latest installment maintains the quality of the earlier books.
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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