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?
"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
From the author of the Woods Cop mysteries—a new historical mystery set in 1913, featuring Rough Rider turned game warden Lute Bapcat, a violent miners’ strike, deadly sabotage, and the intentional destruction of Michigan wildlife