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Ice Hunter: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #1)
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Ice Hunter: A Woods Cop Mystery (Woods Cop Mysteries #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  622 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Meet Grady Service: a former Marine, renowned tracker, Conservation Officer, and the
last person any errant hunter wants to cross. In Ice Hunter, the first of a series of
mysteries set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Service defends his turf with the tenacity of a
bear and the wisdom of an ancient. He shuns all creature comforts and consumerism and is
most at home stalking the
Paperback, 355 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Lyons Press (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,312)
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Sharon Michael
May 08, 2013 Sharon Michael rated it really liked it
Entertaining, with a great sense of the area and the people. Good characterizations, if somewhat on the side of male wish-fulfillment as far as the girlfriends go. The supporting characters are well developed and individual as well as the main characters.

Interesting plotline, with a strong connection to conservation and wilderness preservation, natural with the main character a Conservation Officer in the UP area of Michigan, which presents an interesting look at rural/wilderness law enforcement
Mark Shannon
Apr 08, 2014 Mark Shannon rated it really liked it
This novel introduces Grady Service, a Conservation Officer or CO in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In his job Grady sees all kinds of problems, ranging from threats to wildlife to environmental destruction and lots of criminal activity. Grady's personal mission is to save a protected area called The Mosquito Tract, a jewel in the wilderness, from exploitation. When he discovers a man with a rock hammer in the tract one afternoon he resolves to investigate further. Soon after a corpse is found shot ...more
Oct 20, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it
Also a book club read I didn't finish on time, but eventually did finish - only two weeks late for this one! I liked this book. I liked the main character, although his last name threw me for quite awhile - FINALLY I caught on to that in most cases, when the author started the sentence with "Service" it was referring to Grady Service, hero of the book. Grrr! You couldn't have picked a name that wasn't also a common noun and verb? Grrr! But that aside, I enjoyed the story - although... I wasn't t ...more
Dr. Gary
Having grown up in Michigan, winter vacations in the U.P. and attending Michigan State as an undergrad, the book had some serious memories and love of the reality of the U.P. to overcome. Mission accomplished. The protagonist is an interesting character and actually much like some conservation officers I had known. Tough, irreverent, and if given a choice of hitting a human or a bear with their car... go ahead and buy the casket. The book itself, first in a series as I tend to read in order, was ...more
Linda Robinson
Jan 26, 2013 Linda Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Grady Service. He embodies most of the weird, wily characteristics of wilderness protagonists that make interesting reading. And I love Michigan, so this book is a big treat. The women are good at their jobs. Naturally one has to be on the high-maintenance list, but there are more who get by just fine on their own. The plot premise is superb and timeless. Discover some evidence of rare stuff anywhere on the earth and the crooks, corporations and get-rich-quick schemers will tear up the pl ...more
Will Decker
Jan 15, 2014 Will Decker rated it really liked it
Being an OHV Ranger and Certified Forest Protection Officer for the US Forest Service, this book was like reading an autobiography of my own life. Working alone in the woods, the attitude toward the general public, dealing with violets, it all rang so close to home it was a bit eery. When I first started this book, I almost gave up before I was even 10% into it. I am so glad that I didn't. It reads like an elderly gentleman wrote it, including more than a few grammar and spelling errors, but aft ...more
Donna Agnelly
Jun 20, 2014 Donna Agnelly rated it really liked it
Very nice start to a series. Perhaps I'm a little biased since it takes place in Michigan - my home state - but it is in the U.P. and I am a Detroiter. Loved, loved the choice of names throughout this book - enjoyed Grady Service as the main character and will definitely read more in this series. My book group has scheduled this book in the upcoming months so I have a bit of a head start on them.
Steve Kunitzer
Joseph Heywood has four things going for him:
1) The Berkut is a great book
2) The Woods Cop Mystery collection is about a conservation officer in the Michigan UP
3) Mr. Heywood live(s)(d) in Portage, MI
4) Did graduate studies at Western Michigan University

Ice Hunter is a fun read. The main character tends to follow more unwritten rules of the land than the written ones by politicians and bureaucrats. Some situations are borderline believable and several antics would probably lead to suspension or
Aug 19, 2014 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2014
Having lived in the U.P. for several years, the names and places and descriptions really came alive for me. He really captured the beauty of the U.P. Intriguing mystery that kept me guessing. I did think the female characters were a bit stereotypical male "wish-fulfillment" but overall an enjoyable book.
Sherry (sethurner)
"It was the week after his sixteenth birthday, four day after deer season had opened." Here's the first line of Joseph Heywood's mystery, Ice Hunter. The novel is subtitled "A Woods Cop Mystery" and is the first in a series about Michigan Conversation Officer Grady Service. We get a little background about Service (a former hockey player, son of another CO). The idea here is that Grady, fiercely protective of the Mosquito Tract of UP wilderness, discovers two murdered men after a suspicious fire ...more
Rosemarie Bentgen
Oct 12, 2015 Rosemarie Bentgen rated it really liked it
Lot of U.P. Michigan scenery. Heywood seems to have a real feel for the Fauna and terrain. Also right on in his characterizations of local mores, attitudes and mind sets. More insight into Forest Service Politics than I was interested in. Lots of action an even a little romance.
Aug 05, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the unusual setting of Michigan's Upper Peninsula in this fine initial entry to the Wood Cops series.

