Killing a Cold One by Joseph Heywood: A review


In honor of my Michigan-born son-in-law, I decided to read another of these Woods Cop mysteries that are set in his home state. They feature "Woods Cop" Grady Service who patrols the Mosquito Wilderness area of that state. Though his official job is as a conservation officer, he always seems to get drawn into investigations of murders and that is the case once again in Killing a Cold One.

This one was a rather complicated story; moreover, there are a LOT of characters and I sometimes found it a bit difficult to keep them all straight. This was not made any easier by the author being inconsistent in the names that he used for them. Every character seemed to have at least three names and each of those names might be applied to him/her at different points in the narrative. Color me confused.

The story involved the violent killing and mutilation of two Native American girls. Their bodies were found in a tent in a remote area of the Huron Mountains and nearby there were strange, unidentified animal tracks. The governor of the state, nearing the end of her term in office, orders Grady to hunt down and kill the animal that made those tracks.

Is the creature a dogman? There are many in the area who believe that such an animal exists. There are also many who believe in Bigfoot, werewolves, vampires, and angels, but there haven't been any verified sightings of any of them either. Investigating what made the tracks and what might have killed the women takes Grady into some of the Upper Peninsula's harshest terrain. 

In this book, we get to know Tuesday Friday (yes, that's actually the name the author gave her) who is a coworker and potential romantic interest of Grady's and we spend a lot of time with woodsman Limpy Allerdyce who speaks in what I'm guessing is the patois of the area which sometimes gave me pause when trying to figure out what he was saying.  

It's interesting that I actually found Allerdyce a more likable and relatable character than Grady, who sometimes behaves like a bit of a jerk. But the two of them, along with Tuesday, do make a rather effective team and justice is served in the end.

Comments

  1. Tuesday Friday is really her name? Funny. It's an interesting premise. It's too bad Grady wasn't the more likable character.

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    1. Yes, that was actually her name. One of the weirder things about the book.

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  2. Sounds like an interesting read. Keeping track of the various characters with various names sounds difficult... I started reading Anna Karenina last month, which I've paused reading at the moment, also has characters with multiple names (mainly nicknames) making it difficult to keep track of who is who sometimes.

    I recently finished reading Cari Mora by Thomas Harris and that novel had way too many characters.

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    1. I remember reading "Anna Karenina" so many years ago when my brain was a lot younger and even then it was a lot to keep track of!

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  3. Lots of characters...multiple names for the same characters...a complicated plot...these are some of the problems I often have with mysteries. Violence in stories is difficult for me, too. Cozies seem to trivialize murder....all of these things keep me away from mysteries.

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