Running Dark

Strike Dog: A Woods Cop Mystery

Joseph Heywood, Author . Lyons $19.95 (299p) ISBN 978-1-59921-160-2

Heywood brings to life Michigan's Upper Peninsula in his predictable fifth novel to feature conservation detective Grady Service (after 2005's Running Dark ), though an implausible plot fails to match the rich rural setting. Soon after Service's son and his girlfriend die in an auto accident, the grief-stricken Service finds evidence indicating their vehicle was forced off the road. Before his private inquiry can make much progress, an untrustworthy FBI special agent, Tatie Monica, enlists Service to pursue a murderer who has targeted conservation agents across the U.S., using an obscure and gruesome Viking pattern of mutilations. An improbable cameo by George W. Bush injects some lame humor (“You ain't one-a them Dem'crats, are ya, big guy?” the president asks Service), while the eventual revelation of the connection between the trail of bodies and the fatal accident will surprise few. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
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