Red Jacket

Joseph Heywood. Globe Pequot/Lyons, $24.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7627-8253-6
In 1913, Theodore Roosevelt recruits former Rough Rider Lute Bapcat to become a game warden on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Heywood’s absorbing first in a new series. Outsized characters, both real (athlete George Gipp before his Notre Dame fame, union organizer Mother Jones) and fictional (randy businesswoman Jaquelle Frei; Lute’s Russian companion, Pinkhus Sergeyevich Zakov), pepper the narrative. Lute’s extensive duties inevitably bring him into the conflict between powerful copper mining companies and their immigrant work force in Houghton and Keweenaw counties. As a strike looms, someone is orchestrating a campaign to slaughter deer, poison streams, flood animal dens, and cut fruit trees—to deprive strikers of food sources. Violence is inevitable, and Lute and Pinkhus watch as tragedy unfolds despite their valiant efforts to prove who’s behind the vicious destruction. Fans of Heywood’s Woods Cop novels set on the Upper Peninsula (Force of Blood, etc.) should welcome this peek at the conservation movement’s foundations. Agent: Phyllis Westberg, Harold Ober Associates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/04/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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