From B.C. Bookworld, Alan Twigg

Inspector Janwar Singh and Constable Kirsten Crosby investigate the disappearance of a woman linked to ‘America’s first eco-terrorist’ in Brian Brett’s West Coast mystery and ethical thriller, Coyote. The key character is an retired environmental warrior, or urban guerilla, nicknamed Coyote, who has retreated to Artemis Island to live in a treehouse with a propane stove. Having blown up bridges to clearcut logging sites, torched shopping malls and ‘liberated’ zoos in the 1970s, the reclusive and meditative Coyote (aka Charlie Baker) is disturbed at the outset of the novel by a visit from a crazed younger man named Brian, posing as a writer, who purportedly wants to unlocks some of the secrets in Coyote’s past. This unwanted visitor also has a narrative voice in the story. “Yes, it’s Brian again–as he was twenty years ago. This is my story, I’m telling it, so why can’t I make myself a character?”. A former lover of Coyote’s named Rita Norman connects Brian, Coyote and Inspector Singh. The range of styles in this novel–conventional police procedural, post modern narrative, and distillation of West Coast manners–makes Coyote into an original concoction, complete with fembos, magic mushrooms, mackinaws, Tai Chi, a New Age retreat called The Last Resort and a talking parrot named Congo. The ‘wildness’ of the Gulf Island locale and emphasis on the enduring importance of kookiness and idealism could seem exotic or even unrealistic to some readers, but the blend is more realistic than might be imagined. “All speeches by Congo, except three or four, are courtesy of the parrot I’ve lived with for twenty years–my companion, Tuco,” writes Brett in an afterword, “Though the character of Congo is different and not nearly as clever, he couldn’t have existed without Tuco, who is an endless source of inspiration, and orders me to work every morning. And that’s no story.”