Red Jacket (Lute Bapcat Series #1)

Red Jacket (Lute Bapcat Series #1)

by Joseph Heywood
     
 

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Woods Cop mystery author Joseph Heywood takes readers to an era when people had to be as hard as the lives they lived. Meet Lute Bapcat, orphan, loner, former cowboy, Rough Rider, beaver trapper, a man who in 1913, with the enthusiastic recommendation by Theodore Roosevelt, himself, becomes one of the Michigan’s first civil service game wardens. His territory

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Overview

Woods Cop mystery author Joseph Heywood takes readers to an era when people had to be as hard as the lives they lived. Meet Lute Bapcat, orphan, loner, former cowboy, Rough Rider, beaver trapper, a man who in 1913, with the enthusiastic recommendation by Theodore Roosevelt, himself, becomes one of the Michigan’s first civil service game wardens. His territory: The Keweenaw Peninsula, the state’s industrial center. Featuring a stunning array of characters, fascinating historical detail, and Heywood’s trademark writing about life and work in Michigan’s wild, Red Jacket asks Lute to confront an explosive, bloody labor strike; a siege-like sabotage, including a sudden rash of decapitated, spoiled deer; poisoned trout streams and well water; and unusual deforestation—all apparently designed by mine owners to deny nature’s bounty to the strikers, and thereby to break the union. The strike’s violence culminates in the Italian Hall disaster, during which a man allegedly yells fire in a small building with several hundred people inside. In the panic, 73 people are crushed or die of suffocation, the majority of them the children and wives of striking miners at the hall for a Christmas party.

 

Even with good people dying, the Michigan governor refuses to take sides. Should Lute Bapcat?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Kirkus Reviews
The creator of the Grady Service Woods Cop adventures (Strike Dog, 2007, etc.) launches a new series that follows the adventures of another Upper Michigan game warden a century earlier. Col. Theodore Roosevelt values the men who follow him and inspires them in turn to fierce loyalty. So when the old Rough Rider asks trapper Luther Bapcat, who followed him up San Juan Hill 15 years earlier, to become Deputy Game, Fish and Forestry Warden for Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, there's no way Lute can refuse. Partnering with bounty hunter Pinkhus Sergeyevich Zakov, he heads to his new headquarters in Ahmeek and immediately realizes there's a lot more to his job than protecting fish, game and forests. The copper miners of the Upper Peninsula are preparing to strike, and Capt. Madog Hedyn, the hard-nosed boss of the Delaware mine, has hired gunslingers to shoot the native deer and leave the carcasses to rot in order to deprive the strikers of food that might help them through the winter. Even though Lute once worked in the mines himself, it's hard to find anyone to root for in the free-for-all that develops. The mine bosses are ruthless, the strikers surly, the local law clearly in the bosses' pockets. Rumor has it that the Black Hand is involved, and Zakov is always happy to explain how things are no better here than in Russia. Even Lute's lover, lusty dry-goods widow Jaquelle Frei, is said to be involved in the flesh trade, as a wholesale supplier of all the necessary material, including human material. The inevitable murders, when they finally begin, are almost incidental to a doomy tale that ends with a calamity that claims 73 lives in one fell swoop. Heywood's dialogue-driven story, which manages to be both brisk and lumbering, reads less like a self-contained tale than the opening salvo in an ongoing saga--which presumably is just the idea.
From the Publisher
"Joseph Heywood has long been a red-blooded American original and an author worth reading. With Red Jacket--a colorful and sprawling new novel with a terrific new protagonist named Lute Bapcat--he raises the bar to soaring new heights." --C.J. Box, New York Times bestselling author of Force of Nature"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." --Publishers WeeklyPraise for Joseph Heywood's Previous Novels"Joseph Heywood writes with a voice as unique and rugged as Michigan's Upper Peninsula itself." --Steve Hamilton, two-time Edgar® Award winner and bestselling author of The Lock Artist and the Alex McKnight novels"A truly wonderful, wild, funny and slightly crazy novel about fly fishing. The Snowfly ranks with the best this modern era has produced." --San Francisco Chronicle"A magical whirlwind of a novel, squarely in the tradition of Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato and Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall." --Howard Frank Mosher, author of The Fall of the Year and others"Heywood has crafted an entertaining bunch of characters. An absorbing narrative twists and turns in a setting ripe for corruption." --Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762782536
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Series:
Lute Bapcat Series, #1
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,272,607
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.04(h) x 1.36(d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Heywood is the author of The Snowfly (Lyons), Covered Waters (Lyons), The Berkut, Taxi Dancer, The Domino Conspiracy—and the eight novels comprising the Woods Cop Mystery Series. Featuring Grady Service, a detective in the Upper Peninsula for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, this series has earned its author cult status among lovers of the outdoors, law enforcement officials, and mystery devotees. Heywood lives in Portage, Michigan.

 

For more on Joseph Heywood and the Woods Cop Mysteries, visit the author's web site at josephheywood.com.

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