Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Coyote Creek by Scott Harris

Several months ago, Scott Harris was kind enough to send me a copy of his second novel, Coyote Creek. This book tells the further adventures of Brock Clemons, picking up where Coyote Courage left off.
I’m happy to say, Scott’s sophomore effort is every bit as good as his debut was. I hate spoiler filled reviews, so I’ll purposely keep plot details to a minimum. I will tell you that Creek finds Clemons trying to make it home to his wife and adopted son, all while battling renegade Indians, gunslingers, and other perilis obstacles that crop up along his path.
The action starts hot and heavy (where’re into it by the third “chapter”) and never lets up. I use the word “chapter” loosely, because this novel is not actually numbered. The sections are broken up into easily readable, quick selections, but not exactly in the traditional sense. Another unique aspect is that the perspective shifts between characters. While Brock Clemons is certainly the main protagonist, his wife and others take center stage at times. I enjoyed this twist (it is somewhat akin to recent Robert Crais efforts where the main hero, Elvis Cole, narrates his sections in the first person, while other chapters jump to the third tense to show correlating and relevant perspectives).
Harris’ writing has gotten smoother, and the presentation is a bit more polished. This is not a knock against his first novel. Rather, Harris is growing as a novelist, and this time around it is evenident he’s done this all before.
The pacing is spot on, the action plentiful, and the story engaging. Clemons and his crew are extremely likable, and it is easy to root for them. Clemons is no anti-hero. He’s a man’s man cut in the mold of classic L’Amour characters, and is extremely capable to take on the hardships found in Colorado Territory.
I suspect Brock Clemons will saddle up again. I certainly hope he does! I’ve known Scott Harris “digitally” for over a year now, and he’s been nothing but kind and encouraging. I hope one day I can hear him spin some yarns as we traverse the backroads of his native California. Until then, I’ll happily read any story he releases as I want to ride further trails with ol’ Brock and the gang.

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