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Running Dark (Woods Cop Mysteries #4)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  313 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews

Grady Service is back. And this time the scene is dicier than ever. We go back in time twenty-five years to meet Service as a young conservation officer. He's still fresh from Vietnam, but he's on his home turf now. Service is good at his new job and he's been tapped for an unusual assignment that threatens to be his last. It's the height
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Lyons Press (first published 2005)
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Scott Rhee
Dec 22, 2014 Scott Rhee rated it liked it
Having visited, briefly, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (affectionately called the U.P. by inhabitants, who affectionately call themselves Yoopers), I can see why the region also goes by another name, mostly by those living south of the Mackinac Bridge (the only road connecting the U.P. from the rest of the state): the Upper Peculiar.

I suppose one would have to be a little peculiar to want to live in a sparsely populated area of (admittedly beautiful) deep woods, lakes and ponds, and unbearably
Nov 21, 2012 Katelin rated it liked it
Another good Woods Cop mystery! This was a good read, but I feel that I am particularly interested in these Woods Cop mysteries simply because of my ties to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I enjoy these books because I am very familiar with all of places described in the story. It provides a certain level of nostalgia for me as I remember my personal adventures in the woods of the UP. I don't know if someone unfamiliar with the setting would enjoy it as much as I did. However, it's a good mystery wi ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it
This was my second Woods Cop mystery. I enjoy them mostly because of my love for the UP, but I also enjoy the characters. This one threw me for a loop with an abrupt jump 30 years into the future about the next to last chapter. It made sense, but a smoother transition might have helped. I'm beginning to think the main character's name is Service because that's what he seems to do with a large number of female characters, stretching the bounds of credibility. Either that or maybe I should be spen ...more
Sep 18, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it
#4 in the Woods Cop series. At the end of the previous series entry Chasing a Blond Moon (2003), Grady was told that due to a manpower shortage, he would have to assist in patrolling the fish runs along the notorious Garden Peninsula during the upcoming season. In the current entry, Grady does patrol the peninsula, with a twist. Running Dark (2005) is a prequel and takes Grady back 30 years to the beginning of his career as a Conservation Officer when he gets sent undercover on the peninsula. Th ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Sherrie rated it liked it
This book was almost a 4. But the Yooper dialect throughout the first half was overpowering in its quantity. I live in Michigan, have heard the dialect all my life, and could even mentally attach the accents and inflections to it--Hayward did a good job of capturing it. But it took me quite a bit of extra time to puts his written words with the sounds in my brain. Probably a really nit-picky point, since it was so well done, but there it is.
Ron Raymond
Apr 11, 2015 Ron Raymond rated it it was amazing
Joseph Heywood has done a well documented historical experience dealing with Grady Service's career as a conservation officer, from his beginnings in the Mosquito area along with the Garden Peninsula. All of this in trying to some balance between Lansing's corruption and enforcing the law amongst poachers of the U.P. Truly a passenger seat type of experience to navigate from one end of the U.P. to another, especially if you been in the U.P. and recognize the familiar landmarks described!
Jun 12, 2013 MJ rated it really liked it
Love this series that takes place in the U.P. This is the fourth in the series and the characters and the storylines keep getting better. Like the U.P. leaves in the fall, as cheesy as this sounds, the plot and the characters are definitely colorful and believable. Crisp dialogue and well-developed plot moves these stories along. Can't wait to move on to the next installment.
Feb 11, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it
I continue to really enjoy this series. Very well-balanced mysteries, with themes that appeal to me - the outdoors, fishing, hunting, and the Upper Peninsula. Heywood writes crisply, and this book moves at a very good pace.
Jul 23, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
Grady Service, great series, can't wait to read the next one. This book features Service from the mid-1970s. Nice way to learn more about Grady's past and features chasing "Rat" fisherman. If you like Northern Michigan LP or UP this series would interest you.
Jul 30, 2010 Dee rated it it was amazing
Great story that flashes back to the beginning of Grady's role as a CO. fighting poaching of fish in the waters on south side of the UP. Then back to Maridly and Walter in his life for the last couple of chapters.
Aug 21, 2014 Christina rated it liked it
4th in the series. I liked this book, but probably not as much as the others. Still, a strong addition to the series. The story was a bit unexpected, but it gave a lot of great insight to the main character - lots of what we hadn't known prior to this book.
Apr 26, 2009 Devo rated it really liked it
A great book in the series, real interesting to hear more of his history and some real michigan history as well. Well written and taught, just as imaginary as the others but with plenty historical information as well.
Jim Graczyk
Oct 07, 2016 Jim Graczyk rated it really liked it
very entertaining with a some nice plot twists. If you like Joe Pickett you will like this. I find the woods cop series actually to be a bit more realistic and in depth regarding a game warden's duties and activities.
Nov 27, 2013 Lily rated it it was ok
I'm trying to read J. Heywood's books in order. This one was my least favorite so far. It just dragged on and on.
Terry Gallagher
Aug 09, 2012 Terry Gallagher rated it it was ok
I like the Yoo Pee setting, but this one suffers from some verisimilitude issues (e.g. anachronism), and a character learns a lesson through exposition, not narration. Not what I'm looking for.
Sep 23, 2016 Hrn1947 rated it liked it
The books should really be read in order. Very good story and much info about fish spawns and poaching. Having read the next book before, the end is bitter sweet.
Jan 03, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
Good series. Heywood has excellent character development and always a twist to the plot! Service is an unusual but like-able character.
Sep 11, 2014 Bryan rated it really liked it
The dialog (slang) was a little tuff to follow at times, but a well told story. Enjoying the series.
Neenah Lynch
May 19, 2013 Neenah Lynch rated it really liked it
It was slower read than earlier books but that was because I was paying attention to the little details.
Michael Higgins
Jan 03, 2017 Michael Higgins rated it really liked it
Grady Service is fresh out of the marines and starting life as a CO in the UP. A good start to a great series.
Ben Hamilton
Decent Woods Cop Mystery. I enjoyed reading about the Garden War but thought it wrapped up too quickly.
Aug 26, 2016 Terrance rated it liked it
I enjoyed the wood cop series but this was a little disappointing. somewhat of a historical piece, it did not have the edge the other books did
Jun 08, 2016 Boyd rated it it was amazing
Service is the 'Jack Reacher' of the U.P. with more heart.
May 15, 2016 Lehtomaki rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2016
Susan rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2012
Regina rated it it was ok
Jul 07, 2012
Susan Medsker-Nedderman
Susan Medsker-Nedderman rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2013
Sally rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2009
Crystal Mosman
Crystal Mosman rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2016
Jacob Baker
Jacob Baker rated it liked it
Mar 14, 2017
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See also Joe T. Heywood

Joseph Heywood is the son of a career USAF officer. His dad was from Rhinecliff, New York on the Hudson River in Dutchess County, and his mother is from Mize, Mississippi in Sullivan County. His mother’s maiden name was Hegwood and she had only to change one letter to convert to her married name.

He is a 1961 graduate of Rudyard High School in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Chi
More about Joseph Heywood...

Other Books in the Series

Woods Cop Mysteries (10 books)
  • Ice Hunter (Woods Cop, #1)
  • Blue Wolf in Green Fire (Woods Cop, #2)
  • Chasing A Blond Moon (Woods Cop, #3)
  • Strike Dog (Woods Cop, #5)
  • Death Roe (Woods Cop, #6)
  • Shadow of the Wolf Tree (Woods Cop, #7)
  • Force of Blood (Woods Cop, #8)
  • Killing a Cold One (Woods Cop, #9)
  • Buckular Dystrophy (Woods Cop #10)

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