Woods Cop series - Meet Grady Service: a former Marine, renowned tracker, Conservation Officer, and the last person any errant hunter wants to cross. In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Service defends his turf. He is most at home stalking the Mosquito Tract, the land protected by his C.O. father before him. He gets news that his nemesis, the leader of an incestuous clan of poachers, is abou
Linda Sirvio
Jan 24, 2016 Linda Sirvio rated it liked it
An interesting look at the life of a conservation officer. . . If that was the purpose of this book than why the title 'Ice Hunter'? I think the author fell short of writing a story that fit the title.
May 24, 2013 C-shaw rated it it was ok
Story was fairly entertaining and it was interesting to read something about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but there were too many characters, too many esoteric acronyms. The main character, Conservation Officer Grady Service, was too macho, enduring multiple days of no sleep and multiple injuries with no medical attention, ripping off bandages and heading back into the wilderness to Save the Forests from Mankind. He also jumped from one supposedly committed sexual relationship right into ano ...more
Alex Ness
Mar 19, 2013 Alex Ness rated it it was amazing
Ice Hunter was a fun read that took me out to the summer woods and left bug bites all over me. Heywood writes in a slow and deliberate manner which lends itself well to describing the less than fast pace above the bridge. Grady Service seems to come off as a man who's career, purpose, and leisure time all swirl together forming a conservation officer who is doing what's right full time. Grady doesn't even have a bed. He sleeps on an army cot laid across a couple footlockers. The rest of the cast ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Jolaina2 rated it it was amazing

Loved this book! It has everything: Nature, mystery, plot twists, and local flavor (Yooper). Could not put it down. I inhaled the entire series and anxiously await more from this author.
Oct 19, 2013 Eric rated it really liked it
This is the first of a series of books featuring a harda** Conservation Officer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is reminiscent of the Nevada Barr mysteries, featuring Ranger Anna Pigeon, in that Grady Service is chasing down bad guys who are doing dastardly deeds in the wilderness. I enjoyed it because I am very familiar with the area, but it also contains interesting characters and a good (if somewhat improbable) mystery. The author went out of his way to distract the reader with a lot of oth ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it
If you like Steve Hamilton or Michigan UP thrillers, this one, following a remote DNR warden, was a little dated (2000) in some aspects, but all too current in others.
Burke Hodgson
Oct 25, 2014 Burke Hodgson rated it really liked it
Shelves: recently-read, ebook
This is an excellent book about National Parks Conservation Officers and a very good read for Nevada Barr fans. An excellent introduction to a pricey series.
Suzie Martin
Apr 09, 2014 Suzie Martin rated it liked it
Set in the UP of Michigan. Love the descriptions of the area and the people. Main character is very set in his ways. Not very down to earth. Very macho.
Jun 02, 2013 VJ rated it liked it
This book had a lot of profanity, which would otherwise have caused me to abandon it. The reason I did not was because I was really invested in the story. I wanted to read it all. The main character had great motivation: patrolling a wildlife preserve in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I've recently become interested in our state's natural resources and the different minerals which can be found along rivers and streams. As soon as they started describing various natural phenomenon, I knew what was c ...more
Lanelle Duke
Sep 26, 2014 Lanelle Duke rated it liked it
It was alright. I found myself just wanting to get through it and I didn't like it nearly as well as I like the Mike Bowditch series by Paul Dorion.
Jan 02, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, mysteries
New series for me and looking forward to reading more.
Darcy Juday
Nov 24, 2015 Darcy Juday rated it it was ok
Way too many characters (ALL with difficult names).
Oct 13, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it. Would pick up another
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is set in Michigan's upper peninsula. It is about a conservation officer (CO), what used to be called a game warden. Grady Service's job among other things is a wilderness area called the Mosquito tract. His suspicions start to get aroused when he sees strange things happening around the tract, cagey looking guys with rock hammers, a series of mysterious fires and a dead body. The plot centers around land use in the wilderness tract. It turns out that there might be valuable minerals i ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
Entertaining, not predictable. Great knowledge the area & it's terrain + cast of characters.
Nov 25, 2014 Miki rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-read-again
Didn't care for this book very much. It was just okay, and barely that- I'd give it 1 1/2 stars if that were possible. The main character was referred to as "the CO" (for Conservation Officer) more often than by his name; he was married to and obsessed by his job, and though he didn't start out the way in the beginning, by the end of the book, he was trying to please his (long dead) father. The writer's women and "the CO's" relationships with them were just plain awful. I will not be reading the ...more
Mar 27, 2008 Grey853 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was a very well written book, but I have to say it took me about half the novel to warm up to the main character of Service. He's very cold and distant about everything except doing his job to protect the environment. You get the notion that he's had a very difficult life, that he's both physically and emotionally scarred, but he's a little too tough and closed off for my tastes. However, the plot of ICE HUNTER is very complicated, but worth working through all the twists to get to the end.
Jul 13, 2013 Marylynn rated it it was ok
I really liked all the references to parks, landmarks, and towns in the U.P. But the story...... How many attractive women can one stinky log cabin living CO find in his daily work up there. And they all want him. Huh. Something hidden going on in his beloved land. Could have been a fun story but nothing rang true. I really wanted to recommend it to my friend Joanne who worked many years for the DNR. But I know she would be bored. Forgot the story as soon as I closed the book.
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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 (Chippewa County). Played f
More about Joseph Heywood...

Other Books in the Series

Woods Cop Mysteries (9 books)
  • The Snowfly
  • Running Dark: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #4)
  • Chasing A Blond Moon: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #3)
  • Strike Dog: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #5)
  • Death Roe: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #6)
  • Shadow of the Wolf Tree: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #7)
  • Force of Blood: A Woods Cop Mystery (Service, #8)
  • Killing a Cold One: A Woods Cop Mystery

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